Apple pulls Bitcoin wallet app Blockchain from App Store

Blockchain for iOS (image 001)

Apple on Thursday pulled from its App Store the last remaining Bitcoin wallet app that allowed transactions. Blockchain, the only Bitcoin trading and storage iOS app, has been downloaded 120,000 times. It can no longer be found on the App Store following the removal over an “unresolved issue”.

Nicolas Cary, the CEO of London-based which developed the app, told Bloomberg he didn’t understand Apple’s reasoning as his app’s been on the App Store for two years.

Apple previously pulled Bitcoin-compatible apps from the App Store or asked their developers to remove the transfer feature because it’s illegal in some countries…

According to Bloomberg, Cary received an e-mail from Apple saying his app was withdrawn “due to an unresolved issue”.

“We’ve been there two years,” Cary said in an interview. “What did they just discover that is now unresolved?”

A notice on the website states that the app is still available as a free download, but with limited features. “Due to restrictions from Apple the Bitcoin wallet functionality is not available in the App Store version,” the website states. However, at post time Blockchain was unavailable in the US App Store.

Jailbroken users can find the app in TheBigBoss repository on Cydia.

Apple’s agreement that all registered iOS developers are required to sign clearly states that Bitcoin apps may not include content that “enables, facilitates or encourages an activity” that some countries may deem illegal.

Bloomberg explains:

As a virtual currency, Bitcoins exist only as software and transactions are completed via computing devices. With merchants from car dealers and Web stores accepting the digital money, mobile apps have become a popular commerce tool.

At the same time, some governments including China and India have questioned Bitcoin’s legal status. Since Apple requires apps to be legal in all territories that they’re offered, many Bitcoin-related programs for Apple’s iOS mobile software don’t offer the ability to send money.

Apple previously removed Coinbase and Gliph apps that would allow users to send and receive Bitcoins. After Gliph at Apple’s request removed the transfer feature, the app re-surfaced on the App Store.

Have you used Bitcoin-compatible apps for the iPhone?