The Blockchain.info app on the iOS App Store has been removed by Apple today, in a shocking move the company says has been caused by “an unresolved issue”.
Blockchain.info’s application was the last remaining bitcoin wallet on the app store, with others being taken down in a similar fashion by Apple. Even Coinbase’s app found itself removed a mere three weeks after it was released.
A lengthy response to Apple’s moved was published on Blockchain.info’s blog Wednesday evening.
These actions by Apple once again demonstrate the anti-competitive and capricious nature of the App Store policies that are clearly focused on preserving Apple’s monopoly on payments rather than based on any consideration of the needs and desires of their users.
Cupertino-based Apple is facing serious backlash from the bitcoin community, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t quite affect their bottom line.
Blockchain.info’s application had been downloaded a whopping 120,000 times, and had been on the App Store for over two years.
Perhaps Apple should have added a disclaimer: “As long as the ‘rebels’ don’t threaten our profit margin”. The rebels no longer run the show at Apple Inc, the beancounters are now firmly in charge.
Blockchain.info is urging users to take a stand and sign a petition:
ApplePlease allow Bitcoin wallets on the iPhone.We need a mobile Bitcoin client, and if Apple won’t deliver one, we’ll move to Android.
As of this writing, the petition has received a little over 1,300 signatures.
Protecting Apple’s business
These arbitrary removals done by Apple are viewed as attempts to protect Apple’s bottom line, with the company rumored to soon be launching a mobile payments feature.
They do not, however, account for how such a move negatively affects the bitcoin community.
With scores of users on the iOS platform, it will now be yet another obstacle to getting a reliable and safe bitcoin wallet to use. The removal of the application also hinders Blockchain.info’s growth in the mobile realm.
It’s unclear where things will go from here, but the situation certainly is messy.