Apple Bitcoin Spat Takes Toll on iPhone Fans
Barry Silver was prompted to end his love affair with his iPhone when Apple Inc. made the decision of removing an app that was used for sending and receiving apple Bitcoins from App Store. Mr. Silbert is the chief executive officer of SecondMarket based in New York and he declared that he was switching after his bitcoin choice of application Blockchain.info was removed by Apple last week and he had added that he would be purchasing a new phone. From Silicon Valley to Wall Street, technology fans who had considered the iPhone maker as a kindred spirit are now venting out their frustration at the policies of the Cupertino-California based firm.
It is required by Apple for apps to be legal everywhere they are provided and Bitcoin’s legal status had been questioned by some governments including that of China and India. However, there has been considerable backlash because of the ouster of Blockchain and there are some people who are displaying their displeasure through some extreme measures. Videos were posted online by several iPhone users, which showed how they were destroying their phones. A metal bar was used by someone for smashing their iPhone while one used a sniper rifle for shooting it and one even threw the phone down a flight of stairs.
Apple Bitcoin is simply a software and various computing devices are used for completing transactions. Even though there is no existence of any physical currency, web stores and merchants from car stores were accepting the digital money. Coinbase, a mobile app that was removed the previous year and Blockchain, another similar app had become immensely popular amongst people for making payments. Before being removed, Blockchain had been downloaded about 120,000 times. Apple has already shut down a few other applications facilitating digital-money payments through its online store.
The CEO of Gliph, an Apple bitcoin app that Apple had left in the store shortly after removing the ability of sending and receiving bitcoins, Rob Banagale said that Apple has been trying to find a way to suppress bitcoin apps for years. He said that because only a tiny fraction of Apple’s customer base is affected because of the app removal, the company doesn’t consider it worth it to worry about regulatory oversight because of it. Apple’s spokespeople declined to make any comment pertaining to this matter. The people backing bitcoin regard it as an alternative to the global-payment system, which is currently being dominated by Western Union and Visa.
There are some who are of the opinion that Blockchain was probably blocked by Apple because of concerns that bitcoin transaction apps would create legal problems for the company. The App Store of the tech giant is curated by approving very productivity tool, game, social networking and news-reading app before allowing customers to download it. In comparison, a more open and lenient approach is used by Google’s Android operating system, allowing software developers to post their wares a little more freely. The App Store is a big business for Apple and it had about $10 billion sales in 2013.