A renewed interest in digital currency sees Bitcoin transfer apps back on iOS devices
Apple has backtracked on its policy of refusing to accept Bitcoin transfer apps into the iOS app store, signalling a shift in policy that should eventually pave the way to more digital currency apps on iPhones, iPads and iPods. The first app, Coinpocket, has already appeared on iTunes and app stores around the world.
Coinpocket lets users send and recieve Bitcoin funds from any iOS device, the ability to check conversion rates to US dollars, encrypt their wallet keys and includes a QR code scanner for quickly sending funds to another account. It has appeared on the iOS app store before, but Apple removed it before updating its policies. In the interim, developers have been providing basic HTML5 versions of their apps which run in a mobile browser, but now we expect the floodgates to open and a host of new apps appear in the app store.
According to TechCrunch, Apple has also been allowing Bitcoin transfer apps with options to purchase bitcoins directly from the app, which bypasses Apple’s 30% share of in-app purchases when users pay for the transactions using Bitcoin.
Although the move is great news for Bitcoin owners, anyone that has invested in other forms of cryptocurrency or digital currency won’t be quite so lucky. When Apple updated its store policies, it only mentioned “approved” currencies – meaning it has final say over which ones make the grade. With Bitcoin being the first of its kind, and the largest of all the currently traded cryptocurrencies out there, it’s something of a no-brainer for Apple, but smaller names like Dogecoin may need approval before iOS apps appear.
Apple has also said that it will only accept virtual currency transmission apps “as long as they comply with all state and federal laws”, although given the fact that many currencies already operate in a legal grey area we’ll have to wait for the company to de-list apps before we know what exactly falls foul of the new guidelines.