Blockchain Returns to the Apple App Store After Bitcoin Ban
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Blockchain.info is back in the Apple App Store for the first time in seven months. The Cupertino, Calif.-based tech titan booted the popular iOS Bitcoin wallet app from its marketplace last January, when it controversially purged all Bitcoin transaction apps.
On the heels of Coinbase and other similar Bitcoin-transmission apps, Blockchain.info’s app was the last major Bitcoin wallet app Apple yanked from the App Store. And, as of today, it’s the first of the biggies to be reinstated, Blockchain.info CEO Nicolas Cary told Entrepreneur.com this morning.
“This is a really big deal,” he said. “When Apple banned the Blockchain wallet over 1,000 news stories ran about Apple banning Bitcoin. This seems to be the first strong and real sign they are ready to accommodate future digital currency development. It goes a long way to legitimizing Bitcoin and now provides hundreds of millions of iOS users access to Bitcoin applications.”
Blockchain’s iOS app, which enables users to store, send, receive, buy and sell bitcoins, isn’t exactly the one you might recall from before Apple’s infamous ban. It’s been completely overhauled “from the ground up,” with a fresh new suite of security features, according to an announcement on Blockchain.info’s blog published today.
Apple modified its App Store Review Guidelines on June 2 with a one-sentence clause addressing virtual currencies. It marked the first time the company officially confronted the concept of cryptocurrency. Apple’s app submission update, which stipulated that Apple-approved virtual currency transmission apps comply with state and federal laws in the geographic areas where they function, gave Bitcoin traders outraged at the earlier ban (one of whom was so enraged that he shot his iPhone) hope that Apple would soon allow Bitcoin wallet apps again.
The same day Apple’s digital currency-referencing verbiage went live, Blockchain.info vowed to resubmit its app for Apple’s consideration, though, at the time, Cary said his company was “cautiously optimisitc.” It’s easy to imagine that Cary and company are celebrating now. He told Entrepreneur.com that his email inbox is “EXPLODING” at the moment. That’s right. All caps exploding.
It may be most anticipated of its kind, but Blockchain.info’s new iOS offering isn’t the only Bitcoin transaction app to appear in the App Store in recent days. As noted by CoinDesk, Gliph, a message-based app that lets users send and receive bitcoins, and an independent Coinbase wallet (created by AirBnB developer Andrew Vilcsak, not Coinbase, though Coinbase has endorsed it) are currently available for download as well.