Apple blocked Coinbase Wallet update on iOS to offer NFTs
Non-fungible tokens, also known as NFTs, are becoming increasingly popular. Yet Apple still doesn’t seem very open to this idea, at least not when these NFTs are sold in iOS apps without using the App Store’s in-app purchase system. And this is what happened to Coinbase Wallet, which reportedly had its latest update denied in the App Store due to the NFT feature.
Coinbase Wallet is removing the ability to send NFTs from the iOS app
In a Twitter thread, the official Coinbase Wallet account reported that Apple has blocked its latest iOS app release until developers disabled the feature that allows users to send NFTs through the app. The platform claims that Apple has required the fees charged to transfer NFTs to be paid through the App Store’s in-app purchase system, allowing the company to collect a 30% commission.
Coinbase Wallet says that “this is clearly not possible” since Apple’s in-app purchase system “does not support crypto.”
For anyone who understands how NFTs and blockchains work, this is clearly not possible. Apple’s proprietary In-App Purchase system doesn’t support crypto, so we couldn’t comply even if we tried. This is similar to Apple trying to take a cut of fees for every email sent over open Internet protocols.
The developers explain that Apple makes it difficult for iPhone users to transfer NFTs to other wallets or even to send them as gifts to friends and family. Last month, Apple updated the App Store guidelines with new rules for apps with NFTs. The new guidelines make it clear that third-party apps cannot “direct customers to purchase mechanisms other than in-app purchases.”
Apps may use in-app purchases to sell and sell services related to non-fungible tokens (NFTs), such as minting, listing and transfer. Apps may allow users to view their own NFTs, provided that NFT ownership does not unlock features or functionality within the app. Apps may allow users to browse NFT collections owned by others, provided that the Apps do not include buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchase mechanisms other than in-app purchases.
Earlier this year, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong had already complained that the App Store was not crypto-friendly. According to Armstrong, there are “potential antitrust issues there” referring to App Store policies.
Now, Coinbase expects to have talks with Apple to resolve this situation, but it is unclear whether Apple will be flexible with its new policy for apps with NFTs.
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