The defenses are crumbling, and sooner than many may have anticipated: Apple is allowing cryptocurrencies and crypto apps to be used with its products.
Apple’s cold shoulder treatment of virtual currencies has always irked the community, but few would have guessed that it would change its stance entirely in such a short space of time.
Now, Apple has amended its terms to allow the inclusion of “approved virtual currencies,” and despite not naming names, this morning, CoinJar for iPhone officially reappeared on the iTunes store, being the first cryptocurrency app to be approved.
As Bloomberg reports
, experts have greeted the news with open arms. “This is a sign that the ecosystem is maturing and gaining credibility,”
BitGo investor Bill Lee told the publication, while Adam Draper called it “very exciting”
and predicted the community should “get ready for a plethora of iOS apps.”
“Get ready for a plethora of iOS apps.”
An official response is still awaited from some of the major players on the innovation side of Bitcoin especially, however, such as Blockchain.info, whose service had been banned outright by Apple.
Nevertheless, the opportunities now available for these ‘chosen’ currencies in terms of outreach cannot be understated. Apple’s U-turn bridges what before was perhaps the fundamental gap in the cryptoworld’s potential for mass consumer integration, and its reasoning suggests the odds stacking up against it on several fronts.
This gravitas now being associated with the cryptocurrency ecosystem has furthermore been echoed by various pro-digital factions of the finance industry. Wedbush Securites’ Gil Luria told Bloomberg:
“If anything, Apple had more to lose by keeping bitcoin off the App Store. Bitcoin users were not going to give up Bitcoin - they were giving up on the iPhone.”
Whatever the reason behind the decision, however, it is without doubt that Apple still holds the key to the crypto success story. With 41% of US smartphones bearing its name, as Gliph’s Rob Banagale notes:
“It’s critical that Apple allows Bitcoin transmission to occur. If we can’t get apps into the App Store, Bitcoin will always going to be suppressed in its potential.”