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At last it would seem that the frosty relationship between Apple and Bitcoin is beginning to thaw – at least enough to allow some apps to come out of hiding.
“We're baaaacck!!!! @blockchain @apple #bitcoin whohooo! pic.twitter.com/2gwvLW2YmW”, Blockchain CEO Nicholas Carey tweeted in response to the Blockchain wallet app reappearing on iTunes, news which was broadcast far and wide throughout the Bitcoin community by Andreas Antonopoulos and others.
Blockchain’s original offer was previously available on iTunes before being unceremoniously pulled by Apple. While some remain skeptical as to the app’s future this time around, it is safe to say that the decision would not have been taken lightly.
And this time, the wallet is not alone: tools in the form Bither and bitWallet are adding not only choice but new functionality to the fledgling ecosystem of Bitcoin for iOS.
Bither comes straight off the bat offering technology which would effectively allow users to turn their iOS device into a cold storage option, making the highest-grade security available to the common Bitcoin user available anywhere. While still in its infancy, the app has a busy Github with Reddit user u/chrismarquardt noting the need to ask some thorough questions early on to ensure its overall success.
bitWallet 1.6 meanwhile has introduced hierarchical deterministic wallets and mnemonic sentences.
“What this means is that you can now back up your bitWallet private keys by simply writing down your deterministic seed and storing it offline with your Electrum or Armory seeds,” Reddit user u/BashCo writes in a review of the app. “In fact, if you have a desktop wallet that also supports BIP32, you can actually sync or recover the same wallet addresses from your desktop.”
With the infrastructure arming itself with the necessary cutting-edge security for mainstream interest, questions regarding Apple’s longer-term strategy are of course being pondered. USA Today meanwhile reports widespread suspicions that the company will release its own mobile wallet together with the iPhone 6 later this year, allowing devices to be used in place of credit cards for fiat transactions.
“Apple is currently in talks with Visa and other credit card companies about a mobile payments partnership,” it continues, citing ‘The Information.’
Talk of a fiat-crypto showdown on the app store need not occur, as it is of course clear at this stage which will be the favored technology. However, the very openness and availability of first-class cryptocurrency innovation will surely turn heads, and unless Apple should changes its mind once more, the credibility it receives by means of this support will be no small matter.
According to a study by ABI Research, just over 40% of US citizens now possess an iPhone, while in the UK, 50% of web traffic is generated solely by iPhones, a similar study by Chitika found. Globally, over 300 million iPhones are now Bitcoin-capable, a truly vast potential market.
In another development, Hong Kong based exchange ANX has already responded to Apple’s announcement with the release of ‘send and receive’ functionality for the iOS version of its Vault app. The improvements will allow sending of BTC funds via email for those who do not keep a wallet.
“[ANX Vault] relies on industrial strength security standards provided by the ANX platform including optional three-factor authentication,” the company said in a press release issued today.
The app supports all major fiat currencies including AUD, CAD, GBP, CHF, EUR, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD and USD, as well as cryptocurrencies BTC, DOGE, LTC, NMC and PPC and is available on the iOS Store and Google Play.
The move is the latest in a series of innovations from ANX, which released its Bitcoin debit card this month, a review of which can be found courtesy of CoinTelegraph here.
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