In an apparent gut punch to fledging cryptocurrency, Apple has removed the last digital Bitcoin wallet app, Blockchain, from the App Store. The app, however, will continue to work for the 120,000 people who downloaded it since it debuted two years ago.
Naturally, the Blockchain team isn't happy. On its blog, Blockchain claims the App Store's gatekeepers offered "no explanation and no opportunity to address any issues." The company believes the wallet's removal "once again demonstrate the anti-competitive and capricious nature of the App Store policies," which are "clearly focused on preserving Apple’s monopoly on payments rather than based on any consideration of the needs and desires of their users." For what it's worth, Android is still Bitcoin-friendly.
The move wasn't entirely unanticipated. Apple was in the midst of already cracking down on Bitcoin-related apps, showing the likes of Coinbase, Gliph, and CoinJar the front door. It's a decisive moment--and an odd one--considering Bitcoin continues to gain mainstream credibility as a viable payment method; companies like Overstock.com now accept it. Perhaps Dogecoin will fare a bit better.
[Image: Flickr user Jason Benjamin]