When Apple removed all digital currency apps on the App Store earlier this year, the bitcoin community responded with shock, anger, and destruction — one bitcoin user even shot his iPhone 4S with a rifle in exchange for a Nexus 5.
But today, Blockchain, which was the most popular bitcoin app before its removal in February, announced that its wallet app is available again in the iOS App Store. "This is a super exciting day for bitcoin," Blockchain CEO Nicolas Cary said in an interview with BuzzFeed. "Everyone here is all smiles." Blockchain's wallet app allows users to send and receive bitcoins and view their transactions along with their bitcoin balance.
The app's return follows Apple's release of new guidelines for developers of virtual currency apps back in June. The release said it would allow apps for digital currency transmission "provided that they do so in compliance with all state and federal laws for the territories in which the app functions." The new guidelines signaled that the company was willing to allow bitcoin back on the App Store and release the huge iOS developer community to work with bitcoin apps.
Cary said that the UK-based Blockchain had grown from 950,000 users in the beginning of the year to 1.9 million today, despite losing access to iPhone and iPad users. The app had been downloaded over 120,000 times before it was removed. It had been available for more than two years in the App Store before it was first removed.
Cary emphasized that mobile access was crucial for any bitcoin app because many of those interested in using bitcoin don't have PCs.
He also said that the wallet app had added a new security feature — a pin screen — and was also rewritten to be faster with an updated user experience. He didn't think any of the changes were what led Apple to accept it, though. Blockchain submitted the app last week and heard over the weekend that it was available in the App Store. "It has a lot more to do with the whole community than us, it demonstrates that Apple is open to developers," Cary said. The company has also released an updated version of its Android app.
"I think not only is this a big deal for Blockchain," Cary said. "Apple is the world's leading consumer brand period, allowing bitcoin wallets back into the space is an enormous endorsement."
Matthew Zeitlin is a business reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Zeitlin reports on Wall Street and big banks.
Contact Matthew Zeitlin at email@example.com.
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