After Twitter, Now Apple Blocks Coinbase Wallet From the App Store

Elon Musk had earlier this week claimed Apple threatened to block Twitter from the App Store before clarifying it was misunderstanding after a meeting with Tim Cook.
Image source: Coinbase Wallet/Twitter

Quick take:

  • Apple has blocked Coinbase Wallet in the App Store.
  • The tech giant wants the crypto exchange company to disable NFT payments in the wallet app.
  • Apple says the gas fee should be paid through its in-app purchase system ‘so that it can take its 30% cut’.

Apple has blocked Coinbase Wallet from the App Store. The technology giant wants Coinabse Wallet to disable the feature for sending non-fungible tokens. Apple wants its in-app purchase system to handle the transactions so it can have its cut on gas fees.

Announcing the measures taken by Apple on Twitter, Coinbase Wallet wrote: “You might have noticed you can’t send NFTs on Coinbase Wallet iOS anymore. This is because Apple blocked our last app release until we disabled the feature.”

Apple requires all apps on its App Store to possess transactions using its in-app purchase system, thus collecting a fee of 15% to 30%.

In 2021, the iPhone maker reported a whopping $64 billion in App Store gross sales. The company’s app store policies have come under criticism from industry rivals who think they are not sustainable.

“Apple has sort of singled themselves out as the only company that is trying to control unilaterally what apps get on a device,” Zuckerberg said. “I don’t think that’s a sustainable or good place to be.”

And Coinbase Wallet’s leadership seems to share the same view. “For anyone who understands how NFTs and blockchains work, this is clearly not possible. Apple’s proprietary In-App Purchase system does not support crypto so we couldn’t comply even if we tried,” the company wrote in a tweet on Thursday.

Coinbase Wallet is not the first app to find itself on a collision course with Apple’s strict App Store policies. Earlier this week, new Twitter owner Elon Musk said the company was trying to block Twitter from the App Store.

In a long Twitter thread, Musk argued that Apple did not provide an explanation for the threats, adding that the technology giant, which is Twitter’s biggest advertiser, had stopped advertising on the platform.

However, after meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday, the situation is now resolved, according to Musk’s tweet on Thursday.

“Good conversation. Among other things, we resolved the misunderstanding about Twitter potentially being removed from the App Store. Tim was clear that Apple never considered doing so.”

However, the situation with Coinbase Wallet appears serious, rather than a misunderstanding. Unlike Twitter’s case, which seemed nothing more than a ‘warning’. Coinbase Wallet’s latest app release, which has features enabling users to send NFTs has been blocked.

The company likens Apple’s demands to a company that wants to “take a cut of fees for every email gets sent through open internet protocols.”

Coinbase Wallet laments that the most affected will be iPhone users that own NFTs, adding that the decision makes it “harder for them to transfer their NFTs to other wallets or gift to friends or family.

“Simply put, Apple has introduced new policies to protect their profits at the expense of consumer investment in NFTs and developer innovation across the crypto ecosystem,” the company wrote.


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