CEO of digital exchange Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, argued that Apple’s App Store regulations stifle innovation in the crypto space on Friday. He wrote on Twitter that the current App Store policy targets Apple’s numerous and specific restrictions on handling digital currency.
However, this is not the first time that Apple restricted cryptocurrencies. In 2018, Apple explicitly banned apps that mine cryptocurrency on its devices in updated guidelines for the App Store. The ban extended across all Apple platforms.
App Store’s Effects on Cryptocurrency Growth
Coinbase markets an iOS app. The set rules prevent the company from earning money using cryptocurrency and accessing decentralized finance apps. According to Armstrong, this limitation affects the cryptocurrency world in general.
Lately, DeFi and dApps have been booming due to significant innovation and growth in financial services. People get access to a global credit market for benefits such as getting a loan or earning interest. They are simply websites that are accessible from any browser. Armstrong believes that what Apple is essentially trying to say is that you can’t provide users with a list of websites they can visit through an app.
He continues to state the potential impact that dApps and DeFi apps have on the emerging markets and underserved communities. For instance, technology can provide an alternative source of funding and lending where banks are unavailable or inaccessible, maybe due to strict government rules.
More than 20 years ago, Microsoft employed anticompetitive strategies that pushed Windows users to Internet Explorer, more than 20 years ago. Those tactics led to government scrutiny and an antitrust case that aimed at breaking the software monolith.
Similar tactics are what Apple is deploying by using rules that go against digital currency forms. Forcing users to use the App Store instead of dApps or IAP instead of crypto payment methods is seen as a strategic move to sabotage cryptocurrency innovation, Armstrong wrote. He further stated that many cryptocurrency apps are missing features because Apple is censoring them.
The Coinbase CEO plans to submit a formal challenge to Apple’s App Store guidelines. In June, the tech giant announced a new review process to its set policies allowing one to propose changes.
Under Investigation by U.S.
When the twitter thread on App Store cryptocurrency regulations went online, it arrived amid debate over Apple handling third-party apps. Many developers have openly criticized the company over its revenue-sharing policies.
In August, Epic Games filed a private antitrust lawsuit against Apple-based on App Store fees and restrictions barring third-party app stores. Currently, a U.S. congressional investigation is working to determine whether the tech giant breached antitrust laws.