Apple welcomes back Bitcoin wallet Blockchain to App Store

Guy Bentley
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(Source: Reuters)

Apple's App Store has welcomed back Bitcoin wallet Blockchain following its removal in February.

Already available on Android devices, Blockchain launched its new iOS wallet yesterday, which has been “completely rewritten from the ground up with an emphasis on security and usability,” the company said in a press release.

Before Apple's unexplained removal of all apps offering cryptocurrency transactions, Blockchain was the most downloaded Bitcoin wallet for iOS devices.

Blockchain's return will be welcome news to Bitcoin bugs who were left bewildered by Apple's decision to remove the app, which had been available on the App Store for over two years and was downloaded over 120,000 times.

In February, Blockchain responded furiously to the move, issuing a statement on its blog:

These actions by Apple once again demonstrate the anti-competitive and capricious nature of the App Store policies that are clearly focused on preserving Apple’s monopoly on payments rather than based on any consideration of the needs and desires of their users.

However, Apple has recently softened its stance on cryptocurrencies. Back in June, Apple updated its app store guidelines to allow apps that deal in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Apps for transmitting "approved virtual currencies" may be permitted so long as they do not break any laws. However, Apple did not provide any clarification regarding its new rules.

The updated clause in the "Purchasing and Currencies" section reads: “Apps may facilitate transmission of approved virtual currencies provided that they do so in compliance with all state and federal laws for the territories in which the app functions.”

Blockchain is the latest cryptocurrency service to join the tech giant's app store following messaging service Gliph, which allows connected users to send Bitcoin to each other.

Speaking to digital currency news site Coindesk, Blockchain CEO Nicolas Cary, said: “Working with Apple has been quick and easy, and we really appreciate their thoughtful guidance – it’s a partnership we really value.”

Earlier this month, Blockchain revealed its new app for Android phones.

Blockchain not only allows exchanges between wallets, but iPhone and iPad users will be able buy products and services from businesses that accept Bitcoin.

Blockchain is the world's most popular Bitcoin wallet, doubling it's numbers in 2014 to 1.9m. Furthermore, Blockchain has another app on iOS, called ZeroBlock, which provides price quotes, charting figures and a newsfeed.

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