Apple Allows First Bitcoin Wallet Back to the App Store

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Apple has allowed the first Bitcoin wallet app back onto the App Store after publicly changing its policy on such apps earlier in June. A free app called Coin Pocket was released on Friday, and it allows users to both send and receive Bitcoins directly in the app.

Starting in December of 2013, Apple began pulling Bitcoin-related apps with wallet features, even if they were merely accessing Web-wallets such as Blockchain.info's service. At the time, I argued that Apple was making a big mistake, and that it was in the company's best interest to make iPhone into a premier Bitcoin platform.

A change in policy rolled out during WWDC in an update to Apple's App Review Guidelines cleared the way for just this sort of change, and Coin Pocket is the first app to be allowed under the new policy. The app was originally released as an HTML 5 app, but the sanctioned App Store version can access your iPhone's camera for scanning QR codes, such as the one shown below that was generated from inside the app.

Coin Pocket Screenshots

Coin Pocket Screenshots

It was Coindesk that first caught the new app, and the site also noted that the eGifter app also incorporated Bitcoins. eGifter allows users to buy and store gift cards inside the app, and the company just added the ability to buy cards with Bitcoins.

This situation is far more strange because eGifter appears to bypass Apple's requirement that it receive a 30 percent commission on all in-app purchases. That said, Gyft, a similar service, also allows in-app purchases of gift cards.

The takeaway, however, is that Apple's change in policy towards Bitcoin wallet functionality in apps has born fruit less than two weeks after that policy was rolled out. If this is consistent with that policy, rather than an aberration caused by App Store review error, iPhone will soon be a first class citizen in the Bitcoin community again.

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