Apple Allows Return of Bitcoin Apps

Apple has done an about face on Bitcoin. After removing or rejecting Bitcoin related apps from their App Store since late last year they’ve revised their policy to allow cryptocurrency wallets and related programs. Coin Pocket was the first Bitcoin related application to return to the App Store which is used by iPad and iPhone customers. The move is another step in the mainstream acceptance of Bitcoin and suggests that Apple isn’t going to come up with their own cryptocurrency payment system which many had previously speculated.

Bitcoin applications have been welcomed by Google into their ‘Play Store’ (the Android equivalent of the App Store) but the change of heart by Apple is significant for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the symbolism of such a large, well known company accepting it into their ecosystem. It also allows Bitcoin developers to target Apple iPhone users who personify the type of ‘mainstream’ users that have been lagging behind in the cryptocurrency revolution. Unfortunately, the mainstream media does a poor job of covering the digital world and particularly reporting on new technology trends like Bitcoin. The more intellectual tech media recognizes the significance of Apple’s move–Garrick Hileman, economic historian at the London School of Economics, suggests that it’s another example of mainstream corporations recognizing that Bitcoin isn’t a fad but “something more important that’s here to stay”.

Hileman also points to Apple’s user base, suggesting that their brand goodwill can only help Bitcoin’s adoption rate. Apple will carefully ‘curate’ the Bitcoin apps that they allow into their ecosystem which will be seen as a de facto stamp of approval among iPhone and iPad users. It also bolsters Bitcoin’s position as the market leader among alternative currencies. There has been talk of Apple, Google, Amazon and other companies coming up with their own digital payment systems but as Bitcoin’s acceptance strengthens they’re more likely to go with the ‘industry standard’ out of competitive necessity. Hileman thinks that other companies will follow suit and he expects Bitcoin to be something that “leading tech and consumer firms ultimately embrace.” The Bitcoin revolution marches on….