Co-founder and CEO of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong recently shared, in a twitter thread his thoughts on Apple’s App Store restrictions that do not allow iOS users to earn money using cryptocurrency. The CEO also made claims that Apple told Coinbase that it was ’not appropriate’ for the App Store to allow iOS customers to use decentralized finance apps (Dapps) since those apps featured cryptocurrency transactions.
The CEO said that Coinbase wanted to improve its app’s user experience in the wake of Apple’s move to allow developers to suggest updates to the App Store policies. Following which, Armstrong learned of the restriction imposed by Apple on crypto apps which he believed would “stifle innovation in cryptocurrency.” He said in a tweet:
I feel like Apple customers should be made aware: the crypto apps you use on iOS are not missing some features you want because the teams haven’t gotten to them, those features are being censored by Apple.
I greatly admire Apple as a company, and think they build amazing products, but their restrictions on the app store, in particular around cryptocurrency, are not defensible in my view, and they are holding back progress in the world.
The CEO also claimed that Apple was “forcing users to use the App Store instead of Dapps (websites)” and that it would lead to antitrust issues.
In addition to this, Armstrong claimed that his team at Coinbase tried discussing the restrictions directly with Apple’s leadership who did not respond. The tweet did not mention any of Apple’s core execs but Coinbase’s CEO further stated that previous negotiations with these execs resulted in modifying the apps, which led to “worse experiences” for iOS and Coinbase users.
As of press time Apple has not released any statement countering Armstrong’s claims. But some twitter users believed that Apple had these restrictions in place to prevent users from falling for “crypto scams’’ and Ponzi schemes. One user published a tweet:
Too many scams and shitcoins in this space. And Apple wants to protect its users from Ponzis and scams. It’s a big responsibility for them.
— Bit Orca (@crypto_orca) September 11, 2020
However, Armstrong stated that Apple’s restrictions on crypto apps “prevented people from earning money during a recession,” with the CEO stating that DeFi would eventually help unbanked and underbanked people struggling during current economic conditions.