It seems as though Apple has “okayed” the development and use or digital currency applications on the App Store.
As of June 2, 2014, Apple’s new clause under section 11.17 reads this: 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.
This could lead to a giant surge in wallet apps for Bitcoin, Dogecoin and Litecoin. Currently, Bitcoin has the Blockchain app but Litecoin and Dogecoin don’t have apps that are fully-functional. With this new clause, any of these coins could see new apps on the horizon.
However people were quick to chime in on the conversation, noting that Apple also defined what a “currency” is to them.
“Currency means any form of currency, points, credits, resources, content or other items or units recognized by a group of individuals or entities as representing a particular value and that can be transferred or circulated as a medium of exchange,” Apple outlines.
The current speculation is that Apple acknowledges digital currencies exist, but is keeping a list of “approved virtual currencies” close to the chest. In section 11.17, Apple did state that apps must conform with all state and federal laws in areas the app is sold in. That means unless the currency is explicitly identified as an approved currency by the state or nation, they do reserve the right to pull it.
“Until the word Bitcoin appears on their list of approved currencies, this is not something to be excited about,” a reddit user said on an article previously posted about the new shift in rules on Reddit.com/r/Bitcoin.
Previously Apple had banned the use of all digital currency apps. In fact the Blockchain app was removed in February due to restrictions. When removed, Blockchain founder told Wired, “I think that Apple is positioning itself to take on mobile payments in a way they haven’t described to the public and they’re being anti-competitive.”
It’s true that Bitcoin, as well as other digital currencies, remain in a gray-area legally. But this new development may be the key to nationwide implementation and acceptance. The only thing standing between the digital currency community and this new app development clause is an official statement from Apple itself. It’ll be interesting to see how this story develops as the next chapter of Bitcoin, Litecoin and Dogecoin moves forward.