Apple has blocked some features of Coinbase, says Brian Armstrong, the CEO of the digital currency exchange.
Armstrong said the company censured certain crypto-related features that allowed earning money through cryptocurrency and accessing decentralized finance (DeFi) apps on its mobile app.
Armstrong said Coinbase has tried discussing the issue through Apple’s regular channels. “I also reached out directly to Apple leadership to request a dialog, but we seem to be at a dead end,” the CEO said on Twitter.
In a series of tweets, Armstrong said other companies also faced similar issues but they did not “speak out for fear of retaliation.” He added that he chose to “continue the dialog in the open” and wanted to know “why Apple would prevent people from earning money through cryptocurrency during a recession.” This Coinbase product that Apple reportedly blocked is Coinbase Earn, which allows users to borrow cash with their Bitcoin acting as collateral.
“In addition to earning, they have told us that we cannot provide a list of decentralized apps to users on iOS,” Armstrong continued. He noted how decentralized finance has seen rapid growth lately and that it has let more people “get access to a global credit market to get a loan or earn interest.”
In its website, Apple says “Apps may facilitate transactions or transmissions of cryptocurrency on an approved exchange, provided they are offered by the exchange itself.” Coinbase uses a dapp browser for the purpose.
Armstrong argued that decentralized apps and decentralized finance apps are ultimately just websites that can be accessed through a browser. “So Apple is essentially saying you can’t provide users with a list of websites they can visit through an app,” he continued.
He said the reason provided by Apple was that “Coinbase offers cryptocurrency transactions in non-embedded software within the app, which is not appropriate for the App Store.”
Armstrong warned that Apple’s action was reminiscent of the 1990s when Microsoft forced users to use Internet Explorer, which led to antitrust issues with the company.