Could Apple soon accept bitcoin payment apps?

Summary:An update to the tech giant's app store review guidelines allows software developers to include virtual currencies in their apps. But there's a catch.

Apple has kept apps that help facilitate crypto-currencies transactions at a distance-until now. The company's new App Store guidelines have been updated to allow software developers to include virtual-currency transactions in their applications.

The new App Store review guidelines state that "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."

The key word in there is "approved." So while the new guidelines appear to open the door to digital currencies, it doesn't mean bitcoin will ever appear on iPhones or iPads.

Apple rejected bitcoin-related apps in the past. For instance, last year Coinbase's app was removed from the Apple app store and secure messaging service Gliph had to remove ability to send bitcoin payments with messages, reported The Guardian.

At the time, reports cited Apple's 22.1 guideline that stated apps must comply with all legal requirements in any location where they are made available to users. While bitcoin wasn't illegal, they weren't (and are still not) backed by governments either. This 22.1 guideline still exists.

So where does this new guideline leave bitcoin? Pretty much the same place, unless a government goes out of its way and legally recognizes the digital currency.

This post was originally published on

Topics: Innovation


Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter.

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