Apple yanks last remaining bitcoin wallet


#1

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#2

Speculation is that Apple is expecting the government to come out with a “Bitcoin is for terrorists and criminals!” message in the near future, and it doesn’t want that to be translated into:

“Are your kids buying drugs with their iPhone? News at 11!” by some technologically ignorant reporters.

Really, what has been the news about Bitcoin lately? Silk road shut down. Russia calls it a criminal currency. Silk Road back up. Assassinations for money. Money laundering. It’s hard to find Bitcoin stories that don’t involve criminal activity in one way or another.

I guess it will also hold off the inevitable story about the guy who lost his bitcoins because his phone was stolen and he doesn’t have backups because he’s dumb.


#3

Apple does seem a bit odd. Surely this is rather like banning people from selling Beanie Baby storage boxes in you shop.


#4

I guess you can say the same about any currency story; its all crime related. Heck the Federal Reserve stole half of German’s gold reserve.


#5

The Fed chairman didn’t use that gold to buy devil weed though. That’s what plays in the sticks.


#6

Am I the only one that doesn’t trust bit coin? Or should I say, I am unsure of it related to thefts, and fluctuations of worth.


#7

Yet another reason I’m using Android instead of iOS for day to day stuff. Apple can go to hell.

Edit: Then again, if this post is accurate:

Apparently Blockchain tried to sneak in payment functionality that hadn’t been present in the version submitted to Apple for review. Not really shocking that they got dropped.

Then I think there may be more to the story.


#8

boingboing could only find a writer who actually worked for the company’s app that got blocked to espouse this PoV? Really? And then let him write, “Blockchain’s developers scrambled…” while neither boingboing or the writer explicitly calling out that it was the writer’s company’s app that got blocked.

Someone at boingboing needs to rethink how they publish and label outside content…


#9

No. Many people don’t trust Bitcoin and see it as a bit of a pyramid scheme benefiting its founders. However, it is still legal (at least in the US), and so one can dislike what Apple has done without actually being a fan of Bitcoin as such.


#10

Oh dear, the lunatic fringe is mad at Apple again. Run, don’t walk, to Android and choose from one of the hundreds of Bitcoin wallet apps out of which your money can be stolen because of the myriad Android flaws.


#11

To be fair, there isn’t really any point of Bitcoin outside of criminal activity. This doesn’t mean Bitcoin is all bad - since I for one approve of certain types of criminal activity that find Bitcoin very helpful (wikileaks, buying drugs, anti-government activism, etc.), but still it’s understandable why people would try to fight it.


#12

There’s absolutely nothing “criminal” about wikileaks. It is explicitly legal within the jurisdiction(s) that it operates. That the US government tries to extend it’s jurisdiction beyond what is proper is why technology like bitcoin is necessary.


#13

I’m not using ‘criminal’ as a value judgement. According to the US government, wikileaks is a criminal operation. If you doubt it, check whether Chelsea Manning is still in jail.


#14

Depends on what you mean by ‘trust’. It has some very strong points (eg. when they say that you can’t hijack the blockchain without over half of the available computing power, they aren’t kidding); but basically everything that isn’t the crypto is newbie-hostile at best and more-creeps-and-scam-artists-than-a-libertarian-convention at worst.

Can you forge a bitcoin? Nope. Do wallet files get stolen all the time? Do bitcoin exchanges seem to have a mean time to hack measured in weeks and not many of them? Do values oscillate wildly against conventional currencies? Oh, yes, that they do.

It’s actually a pretty good lesson in how tricky it can be to actually get any use out of the fact that strong crypto is strong. The math is hairy; but we have number theorists for that. The implementation is a collision with reality, and those are a different class of problem altogether.


#15

It what sense is bitcoin a direct competitor to Apple’s rules on purchases? If, as is repeatedly stated, bitcoin is a legitimate currency Apple could choose to support it for purchases – and still charge a 30% fee just like they do other legitimate currencies like British pounds, Canadian dollars, Mexican pesos, etc…

If you think allowing bitcoin wallets on the App Store meant devs could offer digital purchases on iOS native app via bitcoin and avoid Apple, both the selling app & bitcoin app (or British pounds or Mexican pesos) would be banned for violating TOS.

If you think an iOS dev could offer a digital sale via web, in any currency, that can be downloaded on an iOS native app and avoid Apple’s 30% - they can do that now. Kindle books, Comixology books, nook books can all be purchased via web with no fee to apple, but can be downloaded in the various apps on iOS.

Bitcoin hardly needs Apple’s approval to become a true currency. Apple is not known for it’s leading the pack on these kinds of issues.


#16

I agree, although “worked” kinda implies that he’s no longer with Blockchain, whereas he’s currently a corporate officer. This is a really terrible article, and beneath what I expect from BB.

Apparently Blockchain tried to sneak in payment functionality that hadn’t been present in the version submitted to Apple for review. Not really shocking that they got dropped.


#17

That is wholly irrelevant, as Wikileaks is not subject to US law.


#18

My point is that the only point of Bitcoin is to do things that at least some governments are trying to criminalize. It doesn’t matter whether Wikileaks is technically subject to US law, the US government is going after them, and Bitcoin is helpful in helping them continue operations in the face of that attack.


#19

After reading about yet another Bitcoin arrest and more thefts, I am now convinced that no one would tolerate that risk unless they needed functionality they can’t get anywhere else: illegal or otherwise unethical purchases. Perhaps Apple has a good reason for doing this. Is it like how universities were forced to crack down on filesharing? Perhaps Apple has been threatened with lawsuits if they provide infrastructure for Bitcoin. I don’t know enough about law to know whether this is why. This article was pure cheerleading. I, too, expect better from BoingBoing.


#20

I’m sorry to be blunt, but it’s quite nonsensical to claim that the only utility to Bitcoin is to do things that some governments try to criminalise. There are a large number of cases you could think of that have nothing to do with illegal activity where Bitcoin is useful. Here are a few examples just to help you along.

Think about the huge fees that companies like Western Union make off remittance, essentially feeding on the less well-off who come to 1st world countries to work and send money back home. Bitcoin allows for instant transactions of their funds directly to members of their family for negligible fees.

What about buying (legal) goods from an online retailer without needing to enter your credit card details. This is not about being shady and anonymous: you will still give them your address to receive the goods after all. This is merely for convenience and safety: by doing a bitcoin payment, you don’t give your CC details to yet another company that will then store these details forever, at the risk of maybe being compromised in the future.

And how about actually owning your money, rather than lending it indefinitely to a bank, that gives you no interest in return for the risk that you assume by storing your money “in their vaults”.

These are merely three basic examples of bitcoin’s utility. There are countless more. Think a little bit deeper next time when you consider what bitcoin is useful for.