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Bitcoin has no place on the iPad or iPhone, according to Apple

Apple, Inc. (AAPL) this week pulled Blockchain from its app store, creating a growing controversy.
Blockchain is a developer that makes a wallet/trading app for the world's most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.  Bitcoin's basis is the SHA-256d hash; you "own" Bitcoins via proof of work.
Introduced in 2008 by a programmer or group of programmers using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, the Bitcoin was the first of its kind, turning the science fiction fantasy of a decentralized, encryption-based global currency into reality.
Despite recent largely overstated and misinformed controversy over illegal uses of the Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency is the foundation of a generally credible and secure global digital payment network.  While other cryptocurrencies have since emerged, Bitcoin remains the most prominent with a market value of over $10B USD.  Blockchain estimates Bitcoin has roughly 1.2 million users, working out to an average wallet value of around $10,000 USD.

Bitcoin w/ USD
Bitcoins are the world's most popular cryptocurrency, used by over a million people worldwide [Image Source: Bit-Square]

But Apple doesn't want its iPhone customers to be able to use their Bitcoin assets on its devices.
In recent months it had already purged Coinbase and CoinJar, two similar apps that acted as trading portals and wallet apps for the Bitcoin.  CoinJar blogged about the rejection, but was measured, saying it contacted Apple and was told that Apple didn't generally allow Bitcoin apps.  CoinJar suggested this might be because of the uncertain global legal status of the Bitcoin.
But Blockchain believes Apple may have a darker anticompetitive purpose for its transactions.  In a blog Blockchain comments:

These actions by Apple once again demonstrate the anticompetitive and capricious nature of the App Store policies that are clearly focused on preserving Apple’s monopoly on payments rather than based on any consideration of the needs and desires of their users.

In comments to Wired, Blockchain CEO Nicolas Cary said that he believed the undisclosed reason for these terminations of popular apps was because Apple is plotting to release a digital payments app for iOS.  Such an app -- similar to Google Inc.'s (GOOG) current "Wallet" app -- would compete with Bitcoin as a secure digital payment mechanism.

Coinjar blockhain app
CoinJar (left) and Blockchain were both banned from the iOS store this last month.

Apple has shown itself willing to kick out competitors from its "closed garden" App Store in the past.  It was found guilty last year of colluding with publishers to raise eBook prices.  Sued by the U.S. government, Apple was found by a federal jury guilty and forced to allow third-party eBook storefront apps.
Additionally Apple for a while was intent on banning any third-party browser.  It eventually relaxed this restriction, first allowing alternative WebKit browsers and then finally in 2010 allowing Opera Software ASA's (STO:OPERAO) Mini browser into its closed garden.  Since then multiple releases of both Opera Mini and Mozilla's Firefox Mobile have been made available in the app store, offering serious competition to Apple's own native WebKit-based Safari browser.
Aside from apps that compete with its fares, Apple has also banned apps that it believes are associated with illegal behavior (e.g. torrent apps) or are overly offensive (e.g. pornography, strong political satire, or religious satire).

Sources: Blockchain [blog], CoinJar [blog], The Verge, Wired

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Open vs. Closed
By johnnycanadian on 2/6/2014 8:50:16 PM , Rating: 5
This makes me feel GREAT about my recent decision to switch from an iPhone 5 to a Nexus 5. iOS 7 was a buggy PITA which started me looking elsewhere but now that I've switched I'm LOVING the open nature and freedom of the Android phone. UIs can be a bit inconsistent and some functions are more cumbersome but that's a small price to pay, IMHO.

RE: Open vs. Closed
By lagomorpha on 2/7/2014 6:07:51 AM , Rating: 4
Looks like you got down voted by some Apple fans with Stockholm syndrome. Hey Apple users: why do you hate freedom?

RE: Open vs. Closed
By johnnycanadian on 2/7/2014 8:29:20 AM , Rating: 2
It's like anything that encourages zealotry; if one changes religions then others will be angry. I REALLY don't understand why individuals can't enjoy the best of all worlds: I only have a single Android tablet (Galaxy Tab 2) but a couple of iPads because they offer the best user experience for me.

My day-to-day machine is a new iMac 27 but I do my serious coding on a monster 8-core, 32GB Xeon T7400 running Windows 7. They are what I believe work best for me for given the required tasks, and the Nexus 5 is no different.

RE: Open vs. Closed
By BillyBatson on 2/7/2014 10:03:32 AM , Rating: 2
He probably got rated down not by apple fans but because he simply states this news makes him happy he switched but doesn't mention anything about actually having used the app or needing it. Doesn't sound like this news effects him he was just complaining to complain.

RE: Open vs. Closed
By Cheesew1z69 on 2/7/2014 12:38:56 PM , Rating: 2
He probably got rated down not by apple fans
That's bullshit and you know it. They/You don't like he switched to Android and down-rated him, it's as simple as that.

Hell, YOU probably down-rated him but once somebody mentioned Apple fan-boys, here comes Billy to Apple fan-boys rescue!

RE: Open vs. Closed
By BillyBatson on 2/12/2014 12:42:55 PM , Rating: 2
yeah you effin nuts LOL like seriously something wrong in your head.
also if I have commented I can't rate. So much for your ridiculous theory.

RE: Open vs. Closed
By BillyBatson on 2/12/2014 12:45:33 PM , Rating: 2
Also my comment was more negative towards apple fans, not the other way around. Maybe you should read a comment more than once before you decide to incorrectly comment yourself.

RE: Open vs. Closed
By johnnycanadian on 2/7/2014 5:03:47 PM , Rating: 2
It's "just" crypto-currency today but tomorrow it will be (insert App here). I want to make the decision for myself what kind of Apps I have and what the breadth of topics they span are, not a telephone manufacturer nor an operating system developer. Thus my glee with the recent purchase.

RE: Open vs. Closed
By MrBlastman on 2/7/2014 11:45:11 AM , Rating: 2
They are too busy thinking different (the same™).

RE: Open vs. Closed
By Reclaimer77 on 2/7/2014 11:22:04 AM , Rating: 1
Exactly, good for you!

I'm constantly amazed locked-down crappy ecosystems like Apple's become so popular.

I remember early on when Jobs made his famous quote about the iPhone and porn, and that if you wanted porn get an Android phone. And that they had a "moral" obligation to keep things off the iPhone.

That told everyone, straight up, that Apple was going to be the arbiter of how everyone should use a phone they paid money for. Porn today, maybe something else tomorrow you use in your life. Either way, you're screwed.

No thanks, not for me. Apple and Microsoft can keep their extremely trimmed and suffocating walled gardens. I'm buying a phone, not making a "moral" choice.

RE: Open vs. Closed
By tonyswash on 2/7/2014 1:05:23 PM , Rating: 1
'm constantly amazed locked-down crappy ecosystems like Apple's become so popular.

I bet there is a lot that you find surprising,

No thanks, not for me. Apple and Microsoft can keep their extremely trimmed and suffocating walled gardens. I'm buying a phone, not making a "moral" choice.

Well done, I am pleased for you, why not share your thought process about choosing socks? Should be equally fascinating.

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