It’s been a busy couple of weeks for bad news in crypto, with Youtube’s removal of hundreds of videos, Google Play’s removal of Metamask, and now Coinbase mobile wallet users facing an announcement their app is losing its dapp browser, reportedly due to restrictive policy requirements from Apple. Some are calling the announcement “the last straw,” and even Coinbase leadership appears none too pleased.
Defi Takes a Hit
The great Youtube Christmas purge. Google Play’s banning of Metamask. Recent events have proponents of decentralized finance and cryptocurrencies asking themselves just what exactly is going on. Now it appears Apple’s policy is next to come under fire from the crypto community, as the Coinbase mobile wallet on the App Store appears to be in the process of removing the built-in decentralized app (dapp) browser.
In a December 28 Reddit post, one user shared a screenshot supposedly from the iOS mobile app which read:
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong replied in the thread saying:
Coinbase CEO here. This is really unfortunate to see. Apple seems to be eliminating usage of Dapps from the App Store.
Armstrong went on to state, “If Apple customers want to be able to use Dapps, we may need to make this request know to Apple in some way. This is an important area of innovation in finance, and many developers and early adopters of this technology have millions of dollars worth of crypto tied up in these financial applications, which they will no longer be able to use on Apple mobile devices if this app store policy continues.”
Dapp-Related Information Missing
A comparison of the Google Play version of the Coinbase wallet and the App Store version reveals that there’s now almost no language mentioning dapps on the App Store version, while the name of the wallet on Google Play remains “Coinbase Wallet — Crypto Wallet & Dapp Browser.”
Capabilities for browsing dapps within the Apple version of the application already appear to be missing at press time, when news.Bitcoin.com opened the app for review.
“This is the final straw for me and I will never be buying another apple product,” one Redditor proclaimed. Another answered: “Google is doing the same thing with metamask mobile. There is nowhere to go.” Some in the crypto space think big names should band together and push back against the perceived anti-defi moves of mega corporations and vested tech sector interests. Redditor decibels42 wrote:
Will the leading companies in this space (Coinbase, Gemini, Consensys, etc.) work together on this and fight back? Whether it’s anticompetitive law suits or in other ways, if the industry just rolls over and allows censorship of Web 3, or allows Apple/Google to make dapps/wallets extremely difficult to access (removing the dapps/wallets from their stores) and/or to be discussed (censoring crypto videos on YouTube), this tech will never get adopted by the masses.
The news that @Apple is removing DApp browsers like @CoinbaseWallet from the app store, while disappointing, shouldn’t surprise anyone. Terms of service have been clear since the beginning and I’m mostly surprised it took this long.
Not saying it’s a good decision, though! /1
— brandoniles (@brandoniles) December 28, 2019
Ampleforth co-founder Brandon Iles tweeted, “The news that @Apple is removing Dapp browsers like @Coinbasewallet from the app store, while disappointing, shouldn’t surprise anyone. Terms of service have been clear since the beginning and I’m mostly surprised it took this long. Not saying it’s a good decision, though!”
It’s clear that Apple’s crypto guidelines and the uncaged world of decentralized applications are foundationally incompatible. How the decentralized finance industry and individual crypto users react to these changes could say a lot about the trajectory of crypto use and innovation into 2020 and beyond.
What are your thoughts on the removal of dapp-related capabilities from App Store applications? Let us know in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, fair use.
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