Apple removes Bitcoin apps from the appstore

In a telling blow to the Bitcoin community, Apple has taken a policy stand to remove all applications from the app store stating that “they may not include content that enables, facilitates or encourages an activity that some countries deem illegal. App Store Review Guidelines require that apps be legal in all locations in which the app is available.”

Since there will always be some country in which Bitcoin may be illegal, this policy means that Bitcoin apps will go out of app store permanently.

The guideline may not be easy to follow in respect of all apps since there is no way Apple can ensure that no apps will enable illegal activity. After all the SMS application or e-mail itself can be used for illegal purpose. Similarly the Bitcoin can be used for both legal and illegal purpose. In this context the stand taken by Apple presumes that Bitcoin can be used only for illegal purpose and not for any legal purpose.

We need to observe if the popularity of Bitcoins is strong enough to make Apple change its guideline in the coming days.It would be interesting to see how the Bitcoin community responds to this challenge. If they fail to convince Apple, it is possible that in future some Governments may convince Microsoft that all Bitcoin applications must be blocked by Windows OS. This would be a back door way of banning Bitcoin.

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About Vijayashankar Na

Naavi is a veteran Cyber Law specialist in India and is presently working from Bangalore as an Information Assurance Consultant. Pioneered concepts such as ITA 2008 compliance, Naavi is also the founder of Cyber Law College, a virtual Cyber Law Education institution. He now has been focusing on the projects such as Secure Digital India and Cyber Insurance
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