After booting several Bitcoin applications out of the App Store, Apple has now updated its guidelines to allow for “approved” virtual currency transactions in third-party iOS apps.
The move, first noticed by Reuters, sees Apple pave the way “for new forms of money to appear on iPhones and iPads.” The updated guidelines read:
11.17 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.
As mentioned, Cupertino’s hammer has indeed fallen on Bitcoin wallet applications in the past: back in February, Apple booted Blockchain — the only iOS application to allow users to make Bitcoin transactions from an iPhone or iPad — out of its App Store. Before this, several other Bitcoin apps, including BitPak and Coinbase, were also removed.
In February, Apple explained that Blockchain had been “removed from the App Store due to an unresolved issue.” However, at the time we suggested that Bitcoin’s association with the infamous Silk Road, coupled with its hazy classification as a legitimate currency, prompted Cupertino’s move.
Does this mean we’ll see the return of Bitcoin apps on iOS? We’re not sure, namely because Apple has yet to provide a list of said “approved” virtual currencies. If Bitcoin makes the list, Blockchain et al. could indeed make a triumphant return.
We’ll keep you updated with further information as we receive it.
In the meantime, see: Apple Is On-Track To Ship 20 Million Bigger, 5.5-Inch iPhone 6 Handsets This Year, AppAdvice App Of The Week For June 3, 2014, and T-Mobile Confirms Support For iOS 8′s Wi-Fi Calling Feature On iPhone.