Damus Faces Ban from App Store Over Bitcoin Tipping
Damus, a Web3 social network, has been given two weeks to remove its Bitcoin tipping feature or face banishment from the App Store. Apple, the owner of the App Store, raised concerns about Damus’s “zaps” feature, which allows users to tip creators in cryptocurrency via the Bitcoin Lightning Network. Apple reportedly objected to the feature for not using its in-app purchase mechanism, which charges a 30% transaction fee.
Apple and Damus to Discuss Zaps Feature
In response to the ultimatum, Damus tweeted that Apple had scheduled a call to discuss the zaps feature and its potential uses further. Jack Dorsey, CEO of blockchain financial services company Block (formerly Square), called on Apple CEO Tim Cook to reconsider the decision, arguing that zaps are a critical part of the future of the internet and have the potential to bring people worldwide into the economy without traditional gatekeepers. Apple declined to comment on the issue when contacted by Fortune.
Apple’s Battle with Blockchain-Based Apps
The conflict between Apple and blockchain-based apps started when Apple updated its iOS app rules and brought NFT-based apps to the App Store but refused to exempt them from its 30% fee. In December, Coinbase claimed that Apple blocked its latest update until the crypto exchange paid 30% gas fees on NFT transfers or disabled the transfer function. Coinbase eventually removed the ability for users to send NFTs.
Despite its apparent war with Web3 companies, Apple has made some compromises in recent dealings. The National Football League partnered with video game company Mythical Games to release NFL Rivals, an iOS game that enables players to buy, collect, and trade NFTs. Sky Mavis, the parent company of Web3 game Axie Infinity, also worked with Apple to launch the mobile game Axie Infinity: Origins. The game uses Axie Infinity’s Ethereum-based Ronin blockchain and allows players to use NFTs, even if they were purchased from third-party exchanges.
Damus has been given two weeks to remove its Bitcoin tipping feature or face removal from the App Store. Apple is said to have objected to the feature for not using its in-app purchase mechanism and taking a 30% transaction fee. The conflict is part of Apple’s ongoing battle with blockchain-based apps, including NFT-based apps. Despite this, Apple has made some concessions recently, partnering with the National Football League and working with Sky Mavis to launch Axie Infinity: Origins.