Monday, December 30, 2019

Apple Forces CoinBase to Remove Support for DApps

The Block (via Mike Dudas, Hacker News, Reddit):

Coinbase Wallet, Coinbase’s mobile cryptocurrency wallet, may soon remove its DApp browsing feature according to a message appearing in the app. According to Coinbase, it is removing the DApp browser functionality “in order to comply with App Store policy.”

Brian Armstrong:

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.


Apple and Google have complete control over the mobile market which is the dominant way humanity interacts with the internet in today’s world, especially in developing countries. Having a policy which forbids arbitrary things like listing other apps for users to interact with is very dangerous as it effectively bans whole industries from competing on a level playing field.

This is a big problem for cryptocurrency especially as mobile web browsers cannot interact with blockchains and so users are forced to use custom apps that implement the web3 interfaces. This effectively bans wallets from providing a good experience to allow users to interact with dapps and since you can’t fall back to using a web browser on mobile it might end up being a total ban on the use of dapps on mobile platforms unless each dapp makes their own app (which just opens a whole new can of worms).


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