Friday, February 25, 2022

Web3 Choke Point: App Stores

Elizabeth Lopatto:

One problem with cryptocurrency is that the technology is fairly user-hostile, at least to normal users of the internet. And so centralized services have sprung up for the non-technical, such as Coinbase, OpenSea, Metamask, VeVe, and Rarible. Meanwhile, mainstream payment apps — Venmo, PayPay, and so on — have added cryptocurrency capabilities. This is likely how the general public will get involved with crypto, assuming they do so at all. These services may also be used by people who do understand cryptocurrency since even the savvy may appreciate user-friendly interfaces and protection from scams.

To get to these apps, users will go through the Google and Apple app stores. So if those centralized ways of accessing cryptocurrency want to stay in Apple’s and Google’s app stores, well, functionally, Apple and Google will be setting the terms of content moderation for Web3.


So Apple’s mores are perhaps less of a problem for pure cryptocurrency and more of a problem for NFTs, an area Coinbase is planning to get into this year.


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