Why Doesn’t Apple Pay Offer Support For Bitcoin?

Block CEO Jack Dorsey has criticized Apple CEO Tim Cook for what he perceives as a lack of support for Bitcoin payments based on Apple’s app store policies. Dorsey’s comments came in response to Apple’s decision to remove the Bitcoin-based social app called Damus from its marketplace.

Apple recently confirmed that Damus would no longer be available on the app store, which has sparked Dorsey’s reaction. The details surrounding Apple’s specific reasons for removing the app have not been disclosed.

Dorsey, who is known for his involvement in the cryptocurrency space as well as being the CEO of Twitter, has been a vocal advocate for Bitcoin and its potential to revolutionize the financial industry. His criticism of Cook suggests a disagreement between the two CEOs regarding the acceptance and support of Bitcoin payments within Apple’s ecosystem.

It remains to be seen how this exchange between Dorsey and Cook will unfold and whether it will lead to any changes in Apple’s policies regarding Bitcoin-based apps and payments.

Apple’s Strict Stance Regarding Bitcoin

Damus is a decentralized social media app that operates on the Nostr protocol, which is based on Bitcoin. It allows users to exchange information and messages in a censorship-resistant manner. One of its key features is the ability to tip other users in Bitcoin using the lightning network, with transactions occurring directly between peers without any fees collected by Damus.

However, Apple recently deemed this tipping feature to be in violation of its terms of service. According to Apple, optional tips and donations are acceptable, but requiring payments for digital content is not permitted unless it goes through Apple’s in-app purchase system, as stated in guideline 3.1.1.

Despite Damus’s explanation that the tipping feature didn’t unlock any digital content, Apple maintained its stance and informed Damus that its removal from the app store was imminent. In response, Damus expressed its reluctance to comply with Apple’s suggestion of using Apple Pay, stating that it would prefer a solution that supports censorship-resistant, peer-to-peer payments worldwide.

The disagreement between Damus and Apple highlights the ongoing challenges and debates surrounding the integration of decentralized technologies, such as Bitcoin, within centralized app store ecosystems. It remains to be seen whether any resolution will be reached or if it will prompt further discussions about the compatibility of censorship-resistant payment systems with existing app store policies.

Jack Dorsey Provides a Response

Upon hearing the news, Jack Dorsey wasted no time in defending Damus. He reiterated the company’s stance, emphasizing that the tipping feature within the app did not unlock any content. Dorsey restated the argument that had been previously put forth by Damus, emphasizing the distinction between tips and content access.

He followed up on Tuesday by calling out Apple’s CEO specifically:

Upon learning about Damus being removed from the App Store, Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Block, swiftly came to its defense. He reiterated Damus’s argument that the tipping feature did not unlock any content and criticized the decision to remove the app.

Dorsey emphasized that Damus was taken down from the App Store simply for enabling tipping to anyone worldwide without the need for traditional banking systems, payment cards, or government authorization.

Dorsey has previously praised Nostr, the protocol behind Damus, as one of the few technologies that can operate at scale while maintaining censorship resistance, alongside Bitcoin itself. During his tenure as CEO of Twitter, Dorsey even facilitated a tipping feature on the platform that incorporated Bitcoin lightning tips, similar to those used by Nostr.

On the other hand, Apple CEO Tim Cook has not shown interest in adding Bitcoin to Apple’s balance sheet. However, he has confirmed that he personally owns some Bitcoin.

The contrasting positions of Dorsey and Cook highlight their differing perspectives on Bitcoin and its potential role in mainstream platforms. While Dorsey sees value in enabling decentralized and censorship-resistant technologies like Bitcoin and Nostr, Cook’s stance appears to be more cautious and focused on personal ownership rather than integration within Apple’s ecosystem.

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