Banned bitcoin wallet Blockchain welcomed back into the App Store

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Six months after being unceremoniously booted out of the App Store, popular bitcoin wallet app Blockchain is back where it belongs, with Apple having let it back in after seemingly changing its mind about the digital currency.

Blockchain was removed from the App Store back in February this year, having briefly been excised and then re-accepted before that. It followed in the footsteps of fellow wallets BitPak and Coinbase, which were also removed by Apple.

For a while, Apple refused to comment on its apparent war with bitcoin – with Blockchain CEO Nicolas Cary theorizing that it had something to do with Apple’s plans to get involved with mobile payments, although another possible explanation was Apple’s uncertainty about whether the currency was legal around the world.

Cupertino finally stated its position following this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), when it issued a revised set of its App Store Review Guidelines, complete with a section specifically dealing with virtual currencies. The policy noted that:

“Purchasing and Currencies 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.”

Since then we’ve seen at least one bitcoin wallet app accepted into the App Store in the form of CoinPocket, an app very reminiscent of Blockchain. As such, it was only ever going to be so long before Blockchain was reaccepted.

“This seems to be the first strong and real sign [that Apple] are ready to accommodate future digital currency development,” the makers of Blockchain said a statement. “It goes a long way to legitimizing bitcoin and now provides hundreds of millions of iOS users access to bitcoin applications.”

Given that Apple’s support is important for bitcoin to keep expanding in the public consciousness, this decision is good news for cyber-currency fans everywhere.

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About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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