Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong doubled down on his past criticism of Apple, highlighting the tech giant’s unwillingness to allow certain crypto-related features on its mobile app.
On Friday, Armstrong cited two types of services it wants to offer but can’t due to the restrictions Apple has put in place:
Here is the issue. Apple has told us we cannot add the following functionality in our iOS apps: (1) the ability to earn money using cryptocurrency and (2) the ability to access decentralized finance apps (sometimes called DeFi apps or Dapps).
— Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong) September 11, 2020
“Why would Apple want to prevent people from earning money during a recession? They seem to not be ok with it, if it uses cryptocurrency. I’m not sure why. This is what our Coinbase Earn product does,” Armstrong went on to write. “We sometimes end up in bizarre negotiations with them, modifying the product, and asking users to jump through hoops (do a task on mobile, then move to the web to claim your reward!) to comply with their guidelines. This creates a worse experience for Apple and Coinbase customers.”
Armstrong also noted the resistance to offering “a list of decentralized apps” via the app.
“DeFi and Dapps are a major area of innovation in financial services that has seen rapid growth lately. They let people get access to a global credit market to get a loan or earn interest, for instance,” he said, going on to write in a later tweet: “Dapps or DeFi apps are fundamentally just websites that you can access through any browser. So Apple is essentially saying you can’t provide users with a list of websites they can visit through an app.”
As reported over the past few years, Coinbase’s iOS app has run into other headwinds from Apple, particularly on the DApp front. Indeed, Coinbase’s saw its first-ever app removed less a month after it first launched in 2013.
Last December, Armstrong commented on a Reddit post about the Apple iOS issues, writing that “Apple seems to be eliminating usage of Dapps from the App Store.”
“If Apple customers want to be able to use Dapps, we may need to make this request know to Apple in some way,” he wrote. “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.”
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