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Blockchain CEO calls Apple 'gatekeeper to innovation,' says Bitcoin app removal signals payments...

post #1 of 204
Thread Starter 
The CEO of Blockchain, which had its Bitcoin wallet app removed from the App Store on Thursday, called Apple a "gatekeeper to innovation" and believes the company is cracking down on possible competitors for an unannounced payment system leveraging iTunes account holders.

Blockchain
Image teasing Blockchain's redesigned website shows iPhone app. | Source: Blockchain via Twitter


Explaining the removal of his iOS Bitcoin wallet app from the App Store, Blockchain CEO Nicholas Cary told CNBC he believes the title was pulled because Apple is planning to launch a competing revenues service.

"Apple has telegraphed they'll do something on top of the hundreds of millions of credit cards they have on their system," Cary said. "Bitcoin represents a major threat to any revenue model they may try to build. Anything they do with credit cards is not going to be innovative. Bitcoin is."

He goes on to name the merits of a crypto-currency like Bitcoin, which includes no fees, no chargebacks and assuages privacy concerns. That last point is somewhat contentious given a number of high-profile hacks, some worth over $1 million.

As for Apple's move into payments, Cary cites the company's weaning off of Google apps in iOS 7. He claims the removal of Blockchain's app is akin to that of Google Maps, adding that Apple will build out a revenue model based on iTunes' credit card-carrying account holders.

Unlike Blockchain, however, Google's apps were not completely shut out of the App Store. The Internet search giant still has a strong presence on iOS including Google Maps and Gmail, both direct competitors to major Apple products.

Commenting on Bitcoin wallet alternatives, of which there are none on iOS, Cary said Android is now the platform of choice for "Bitcoin enthusiasts."

"It is hard to gauge when they want when they only give you a terse e-mail for saying that your app was removed for something they don't tell you about," Cary said. "What Apple has done now is demonstrate they're in a position to be a gatekeeper on innovation."

When asked if suing Apple was an option, Cary quickly replied that such action is unnecessary. Instead, he would rather innovate and make Bitcoin an established form of currency.

"I'd much prefer to work with Tim Cook and the team at Apple and demonstrate on how they're missing out on the greatest innovation of our time," he said
post #2 of 204
I get Bitcoin and what it's trying to do, but at this point it's only going to be popular for the masses...of technophiles.

I include myself in that category, and we are not as ubiquitous as we'd like to think we are.

Remember, the litmus test is this is: Would your grandpa use it?
post #3 of 204
Smells like a bull took a dump. This sounds like more of the same Fandroid / Slashdot member / anti-anything-not-Linux / free-as-in-freedom hacker / Bitcoin / math nerd / Richard Stallman eating the dead skin off the bottom of his bare feet / anarchist / BitTorrent / Silk Road / fight-the-power mentality pervasive in tech / Internet circles.

Fact: Apple didn't say why they pulled the app. Which is strange and I'm sure frustrating to the developer, but they should attempt to communicate with Apple developer relations instead of jumping on the conspiracy bandwagon on CNBC.

Fact: Apple doesn't talk about future products or plans. Not sure how you could claim Apple "telegraphed" anything, unless you get your worldview from tech sites that echo the same rumors, but treat them like they were fact?

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post #4 of 204
Okay, I think the term 'innovation' is starting to get bandied around way too much when it comes to any Apple article.

Which reminds me.

Has anybody ever play a drinking game where you take a shot whenever Tim Cook says the word 'phenomenal' or 'incredible' in a keynote?

That could get nasty.
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post #5 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Smells like a bull took a dump. This sounds like more of the same Fandroid / Slashdot member / anti-anything-not-Linux / free-as-in-freedom hacker / Bitcoin / math nerd / Richard Stallman eating the dead skin off the bottom of his bare feet / anarchist / BitTorrent / Silk Road / fight-the-power mentality pervasive in tech / Internet circles.

Fact: Apple didn't say why they pulled the app. Which is strange and I'm sure frustrating to the developer, but they should attempt to communicate with Apple developer relations instead of jumping on the conspiracy bandwagon on CNBC.

Fact: Apple doesn't talk about future products or plans. Not sure how you could claim Apple "telegraphed" anything, unless you get your worldview from tech sites that echo the same rumors, but treat them like they were fact?

 

 

Lol its probably true about what this guy is saying though... Although Bitcoin is gonna have to either be regulated or will get shut down in the near future. Too easy to money launder.

post #6 of 204
Hey Cary, a payment web app running in Safari isn't good enough, huh?
post #7 of 204
So Apple rejecting Bitcoin apps has absolutely nothing to do with the giant legal question mark the currency currently occupies in the US?
post #8 of 204

Sorry, I don't get what he's whining about. 


At this point, we don't know what the legality of bit-coins is. Apple is totally within its right to pull it and wait for the congress to clarify this. 


Even I don't know what the heck is going on with it and rather not deal with it until governments around the world confirms the legality as well as the regulations. 

post #9 of 204
Sounds like whining to me. Such a non issue.
post #10 of 204
The "no fees" claim may be a bit misleading. My understanding is that every Bitcoin transaction must be verified by the network of Bitcoin miners, which creates another fraction of a Bitcoin for them. Would that not in turn slightly devalue every Bitcoin in circulation?
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post #11 of 204
I'm fine with Apple banning what is essentially a drug money laundering mechanism.
post #12 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by justp1ayin View Post


Lol its probably true about what this guy is saying though... Although Bitcoin is gonna have to either be regulated or will get shut down in the near future. Too easy to money launder.
.

Just ask this guy.

http://business.time.com/2014/01/27/bitinstant-ceo-charlie-shrem-arrested-for-alleged-money-laundering/
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post #13 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Smells like a bull took a dump. This sounds like more of the same Fandroid / Slashdot member / anti-anything-not-Linux / free-as-in-freedom hacker / Bitcoin / math nerd / Richard Stallman eating the dead skin off the bottom of his bare feet / anarchist / BitTorrent / Silk Road / fight-the-power mentality pervasive in tech / Internet circles.

Hey! Don't lump us Math Nerds in with all those creepy, smelly hippy anarchists.

post #14 of 204

In reading the article, it sounded like Cary was just saying "hey Apple! buy my company!"

post #15 of 204

It's amazing and terrifying how people on this web site will defend Apple no matter what.  This is simple anti-competitive behavior. 

 

Quote:
 I'm fine with Apple banning what is essentially a drug money laundering mechanism.

 

Don't be naive.  That means they would have to ban US currency too.  Also, virtually every other currency in existence.  Also PayPal. 

 

Don't you people get that, by allowing Apple (or Google) to ban/approve apps and content,  you no longer have control over your own personal lives. 

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post #16 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by bottleworks View Post

It's amazing and terrifying how people on this web site will defend Apple no matter what.  This is simple anti-competitive behavior. 


Don't be naive.  That means they would have to ban US currency too.  Also, virtually every other currency in existence.  Also PayPal. 

Don't you people get that, by allowing Apple (or Google) to ban/approve apps and content,  you no longer have control over your own personal lives. 

Anti competitive? Apple doesn't have anything in the same category.

PayPal plays with real money. Bit coin is nothing. Many govts don't consider it legal tender.

Um , worried about apps being banned? Don't get an iPhone.
post #17 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by bottleworks View Post


Don't you people get that, by allowing Apple (or Google) to ban/approve apps and content,  you no longer have control over your own personal lives. 

Jeez dude... Get a grip. Or cash in your Bitcoins for some mellower crack.
post #18 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by bottleworks View Post

Also PayPal.

"Also PayPal" what?

Quote:
Don't you people get that, by allowing Apple (or Google) to ban/approve apps and content,  you no longer have control over your own personal lives.

Then welcome to 2008 since Apple started curating their App Store from the start.

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post #19 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by bottleworks View Post
 

It's amazing and terrifying how people on this web site will defend Apple no matter what.  This is simple anti-competitive behavior. 

 

 

Don't be naive.  That means they would have to ban US currency too.  Also, virtually every other currency in existence.  Also PayPal. 

 

Don't you people get that, by allowing Apple (or Google) to ban/approve apps and content,  you no longer have control over your own personal lives. 

No, it isn't an anti-competitive behavior, especially since bitcoin has not been clarified as a legal currency in US. It's already been banned completely in Russia and practically in China as well. 

 

Also, WTF, smartphones == our personal lives? Smartphone is just a luxury item, we can live without it. 

 

Apple have the right to control what gets into their own app stores and on their platform, just as Microsoft does on their Windows, Xbox, Sony on their Playstation, Google on Android and so on. 

 

You're not entitled to have anything you want on your smartphones, just as you're not entitled to play Xbox Games on Playstation consoles. 

 

Just as stores are not entitled to carry everything you want, just as you are not entitled to let anybody in your house, etc. 

 

You don't like it, go make your own smartphone, your own OS, and your own apps. Nobody's forcing you to get Android nor iOS devices, just as nobody's forcing you to give up control of your life.

post #20 of 204
I will not touch Bitcoin with a 10 foot pole until it is on the NYSE & accepted at Walmart
post #21 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chez Whitey View Post

I will not touch Bitcoin with a 10 foot pole until it is on the NYSE & accepted at Walmart

That puts you in an awful prediciment if 10 foot poles ever become an illegal form of currency.

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post #22 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by bottleworks View Post

It's amazing and terrifying how people on this web site will defend Apple no matter what.  This is simple anti-competitive behavior. 


Don't be naive.  That means they would have to ban US currency too.  Also, virtually every other currency in existence.  Also PayPal. 

Don't you people get that, by allowing Apple (or Google) to ban/approve apps and content,  you no longer have control over your own personal lives. 

Go buy a Nexus18 and report your findings to us.
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post #23 of 204
Why are they complaining so much? The Android platform is greater than iOS. They could use the Android apps for bitcoin transactions.

Bitcoins have been banned in several nations as not a currency. May be Apple is trying to avoid troubles?
post #24 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikhailT View Post


At this point, we don't know what the legality of bit-coins is. Apple is totally within its right to pull it and wait for the congress to clarify this. 


Even I don't know what the heck is going on with it and rather not deal with it until governments around the world confirms the legality as well as the regulations. 

I'm thinking the same thing. Here have been a handful of stories about money laundering via trading for bit coins, the whole Silk Road thing etc. Apple wouldn't want to have something illegal associated with iOS

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post #25 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by bottleworks View Post
 

It's amazing and terrifying how people on this web site will defend Apple no matter what.  This is simple anti-competitive behavior. 

 

 

How can you say that with a straight face? Unless you don't understand what anti-competitive behavior involves. If Microsoft ban a certain software from running in Windows, that's anti-competitive. Even if the banned software doesn't compete against any MS software. That's because MS Windows is on over 90% of the World computers. This would mean that you are shut out from 90% of your market by not being able to put your software on MS Windows. Apple App Store on the other hand is on less than 20% of the World smartphones and less than 50% of the World tablets . If we are to believe Google stats, Android app store is on over 80% on the World smartphones and over 50% of the World tablets. So by not having an app in Apple App Store, you are only shut out from a small percentage of your market. And it gets even smaller if you're not too lazy to write a web site so that it can be run on a computer browser or mobile browser. So it would not be anti-competitive of Apple to ban an app. Even if the app competes with something Apple has. Now if Google shut you off from their Android app store, then maybe you have a case. But still, a very slim one at that. 

post #26 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by bottleworks View Post
 

It's amazing and terrifying how people on this web site will defend Apple no matter what.  This is simple anti-competitive behavior. 

 

 

Don't be naive.  That means they would have to ban US currency too.  Also, virtually every other currency in existence.  Also PayPal. 

 

Don't you people get that, by allowing Apple (or Google) to ban/approve apps and content,  you no longer have control over your own personal lives. 

 

Wow.   I mean, I like my Apple stuff but they don't have nearly enough control over my life that I have ceded it to them by a long shot.  Who would rely on living via Apple so completely that every time Apple makes a left turn they feel like they've been left out in the desert?   If you've been ordering cat food via some company's IOS app and they don't continue updating it through the next OS are you going to jump off a bridge because instead of going dit dit dit on your iPhone you'll have to call in the order?

 

It's a big world out there.  Go for a walk.  Talk to some friends.  Take a drive.  Leave your iPad home.  That might be all the exercising of control you need.

post #27 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Hey! Don't lump us Math Nerds in with all those creepy, smelly hippy anarchists.

Heh. Bitcoins was created by some hacker with a math background. Bitcoin miners also have to solve certain math problems.

It's a weird, anti-establishment play money favored by nerdy underground drug buyers. I know it's not illegal. But it's not universally recognized as legal tender for all debts either.

What I was commenting on was this bullshit "Apple is against innovation" meme that techno-anarchists keep circulating. It's getting old. And these Blockchain guys are leaping to conclusions.

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post #28 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by bottleworks View Post

It's amazing and terrifying how people on this web site will defend Apple no matter what.  This is simple anti-competitive behavior. 

It's amazing and terrifying how people on this web site will assume anticompetitive behavior without hard evidence. Rumors don't count. And Apple did not say why they pulled this app. You are just filling the void with your anti-Apple fantasies. Give it a rest.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #29 of 204
Even as an Apple fan I can see the potential for misuse of the Apple store. It allows Apple to control competition to its markets and has the ability to nullify potential innovation that could threaten its R&D.

There does need to be strict legislation in place to monitor their activities! Are they doing anything wrong? Who knows but those legislative bodies should be watching.

However I have no confidence in any US authority as their protectionism of US trade is "naked" As shown by Obama's administration refusing to action a ban on certain Apple products as requested by the World Patent organisation.

As I say I'm an Apple fan (iMac, IPad, iPad Mini, iPhone5s, and Apple TV, but that does not stop me asking questions that some of the disciples on this page ignore, by sticking their fingers in their ears, closing their eyes and shouting "I can't hear you".
post #30 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by pete borota View Post

Taking a trip through the replies I'm struck by Apples cult following. Although British I spent time at Disney University and was struck by the Mormon type cult within the Organisation. Even as an Apple fan I can see the potential for misuse of the Apple store. It allows Apple to control competition to its markets and has the ability to nullify potential innovation that could threaten its R&D.

There does need to be strict legislation in place to monitor their activities! Are they doing anything wrong? Who knows but those legislative bodies should be watching.

However I have no confidence in any US authority as their protectionism of US trade is "naked" As shown by Obama's administration refusing to action a ban on certain Apple products as requested by the World Patent organisation.

As I say I'm an Apple fan (iMac, IPad, iPad Mini, iPhone5s, and Apple TV, but that does not stop me asking questions that some of the disciples on this page ignore, by sticking their fingers in their ears, closing their eyes and shouting "I can't hear you".

It is obvious you did not accept the sound reasoning that bit coins are not recognized as legal currency. In your view it is okay for Apple to promote illegal activities just so a few people can consider Apple to be innovative. The last thing (until the next last thing comes along) Apple needs is to be sued by the United States or any other country for not adhering to currency laws.
post #31 of 204
Not sure where I mentioned Bit Coin.. More an observation on Apples control of their App Store
post #32 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


Heh. Bitcoins was created by some hacker with a math background. Bitcoin miners also have to solve certain math problems.

It's a weird, anti-establishment play money favored by nerdy underground drug buyers. I know it's not illegal. But it's not universally recognized as legal tender for all debts either.

What I was commenting on was this bullshit "Apple is against innovation" meme that techno-anarchists keep circulating. It's getting old. And these Blockchain guys are leaping to conclusions.

I agree with your sentiments. And to say Apple is against innovation is just wrong on the face of it. If not for Apple shaking up the tech world over the last 10 years I'm quite certain tech would be a few years (at least) behind it's current point.

post #33 of 204
Originally Posted by pete borota View Post
There does need to be strict legislation in place to monitor their activities!

 

No. Go back to Britain.

 
Are they doing anything wrong? Who knows…

 

We do. They’re not.

 
As I say I’m an Apple fan (iMac, IPad, iPad Mini, iPhone5s, and Apple TV, but…

 

Go away.

post #34 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by pete borota View Post

Taking a trip through the replies I'm struck by Apples cult following. Although British I spent time at Disney University and was struck by the Mormon type cult within the Organisation. Even as an Apple fan I can see the potential for misuse of the Apple store. It allows Apple to control competition to its markets and has the ability to nullify potential innovation that could threaten its R&D.

There does need to be strict legislation in place to monitor their activities! Are they doing anything wrong? Who knows but those legislative bodies should be watching.

However I have no confidence in any US authority as their protectionism of US trade is "naked" As shown by Obama's administration refusing to action a ban on certain Apple products as requested by the World Patent organisation.

As I say I'm an Apple fan (iMac, IPad, iPad Mini, iPhone5s, and Apple TV, but that does not stop me asking questions that some of the disciples on this page ignore, by sticking their fingers in their ears, closing their eyes and shouting "I can't hear you".


Total foolishness. It's Apples store. They can pick what they want to sell. It's like forcing Walmart to sell a certain type of cereal. I don't think so. The terms for app developers are clear as day and Apple has the right to block any app that it deems to be detremental to Apple or it's customers. If Blockchain does not like those terms they should write their apps for android. Blockchain had full knowledge of theses terms and should bring apple to court if they feel the terms were violated. Other wise they need to STFU and work with apple to make their app up to apples standards.
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post #35 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikhailT View Post

 

You're not entitled to have anything you want on your smartphones, just as you're not entitled to play Xbox Games on Playstation consoles. 

 

Nobody is "entitled" to have anything they want on their smartphones. However, the complaints about a locked down app store are understandable if one thinks of smartphones more as handheld personal computers rather than limited-function appliances like the Playstation. The concept of having a third party control what code you are allowed to execute on your computer is foreign to the world of personal computing. All of the major platforms, such as the BSDs, Linux, OS X, and windows, have enabled users to program their own machines. With a basic knowledge of programming, users could write and execute their own code on their computers using freely available tools and official APIs. If you were dissatisfied with a piece of software or wanted some software that was not published for your platform, there was nothing stopping you from rolling up your sleeves, writing, and running your own implementation. Thus, if one regards smartphones as computers, then iOS is practically the only platform where a third party has the final say over what instructions the user can load on his computer.


Edited by d4NjvRzf - 2/8/14 at 8:07am
post #36 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by bottleworks View Post

Quote:
I'm fine with Apple banning what is essentially a drug money laundering mechanism.

Don't be naive.  That means they would have to ban US currency too.  Also, virtually every other currency in existence.  Also PayPal.

No because the transactions are tracked. Bitcoin to bitcoin transactions are anonymous. If someone was to launder $1m of stolen cash, they could give $1000 to 1000 people to put into some kind of account and then send it back to the original person. It's pointless to do this at a bank because the bank accounts aren't anonymous. If they do it via Paypal, it's more anonymous but the transactions can only be withdrawn to a bank and Paypal tracks everything in between:

https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/ua/privacy-full

"We will also require other commercial and/or identification information if you send or receive certain high-value transactions or high overall payment volumes through the PayPal Services or as is otherwise required in order for us to comply with our anti-money laundering obligations under European law."

With bitcoins, 1000 people can take cash to buy either bitcoins directly or some online voucher that they use to buy bitcoins and then trade those bitcoin wallets anonymously and send them through tumblers to merge them. The recipient can then cash out the bitcoins at another exchange for clean money. There's no way to trace the bitcoin transactions as they are verified peer-to-peer. It may be possible to catch some of the 1000 people using stolen cash but the amounts are small.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bottleworks View Post

Don't you people get that, by allowing Apple (or Google) to ban/approve apps and content,  you no longer have control over your own personal lives.

It really sucks sometimes to not be able to get the content you want:

http://hothardware.com/News/Oh-Snap-Google-Bans-Porn-From-Chromecast/

but that's life. There are restrictions everywhere. It sucks that you can't walk down to the local park and flash yourself at hot women without someone coming to arrest you. I mean, how will they ever know how hot my naked body looks? But the restrictions are there for a reason. If Apple allowed any app to run on their device then it opens their customers up to security problems just like you get on the Mac. It's more quality control than control.

Also, you aren't totally restricted from running your own software. If you get a developer certificate, you can install whatever you want. It's $99/year (I'd prefer it was free but there will be costs in support resources and it is also a form of quality control). If the bitcoin crowd all signed up and they released the bitcoin app as open source, they can install the app no problem. They might even be able to setup a server like for corporations and they can deploy the software to users that way:

http://www.apple.com/business/accelerator/deploy/app-distribution.html

They can also setup a server for hosting wallets, people can setup their own server for privacy and an app can remotely interface with the wallet. Or it may be possible to use a webapp.

The objection here is more about politics than functionality. It's the fact that Apple is taking issue with bitcoin apps, not that there's a lack of alternative ways to setup the apps. I think people just want to know why and I very much doubt Apple wants to put it in writing. This allows people to fill in the blanks.
post #37 of 204
Again never mentioned bit coin.
post #38 of 204

I'm curious, but what's to stop someone from creating another currency like itcoin, icoin, or idiotcoin?  Bitcoin seems like the classic pump and dump scam.  When less than 1000 people own half the coins in existence it seems like a scam and it's probably Apple's intention not to promote or otherwise lend credibility to a scam.  

post #39 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

No. Go back to Britain.

We do. They’re not.

Go away.

As an Englishman, I'm embarrassed by people like pete borota. The strength of anti-Apple sentiment in England is one of the worst traits of my nationality.
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post #40 of 204
Originally Posted by tkell31 View Post
I'm curious, but what's to stop someone from creating another currency like itcoin, icoin, or idiotcoin?  

 

Absolutely nothing whatsoever. That’s why there ARE thousands of them.

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