Apple, one of the popular smartphone and tablet makers, has removed the popular Bitcoin wallet app, Blockchain, from its iTunes App Store without providing any reason as to why it took such a step.
The Blockchain app was noted to be used by around 120,000 Apple users for transactions. The users can still run the application on iPhones and Macs, but will not be able to receive any software updates.
Apple has not yet commented on the news but the app page states "removed from the App Store due to an unresolved issue." Whatever the reason for the removal of the app, Bitcoin, yet again has come across some difficulties in gaining mainstream acceptance.
Before its removal, Blockchain was the only Bitcoin wallet app for Apple users, according to Nicolas Cary, CEO of Blockchain to Wired. In its various forms for different operating systems, the service has over 1 million users.
The removal of Blockchain is not something new for Apple, as the firm has reportedly removed two other Bitcoin apps previously from its app store - BitPak and Coinbase. Cary also added that the Cupertino firm had previously removed the Blockchain app too, but later re-accepted the app to include in its app store.
It has been speculated that Apple is dumping Bitcoin due to its confusing international regulations. However, Cary argues that the firm might have removed the app because of its potential competition with the Cupertino firm. "I think that Apple is positioning itself to take on mobile payments in a way they haven't described to the public and they're being anti-competitive," said Cary.
Regardless the of the decision by Apple, Bitcoin is readily available for Android users. Not only Blockchain, but the Coinbase app is also available to download from the Google Play Store.