Users of Apple’s mobile devices may have an easier way to use Bitcoin soon.
Amid all the hoopla from its keynote announcements yesterday, Apple quietly changed the rules for apps on its App Store, saying that they can now “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.”
The changes, first spotted by Reuters, point to a new future for companies who want to allow their customers to exchange Bitcoin or other digital currencies while on the go.
It’s unclear which currencies meet Apple’s requirements to comply with federal and state laws, and Apple is still the sole arbiter of what is and isn’t permitted, but it’s a step towards allowing Bitcoin, Dogecoin and other cryptocurrency transactions on iOS.
Android, because of its open platform, has allowed and continues to allow Bitcoin transactions to take place.
The Cupertino-based company previously banished from its App Store all apps that allowed users to transact in Bitcoin and other virtual currencies, a move that drew the ire of some in the Bitcoin community. Some iPhone-using Bitcoin fans even chose to boycott Apple and switch to Android in protest.
Apple is known for being cautious when it comes to allowing material onto iOS that the company deems risky. That position can be infuriating for people who run afoul of the App Store’s rules, but the last thing Apple wants is for the iPhone to show up in the news as the latest gadget to try and ruin America, or something similar. As Bitcoin grows in popularity, this move by Apple could serve to amplify the digital currency’s usefulness.