iPhone apps to get Bitcoin friendly

Apple and Bitcoin could soon be bedfellows after the former changed it apps policy to open the door to apps that use virtual currencies.

The Cupertino-based company altered its policy for apps so that it now lets software developers create applications that are able to use “approved virtual currencies” with those that it considers “approved” yet to be announced.

“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,” read clause 11.17 of the App Store Review Guidelines.

Apple’s alterations mark a change in attitude towards apps using virtual currencies after it had previously moved to stop apps using the methods of payment even though they were available for a number of months.

Gliph, CoinJar, Coinbase, Blockchain.info and other apps were hit by the action with some choosing to remove virtual currency code whilst others exited the store altogether.

“This is a sign that the ecosystem is maturing and gaining credibility,” Bill Lee, an investor in Bitcoin wallet BitGo, told Bloomberg. “To be clear, I still think bitcoin is in its infancy as a technology, but its acceptance is becoming more and more mainstream.”

Other analysts stated that Apple actually had more to lose by keeping Bitcoin and other virtual currencies out of the App Store.
“Bitcoin users were not going to give up Bitcoin – they were giving up on the iPhone,” Gil Luria, analyst at Wedbush Securities, told Bloomberg.

Bitcoin’s value has been on the up again in recent weeks after a period in which its value went up and down like a yo-yo with prices peaking at over $1,000 [£597] before plummeting to as low as $360.84 [£215] in April. It currently sits at $667 [£398] and once Bitcoin can be used in the App Store its value can be expected to rise once again.

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