Press "Enter" to skip to content

Apple’s Ultimatum: Decentralized Social App Damus Forced to Choose Between Bitcoin Tipping and App Store Removal

Key Points

  • Damus app is at risk of being removed from the Apple Store due to non-compliance with payment regulations. 
  • Apple has given Damus a 14-day ultimatum to update the app in line with its policies or face removal from the App Store.
  •  Damus has acknowledged the warning and announced that the app will be taken down from the Apple Store within the given timeframe.
  •  The cryptocurrency community has expressed concern over Apple’s decision to remove Damus, causing controversy.

In a recent turn of events, Apple has issued a warning to the creators of Damus, a decentralized social media app, regarding their zaps feature. This feature enables users to send and receive Bitcoin Lightning payments. However, Apple has deemed it non-compliant with their policies and has given the creators 14 days to update the app or face removal from the App Store.

Apparently, their zaps feature was in violation of Apple’s payment guidelines. The specific issue at hand was that zaps for digital content tips were bypassing Apple’s “in-app purchase” mechanism – the only payment method permitted under App Store guidelines.

The Apple Threat

Damus has also recently shared a screenshot revealing that Apple had sent an official message to the platform. The message informed the team of Apple’s decision to take action against the platform for violating the App Store Review Guidelines. 

In the official message from Apple, it stated, “We noticed that your app allows users to send “tips” associated with receiving content from digital content creators with a mechanism other than in-app purchase. Although tips or donations may be optional, if they are connected to or associated with receiving digital content, they must use in-app purchase in accordance with guideline 3.1.1.”

The message also asked Damus to submit an update within 14 days, a failure of which would force the company to remove the app from Apple’s App Store. It was also added that any future non-compliance with the company’s rules would push Damus to succumb to Apple’s decision.

Furthermore, Apple made it clear that an update must be submitted within 14 days, or else the app would be removed from Apple’s App Store. Additionally, the message warned that any further non-compliance with the company’s rules would result in Damus being at the mercy of Apple’s decision. 

Damus Responds 

At the Oslo Freedom Forum, a gathering of human rights advocates, Damus declared that Apple’s statement coincided with their preparation to tackle the financial freedom that decentralized social networks, with lightning integration, offer to the masses. Damus labeled this a “watershed moment” and addressed the situation by stating, “If people can’t transact freely p2p on their platform, this has huge implications for the entire ecosystem of apps with lightning integration and v4v.”

Apple’s recent decision to require Damus to remove its Bitcoin tipping feature has stirred up controversy within the cryptocurrency community. Some members of the community argue that Apple’s actions are hindering innovation and preventing developers from creating new and creative apps that utilize cryptocurrency. 

However, others believe that Apple is merely enforcing its policies and protecting its users from potential scams or fraudulent activity.This is not the first time that Apple has taken action against cryptocurrency payment apps. In 2019, the tech giant removed the Coinbase cryptocurrency wallet app from the App Store, citing issues with its compliance with App Store policies.

End Note

The debate over Apple’s actions highlights the ongoing tension between innovation and regulation in the world of cryptocurrency. While some argue that regulation is necessary to protect consumers and prevent fraudulent activity, others believe that excessive regulation stifles innovation and prevents the industry from reaching its full potential. As the cryptocurrency landscape continues to evolve, it remains to be seen how companies like Apple will balance the need for regulation with the desire for innovation.