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Coinbase Disables NFT Trading on Wallet Due to Apple’s App Store Policies – Here’s What Happened

Sead Fadilpašić
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: Adobe / Diego

Major crypto exchange Coinbase announced that users can no longer transfer non-fungible tokens (NFTs) using Coinbase’s Wallet app on Apple devices due to Apple’s App Store policy.

“You might have noticed you can’t send NFTs on Coinbase Wallet iOS anymore,” said Coinbase in their tweet on Thursday, later adding that Apple is forcing Coinbase to remove the NFT transfer option from its iOS wallet.

The statement claimed that, 

“This is because Apple blocked our last app release until we disabled the feature.”

And the issue comes down to money – Apple allegedly wants its cut. 

As is well known in the cryptoverse, in order to send NFTs, there are some gas fees involved. According to the exchange, however, the iPhone maker stated that these fees have to be paid through the company’s proprietary in-app purchase system – the reason being that Apple aims to collect 30% of the gas fee.

Per Coinbase Wallet,

“Simply put, Apple has introduced new policies to  protect their profits at the expense of consumer investment in NFTs and developer innovation across the crypto ecosystem.”

The wallet provider goes on to suggest that, if Apple understood the way in which blockchains and NFTs worked, it would be apparent to them that their idea “is clearly not possible.” Apple’s system does not support crypto payments, said Coinbase, “so we couldn’t comply even if we tried.”

However, Coinbase argued that there is an even bigger issue caused by the policy change, and one that directly impacts Apple users who are NFT holders. To be more precise, per the exchange, Apple “made it a lot harder” for those who hold an NFT in a wallet on an iPhone to transfer their own NFT to other wallets, or even to send it as a gift to a family member or a friend.

“We hope this is an oversight on Apple’s behalf and an inflection point for further conversations with the ecosystem,” the Twitter thread said. 

The recent policy change in question specifically addresses NFTs. Section 3.1.1 In-App Purchase states that,

“Apps may use in-app purchase to sell and sell services related to non-fungible tokens (NFTs), such as minting, listing, and transferring. Apps may allow users to view their own NFTs, provided that NFT ownership does not unlock features or functionality within the app. Apps may allow users to browse NFT collections owned by others, provided that the apps may not include buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms other than in-app purchase.”

It is unclear, however, how the Apple team found their in-app purchase system equipped to handle taking a cut from these types of fees, which are also not fixed and change constantly based on a number of relevant factors. 

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, meanwhile, tweeted on Thursday that Apple Store is a monopoly, describing some of the conversations with the tech giant as “absurd.”


Learn more: 
Apple Reveals New App Store Rules for Cryptocurrencies and NFTs
Apple’s Job Listings Suggest Metaverse Product is Coming – Crypto Integration Coming Soon?

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Black Swan Author Nassim Taleb Calls Coinbase Crypto Exchange ‘Worthless’ – Here’s Why