Coinbase Disables iOS Wallet’s NFT Trading Due to Apple’s App Policies

  • Coinbase said that Apple had blocked the release of the latest iOS version of its mobile wallet app until NFT trading functionality was disabled.
  • The exchange also claimed that Apple wanted all gas fees required to send NFTs to be paid through its In-App Purchase system so that it could collect 30% of the fees.
coinbase wallet

Shutterstock

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase was forced to disable non-fungible token (NFT) trading on its iOS self-custody wallet app due to interference from Apple, the company said via Twitter on 1 December.

According to the Twitter thread, the tech giant had blocked the release of the latest iOS version of Coinbase Wallet until the NFT trading functionality was disabled. The exchange claimed that Apple was demanding that the gas fees needed to transfer NFTs were paid through its proprietary In-App Purchase system, which collects a 30% fee on any transaction. Coinbase wrote:

“This is akin to Apple trying to take a cut of fees for every email that gets sent over open Internet protocols. The biggest impact from this policy change is on iPhone users that own NFTs – if you hold an NFT in a wallet on an iPhone, Apple just made it a lot harder to transfer that NFT to other wallets, or gift it to friends or family.”

Coinbase also pointed out that it could not comply with Apple’s demands even if it wanted to, seeing as its proprietary In-App Purchase system did not support cryptocurrencies. The exchange accused Apple of introducing “new policies to protect their profits at the expense of consumer investment in NFTs”.

Apple has never officially banned applications from offering in-app NFT minting, buying, or selling, but its rules make it almost impossible. Back in October, the company officially refused to exempt NFT trading from its 30% fee policy, which has kept NFT marketplaces like OpenSea from offering NFT trading within their mobile apps.

Coinbase and the wider NFT community are not the only ones who seem to have a problem with the tech giant’s policy. Tesla and Twitter CEO Elon Musk also questioned Apple’s 30% in-app fee recently, and claimed the tech giant had threatened to remove Twitter from its App Store. Earlier today, Musk revealed that he had a conversation with Apple CEO Tim Cook, and that the misunderstanding had been resolved.

Discussion
Related Coverage
Coinbase to End Operations in Japan
  • The crypto exchange cited market conditions for its decision to exit the country, and gave users until 16 February to withdraw their assets.
  • Coinbase is following in the footsteps of crypto exchange Kraken, which announced it will be ending operations in Japan on 28 December.
January 18, 2023, 2:03 PM
Coinbase co-founder and CEO Brian Armstrong

Coinbase co-founder and CEO Brian Armstrong talking at TechCrunch Disrupt Europe, October 2014. TechCrunch

Coinbase to Lay Off Another 20% of its Workforce
  • The San Francisco-based crypto exchange is planning to reduce its headcount by 950 employees, and shut down some projects with “lower probability of success”.
  • The move was part of its restructuring plan meant to reduce its operational costs by 25% by the end of the second quarter of 2023.
Coinbase Agrees to $100M Settlement With NYDFS Over Compliance Failure
  • Coinbase has agreed to pay a $50 million fine to the NYDFS and invest another $50 million to improve its compliance program over the next two years.
  • NYDFS found that by the end of 2021, Coinbase had a backlog of 100,000 unreviewed transaction alerts, and a backlog of 14,000 customer requiring enhanced due diligence.