Apple Removes ShapeShift From App Store -

Apple Removes ShapeShift From App Store


Apple appears once again to be restricting the use of digital currencies on iOS, with the removal of multi-currency trading app ShapeShift from its mobile App Store.

Also read: Jaxx To Be First Dash Wallet for iOS

ShapeShift’s Currency Swaps Without Accounts

ShapeShift offers direct swaps between 34 popular cryptocurrencies, without the need for user identification or accounts. While it does trade and transmit those coins, it is not a wallet and does not store users’ private keys.

Reddit user ISkiAtAlta posted earlier that ShapeShift had vanished from the iOS App Store in the US. Users in other locations around the world confirmed it had been removed from their stores also.

At this stage it is not known whether the removal is permanent, or temporary pending some requested change.

Apple’s ‘Approved’ Digital Currencies

Apple has become known over the years for its hesitance to embrace digital currencies. It only allowed bitcoin wallets for the first time in mid-2014, after they had been available on Android for years.

In March 2015, Apple temporarily removed the game SaruTobi out of concern that the bitcoin-like tokens used in-game could be mistaken for real bitcoins.

In May this year, Apple revealed it was allowing apps that traded only digital currencies it “approved,” and briefly wavered over allowing the Jaxx mobile wallet for Ethereum.

Just last month, it requested developers of the Jaxx blockchain wallet remove the “anonymous” currency DASH from its wallet app, though it continued to allow Jaxx to send, store and receive Ether and TheDAO tokens.

Jaxx had also integrated ShapeShift links into its wallet in June.

Decentral CEO Anthony Di Iorio tweeted at the time that Apple’s approved cryptocurrencies were: Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, Dogecoin and Ripple’s XRP.

No Reasons Given for Approval/Denial

Like Apple’s approval process for apps themselves, its decision-making process for approving digital currencies is opaque. Despite ordering the removal of DASH, it approved a wallet for rival privacy-oriented currency Monero — an app which is not endorsed by the Monero project team and may not be legitimate.

It also permits the IndieSquare wallet for Counterparty tokens, where users can create any digital token they like providing it is backed by some amount of bitcoin value.

All wallet and trading apps remain available on the Android platform, which has grown in popularity with digital currency enthusiasts thanks to Apple’s reputation for unpredictability and willingness to remove even apps it previously approved.

Bitcoinist contacted ShapeShift founder Erik Voorhees for comment, but had not received a response at press time.

Is Apple’s caution with some cryptocurrencies warranted? What do you think is the company’s reason for rejected these mobile apps?

Cover image courtesy of Reuters.

Jon Southurst

Jon Southurst

Jon Southurst has been interested in bitcoin since reading Neal Stephenson's 'Cryptonomicon' in 2012. A long-time tech writer, he has been a regular contributor at CoinDesk and has written for, DeepDotWeb and ancient print publications. He lives on an artificial island in Tokyo.

  • Bitcoin Enthusiast

    I think Apple might be trying to stave off privacy functional currencies as well as setting up to make their own Apple Bitcoin like currency.

  • Aleks Judentum

    it always has been the most typical signature move of apple to infantilize their costumers. especially stock IOS is very obviously designed to satisfy only the dumbest kind of self absorbed consumer who refuses to think outside the box. for example if you want to simply send a song via bluetooth from one iphone to another u have to hack the stock OS first because apple doesn’t want you to possibly infringe any copyrights or something like that. totally laughable. THINK DIFFERENT must be the most cynical phrase of this century.

  • Appels+Oranjes

    You can do it using Multipeer connectivity

  • Aleks Judentum

    i just want to click on my song file and then click send/move or copy it freely like on every normal and good programmed OS. but it seems that is way to much to ask for. and that’s only the tip of the iceberg of apples maximalist-capitalist politics wrapped into functionality. or better said dysfunctionality. ridiculous.