Apple Allows a New Bitcoin Wallet App from Blockchain

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Following Apple’s controversial removal of iOS bitcoin apps in January, the first of the big-name wallets relaunches on the App Store today. Blockchain, which already provides hugely popular wallets for both desktop computers and Android devices, has unveiled its new-from-the-ground-up iOS wallet, which it hopes will bring bitcoin to users across the globe.

Prior to Apple’s removal of all apps offering cryptocurrency transactions in January 2014, Blockchain was the most downloaded bitcoin wallet for iOS devices. Blockchain’s announcement will likely come as welcome news for the bitcoin community, which protested loudly at Apple’s ban – with some users even shooting their iPhones in an unlikely show of support.

However, for reasons known only to Apple insiders, a new, more open policy was announced at the Worldwide Developer’s Conference in early June, paving the way once more for bitcoin wallets and other apps that transact using cryptocurrencies.

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The App Store has seen the addition of several bitcoin apps, including an unofficial wallet for Coinbase users and Gliph, a messaging service that lets connected users send each other bitcoin. However, Blockchain is the first of the major players to offer wallet services on iOS since early 2014.

Nicolas Cary, CEO of Blockchain, told “The moment Apple signalled a shift in their policy toward digital currency apps, we pulled the iOS project off the shelf and got to work. We wanted to use this as an opportunity to improve the wallet, but we were still apprehensive about dedicating huge amounts of engineering time because it wasn’t clear what types of apps would get through the submission and approval process.”

He added: “Working with Apple has been quick and easy, and we really appreciate their thoughtful guidance – it’s a partnership we really value.”

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As well as exchanging bitcoin between wallets, Blockchain’s app also allows iPhone and iPad users to make purchases from the fast-growing number of merchants that accept bitcoin – both online and in physical outlets. Blockchain is currently the most popular bitcoin wallet in the world with over 1.9 million users. Its website, Blockchain.info, also hosts bitcoin charts, currency statistics, and a block-chain explorer.

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