Block CEO Jack Dorsey has publicly criticized Apple CEO Tim Cook, accusing him of not supporting Bitcoin payments in line with Apple’s app store policies. Dorsey’s remarks come in response to Apple’s decision to remove the Bitcoin-based social app, Damus, from its marketplace, a move that was recently confirmed by Apple.
Damus is a decentralized social media application designed for engaging with Nostr, a Bitcoin-based protocol that enables information and message exchange in a censorship-resistant manner. One of Damus’ notable features is “zaps,” which allows users to tip each other in Bitcoin using the lightning network. These transactions operate on a peer-to-peer basis, and Damus does not take any fees from these transactions.
However, Apple deemed this feature in violation of its terms of service two weeks ago. According to Apple, while optional tips and donations are permissible, mandatory payments for digital content are not allowed. The company stated that such payments must adhere to guideline 3.1.1 and utilize in-app purchases.
Despite Damus’ efforts to justify the functionality and explain that the “zaps” feature did not grant access to any digital content, the app refused to remove the feature as requested by Apple. Unfortunately, on Monday, Damus received another message from Apple reiterating the violation, and the app finally acknowledged that its removal from the app store was inevitable.
“Their suggested fix is to use apple pay,” tweeted Damus on Tuesday. “Sure, I’ll use apple pay when it supports censorship-resistant, peer-to-peer payments to anyone in the world. Maybe start with peer-to-peer first?”