While a bit concerning to many and troublesome for even more, bitcoin isn’t illegal. It’s also been deemed a commodity, tradable if you can find a partner who wants to swap virtual coins for goods. In what can be seen as a bit of a reversal in their stance on bitcoin, Apple has updated their App Store review guidelines to be a touch more specific about bitcoin apps.
A bitcoin wallet was removed from the App Store earlier this year, with the company’s CEO saying Apple didn’t make clear the issue that caused the app to be pulled. The same can be said for two apps late last year, with Apple yanking them from the App Store without apparent provocation or explanation.
New App Store guidelines specifically point to bitcoin apps. Under section 11, which deals with “purchasing and currencies”, rule 17 states the following:
Apps may facilitate transmission of approved virtual currencies provided that they do so in compliance with all state and federal laws for the territories in which the app functions
Given bitcoin’s mixed reception the world over, that is a tall order. Going by the most stringent guidelines is likely the best bet, but the rule change is a loosening of standards for Apple. Whereas Apple once rejected bitcoin apps of all kinds (apparently on their early notion that bitcoins were somehow bad for us), they’ve taken a gentler road this time.