Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has altered its payment policy. It now allows software developers to include a virtual currency transaction option, which is a welcoming step for the new forms of money like Bitcoin. There was no specific mention about Bitcoin, but the developers confirmed that they have been approved to include “approved virtual currencies.” As per the terms of the new policy, apps that involve digital money should abide by state and federal laws.
Blocking Blockchain not a smart move from Apple
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is now opening up for the virtual currencies after previously deciding to drop programs like Blockchain.info from its App store. Governments in different countries are trying to figure out how to regulate the currencies such as Bitcoin, which exist only virtually.
Gil Luria, an analyst at Wedbush Securities Inc, said that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was more on losing side by restricting Bitcoin as currency users were more loyal the virtual currency more than the iPhone. As a reaction to the Apple blocking Blockchain, users posted online videos of destroying their iPhone. One user shot his iPhone with a sniper rifle, another one damaged it and the third user threw it from the stairs, according to the videos uploaded on YouTube.
Bitcoin’s rising popularity
“This is a sign that the ecosystem is maturing and gaining credibility,” Bill Lee, an investor in Bitcoin wallet firm BitGo, said in an e-mail to Bloomberg. Lee added that Bitcoin is still in the nascent stage, but it is becoming increasingly popular and will soon arrive in the mainstream. Adam Draper, a Bitcoin venture capitalist, said in an email that users should get ready to see a host of new Bitcoin iOS apps. The entrepreneurs behind the virtual currency were already hoping for escalation in app activity.
Developer Rob Banagale said that he will redevelop a new version of his app, called Gliph, which was rejected by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) last year as it allowed the users to send Bitcoins to each other in instant messages. As a result, Banagale had to withdraw the app from the iOS device, which otherwise is fully functional on phones and tablets based on Google Inc’s Android operating system.
Bitcoin prices surged $1000 towards the end of last year, but dropped to $360.84 in April. However, the market revived and reached around $667 as of Monday this week. The presence of Bitcoin is still sparse, as not many retailers and service providers have accepted it as a mode of payment yet, but it is growing rapidly. Only last month, Dish Network Corp announced it would soon start accepting Bitcoin payments from subscribers.