Apple has removed Blockchain, the last Bitcoin wallet on the iOS App Store, offering no explanation to its users or the company.
The application was reportedly removed on 5 February, following Apple's ban of all other popular crypto currency apps, including Coinbase.
The reason for the block remains unknown and at the time of publishing Apple had not responded to V3's request for comment. Blockchain has since released a statement accusing Apple of being secretive about its decision to remove its application.
The statement said: "On Wednesday 5 February, Apple attempted to strike a devastating blow to the Bitcoin ecosystem on iOS by removing Blockchain, the last remaining bitcoin wallet app, from the App Store.
"Offering no explanation and no opportunity to address any issues, without any apparent change in circumstances other than the growing popularity of the independent and competitive payment system, Apple has eradicated their payment competition on iOS and left the Bitcoin space entirely to competing mobile operating systems like Google's Android."
Blockchain was originally released on iOS in 2012 and at its peak is listed as being downloaded over 120,000 times. The company said it believes Blockchain was a victim of its own success and argued that its removal is a step by Apple to stifle competition on iOS.
"These actions by Apple once again demonstrate the anti-competitive and capricious nature of the App Store policies that are clearly focused on preserving Apple's monopoly on payments rather than based on any consideration of the needs and desires of their users," read the statement.
"By removing the Blockchain app, the only Bitcoin wallet application on the App Store, Apple has eliminated competition using their monopolistic position in the market in a heavy-handed manner."
Blockchain has since started a public petition urging Apple to reverse its decision and allow Bitcoin wallet applications to run on iOS. At the time of publishing the petition had accrued 4,648 signatures.
Bitcoins are a cryptography-based currency. The currency uses peer-to-peer technology to facilitate real-time, semi-anonymous transactions between its users. The semi-anonymous nature of the currency has made it popular within many criminal underground cells and it is commonly used on cyber black markets, such as the recently shut down Silk Road.
Many experts have argued, despite its use by criminals the currency's ability to cut regulators and established financial institutions out of commerce mean Bitcoin has the potential to fundamentally change international trade.
Experts from analyst house EY said even with these merits, users should avoid thinking of Bitcoins as a replacement to traditional Fiat currency, during a press briefing V3 attended in December 2013.
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