Apple is making negative headlines in the crypto industry once again for its demand for fees. Coinbase tweeted on Dec. 1 that NFT transfers on Coinbase Wallet were blocked on iOS devices. The reason stated was that “the gas fees required to send NFTs need to be paid through their In-App Purchase system.”
Were Coinbase to do so, it would be paying Apple’s notorious “Apple tax” and paying the tech firm 30% of Ethereum gas fees. Coinbase stated that this was simply not possible, its In-App Purchase system did not support crypto. The exchange couldn’t comply even if it tried.
Coinbase is critical in its opinion of Apple’s policy. The exchange compared the policy to try to take a cut of fees for emails sent over open Internet protocols. It remarked,
“…if you hold an NFT in a wallet on an iPhone, Apple just made it a lot harder to transfer that NFT to other wallets, or gift it to friends or family. Simply put, Apple has introduced new policies to protect their profits at the expense of consumer investment in NFTs and developer innovation across the crypto ecosystem”
However, the exchange hopes for some resolution, telling Apple that it wanted to help. This isn’t likely to happen, given the latter’s stubborn position on these rules.
The Notorious Apple Tax
The Apple tax has received increasing criticism over the past 18 months. One of the most notable incidents related to Epic Games; the developer of the highly successful Fortnite. The latter lost that legal challenge, and it became clear that an ‘Apple tax’ wouldn’t go down easily.
The past few days have seen Elon Musk join the criticism of tax, though there was criticism levied at his own remarks. Musk said that Apple pulled a “secret” 30% tax, though this was never a secret. Musk has also engaged in a feud with the tech company over a potential removal of Twitter from the App store. He said that issue was resolved.
Policies Impacting NFTs and Crypto
Apple has been a thorn in the side of the NFT industry as it once demanded that NFTs be made through in-app purchases. As a result, startups have had to limit their apps’ functionality, which is a sizable blow to their ambitions.
As a highly popular smartphone maker with equally popular operating systems, Apple’s actions significantly impact crypto access. The crypto community has called for a crypto smartphone, something which Samsung has made progress with.
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