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Top cryptocurrency wallet provider MetaMask has made a triumphant return to the Apple App Store after being temporarily pulled from the platform on October 14, leaving the crypto community puzzled and concerned.
In a surprising turn of events, MetaMask, the widely-used crypto wallet and gateway to decentralized applications (dApps), vanished from the Apple App Store for a short period. This unexpected removal sent shockwaves through the cryptocurrency community, prompting questions and speculations regarding its cause.
Swift Response from MetaMask
MetaMask acted promptly in addressing the situation, reassuring its user base that the removal was not triggered by any malicious activity associated with their application. Simultaneously, the company issued a warning to its community, urging vigilance against counterfeit MetaMask apps that might surface on the platform. They stated:
“If you come across any fake MetaMask apps on the App Store, please report them immediately. Our top priority is to get this sorted out quickly and protect users from any fake apps.”
Shortly after these measures were taken, the Apple App Store reinstated the MetaMask app, albeit without providing a formal explanation for its initial disappearance. This abrupt removal, shrouded in mystery, has led to a frenzy of speculation in the crypto world.
Connecting the Dots: Apple’s 30% Fee Policy
Within the cryptocurrency realm, a prevailing theory links the removal of MetaMask to Apple’s long-standing 30% fee policy, which applies to app and in-app purchase downloads via the Apple Store. This policy has triggered substantial backlash, especially from proponents of Web3 technologies who view it as a hindrance to innovation and decentralization.
MetaMask’s recent tussle with app store providers is not an isolated incident. In 2019, the app faced a suspension from the Google Play Store due to policy violations, hinting at recurring friction between crypto applications and major app stores.
Community members express their growing unease
The absence of a clear, official explanation from MetaMask regarding the removal has understandably raised concerns among its 30 million users. The crypto community has expressed apprehension, with some directing blame towards Apple.
Prominent figures in the crypto space, like Anatoly Yakovenko, co-founder of Solana, have called for the development of alternative app stores as a solution to address concerns surrounding the influence of major app store providers.
Adam Cochran, a partner at Cinneamhain Ventures, has questioned whether the removal might be linked to MetaMask’s recent addition of Stripe as a payment method. He commented on Apple’s stringent requirements for payment processing and their compatibility with various features, particularly in relation to Apple Pay.
It’s essential to note that cryptocurrency-related apps, such as Coinbase Wallet, have encountered challenges in the past within Apple’s app store.
In June, Apple removed the decentralized social media platform Damus from its App Store due to concerns over its zaps feature. Likewise, decentralized exchange Uniswap faced hurdles in securing a listing on Apple’s App Store earlier this year, prior to April 2023.
The turbulent relationship between crypto and centralized app platforms continues to unfold, raising questions about the future of decentralized technologies in these ecosystems.