The Clash Between Damus and Apple over Bitcoin Functionality
Damus removes (partially) bitcoin function
In recent weeks, Damus, the decentralized social media platform on iOS, got into a clash with Apple regarding its ‘zaps function’ that allowed users to earn bitcoin (BTC) from their posts. However, this feature was against Apple’s guidelines, leading to potential removal of the app from the App Store. After some deliberation, Damus has decided to make concessions and comply with Apple’s strict guidelines, albeit partially.
Background and Controversy
Damus confronted Apple by threatening to adjust its app to meet the general guidelines. Apple perceived the zaps function as payments for digital content, which should only occur through in-app purchases. On the other hand, Damus argued that zaps could only be used as tips after users had already posted content on the platform. Despite Damus’s view, Apple remained unyielding in its stance.
Concessions Made by Damus
To comply with Apple’s guidelines, Damus has made significant changes to its app. The latest version of Damus no longer supports tipping on posts. However, users can still perform zap transactions at the profile level. This compromise is a result of Damus wanting to stay on the App Store while retaining some functionality for its users.
William Casarin’s Announcement
Founder of Damus, William Casarin, broke the news on June 28 about the changes made due to Apple’s policies. He mentioned that to remain on the app store, Damus had to remove the tip button. Despite this setback, Casarin plans to continue developing Damus on iOS as a vanilla Nostr client, but without the zap feature for posts.
Bitcoin Community vs. Apple
Apple’s policy has not been well-received by the Bitcoin community, as many believe it hinders the adoption of bitcoin-friendly applications in the App Store. This clash with Apple is not an isolated incident, as earlier this month, the bitcoin wallet Zeus also faced rejection from Apple due to perceived lack of appropriate licenses. The disagreement between the Bitcoin community and Apple in determining license requirements further emphasizes the divide.
Implications and Perspectives
Although Damus had to compromise its features, some of its supporters view the recent developments as a small victory. Despite the limitations to the zaps function, Damus remains a decentralized social media platform that offers alternatives to mainstream platforms.
The clash between Damus and Apple regarding bitcoin functionality highlights the challenges faced by applications that integrate cryptocurrencies. Apple’s strict guidelines continue to be a point of contention for the Bitcoin community, potentially limiting the possibilities for bitcoin adoption within the App Store ecosystem.