Apple reverses ban to accept Bitcoin-based apps again


Apple has reversed its policy on banning Bitcoin-based apps from the App Store.

The firm previously moved to stop apps using virtual currencies as methods of payment last year, before seeking out and removing Bitcoin-based apps much to the anger of their users.

Following the announcement, however, developers will now be able to use a pre-approved list of currencies in their apps. It is currently unknown which virtual currencies will be approved by Apple.

After the removal of several of the Bitcoin-based apps last year, protestors posted angry videos online in which they destroyed their iPhones.

"If anything, Apple had more to lose by keeping Bitcoin off the App Store," said Gil Luria, an analyst at Wedbush Securities. "Bitcoin users were not going to give up Bitcoin - they were giving up on the iPhone."

Bitcoin, the most popular of the online currencies, has caused a headache for governments across the world as they try to regulate money which essentially exists as software.

Under Apple's new regulations, developers that choose to use virtual currencies will have to comply with the laws of the country they are based in.

"This is a sign that the ecosystem is maturing and gaining credibility," Bill Lee, an investor in Bitcoin wallet BitGo, told Bloomberg. "To be clear, I still think Bitcoin is in its infancy as a technology, but its acceptance is becoming more and more mainstream."

Developer of coin application Gliph, Rob Banagale, has said that he is planning to submit a new version of his app in the wake of the news. Gliph, which was banned from the App Store in 2013, allows users to send each other Bitcoins attached to instant messages.

The value of Bitcoin has been rising following a slump in April 2013 when prices fell as low as 215. It now stands at around 398 per coin and the news from Cupertino will more than likely see that price rise higher in the coming weeks.