Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in ShapeShift.
The statements echo lines of divisions in the larger blockchain space, which has increasingly shown signs of embracing a vision that would result in the creation of many different digital assets.
Apple appears to be getting more aggressive in its policing of digital currency apps.
"Apple may have consumer protection or regulatory concerns, or the company may just be acting at random," he told CoinDesk. "The App Store is essentially a bureaucracy even though it's within a private, profit-making company."
He told CoinDesk:
Even after that policy change, however, apps working with bitcoin have continued to hit obstacles.
"Apple tends to be pretty conservative in its content curation practices. Luckily, there's always the open and permissionless web, which even Apple will find it hard to censor."
According to the two firms, Apple is allowing services that use bitcoin, litecoin, dogecoin, ripple and ethereum, as well as tokens tied to the now-defunct DAO project.
In March 2015, for example, a messaging service called Wiper was pulled from China's iOS store because of a bitcoin integration.
Jaxx CEO Anthony Di Iorio said in an interview that he has pushed for more clarity from the company in conversations with representatives.
Jim Harper, a senior fellow for the Cato Institute and a former board member of the Bitcoin Foundation, suggested that Apple may be responding to regulatory pressure – either that or it's still fumbling its way forward in regards to digital currency policy.
Last month, Apple was said to have asked Jaxx to remove a specific cryptocurrency, dash (formerly known as darkcoin), because it was not part of a list of so-called "approved currencies" that reportedly includes bitcoin, litecoin and ether.
The Cupertino company has moved to restrict at least two separate apps on its online store in recent weeks, a development that has generated speculation in absence of official statements. The issues reportedly stem from a list of cryptocurrencies "approved" by Apple, a policy that dates back to a 2014 update that saw it disclose how it would approve apps that utilize the technology.
Originally seen as a progressive move by the technology firm, the stance has since drawn criticism given recent problems experienced by blockchain startups. These include Jaxx, a digital currency wallet, and ShapeShift, a digital currency exchange, both of which have had to pull iOS apps at the request of Apple.
As Apple has yet to comment on its digital currency policies since the 2014 update, observers can only speculate as to what is driving the recent moves.
As can be expected, both Jaxx and ShapeShift have been critical of the developments and the lack of transparency by Apple.
Jaxx is now set to remove support for dash later this month, and recently disclosed that Apple had rejected its bid to add support the digital currency ethereum classic. Likewise, news broke this weekend that the iOS app for ShapeShift was pulled from Apple's app store, a removal it later confirmed on social media.
In some ways, the developments of the past month are a throwback to two years ago, when Apple fell at odds with bitcoin users.
Back in early 2014, Apple made headlines by removing a bitcoin wallet app developed by Blockchain from its online store, an incident that came months after Apple yanked Coinbase from its app store.
However, the company has yet to officially publish this position or comment on the app issues. Other digital currencies are rumored to be allowed by Apple, but as of press time, the company hadn't confirmed which have been approved.
Ultimately, Apple would re-open its doors to bitcoin wallet applications after updating its app development guidelines. A month later, Blockchain's wallet app returned to the store, and since then a number of wallet services have been listed.
At the time, Blockchain blasted the removal as an anti-competitive measure driven by the company's efforts to support its payments app, Apple Pay. (The situation would arguably come to a head in public displays of anger against the company, with viral videos showing bitcoin fans joyfully destroying Apple products).
That said, according to Brito, there are always other options for distributing wallet apps.
"It would be easier for them down the road if they could just clarify things," he told CoinDesk. "It just ends up leading to a lot of speculation."
At the same time, concerns remain about the maturity of such projects, as well as the prevalence of scams and lack of innovation evidenced in many of the hundreds of available digital currency offerings available today.
While Di Iorio said that he believes Apple may have legitimate reasons for wanting to restrict particular digital currencies, Voorhees said that he thinks the company is choosing which ones to allow "on a whim".
"I would strongly recommend to Apple that they not pick and choose digital assets for their users. It would be like telling users which music they could download, or which websites they could visit on their iPhone."
Image Credit: Andrey Bayda / Shutterstock.com
Apple did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
ShapeShift told CoinDesk that it, too, had run afoul of the list of approved currencies because it offers exchange services for other, non-approved blockchain-based tokens. ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees said that his company is seeking to re-list the app with support for six digital currencies.
To some, the move is a reminder that in the end, Apple has the final say on which apps are or aren't sold via its platform, regardless of whichever reasons the tech company is relying on to restrict certain digital currencies.
"As a consumer or a developer, when you use a closed and permissioned ecosystem like Apple's, you accept the fact that there will be a gatekeeper who polices for quality and value at their discretion," Coin Center executive director Jerry Brito remarked.
Coinbase Adds First Ethereum Token to Professional Trading Platform
Crypto exchange startup Coinbase is adding the 0x protocol token to its professional trading platform, Coinbase Pro.
Announced Thursday, the exchange said in a blog post that it had begun accepting
SpankChain Says Hacker Returned Stolen Crypto Funds
A hacker who stole 165.38 ETH from the SpankChain platform has returned the funds.
The payment platform focused on the adult industry announced Thursday that the hacker, who stole the funds from th
Korea's Largest Bitcoin Exchange Sells Stake in $350 Million Deal
Bithumb, currently the largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea by trading volume, just confirmed it has sold more than 38 percent of its total ownership to a blockchain consortium based in Sing
Nevada's Utilities Agency Eyes Blockchain for Energy Credit System
The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, a government agency charged with supervising and regulating power utility services in the state, is looking to implement blockchain for its energy credit tra
Fake News Site Used New Zealand Prime Minister to Pump Bitcoin Startup
A fake news site has used the likeness of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to promote articles on Facebook aimed to pump a crypto startup.
Local media source Stuff reported Friday that sev
FinCEN Blasts Iran's 'Malign' Use of Crypto to Bypass Economic Sanctions
A U.S. regulator is urging domestic exchanges to help prevent the Iranian regime from using cryptocurrency to bypass economic sanctions.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) published
3 Bitcoin Price Factors That Suggest Bears Are in Charge
The prospect of a deeper drop in bitcoin prices has increased, price-volume analysis indicates.
The world's most valuable cryptocurrency, which had been trading sideways since September 22, fell sh
Leading Auction House Christie's to Record Art Sales on a Blockchain
London-based Christie's, one of the oldest and most noted art auction houses in the world, is turning to blockchain tech to securely store sales and provenance data.
The firm, which has a history g