Blockchain CEO Nicolas Cary said he isn’t looking to pick a legal fight with Apple, even after accusing the tech giant of maneuvering to eliminate competition from bitcoin wallet services.
Cary told CNBC that he’d rather establish a dialogue with Apple.
“We want to cooperate with the Apple requirements,” Cary told CNBC. “I want to build beautiful, simple and secure products, but what I can’t comply with is the requirement of not being a coin wallet. It is hard to gauge what they want when they only give you a terse e-mail for saying that your app was removed for something they don’t tell you about.”
Cary insists that Apple is acting to eliminate the mobile payments competition quickly evolving among bitcoin wallet providers. Apple yanked Blockchain’s bitcoin wallet app this week, the last such offering left on the App Store for iPhone and iPad users.
U.K.-based Blockchain is the world’s largest bitcoin wallet provider and had been in the App Store for two years. It had been downloaded 120,000 times.
The Blockchain removal has stirred up the bitcoin community of miners, traders and enthusiasts, causing an anti-Apple uproar that includes YouTube videos of bitcoiners destroying their iPhones.
“I think in the future, Apple will come around,” Cary said. “Obviously, you’re seeing an enormous reaction to this news by bitcoin enthusiasts around the world.”
Meanwhile, smartphones powered by Google’s Android system carry mostly all available major bitcoin wallet apps.
Apple isn’t about to get left out of the developing mobile-payments business. A new report from the Wall Street Journal last month said Apple is preparing to expand its existing services to help consumers pay for physical goods and services with their smartphones.
In doing so, Apple will start with a formidable advantage — 575 million iTunes accounts (as of last year), most of them tied to iPhone- and iPad-carrying consumers with registered credit cards.
“Apple has telegraphed they’ll do something on top of the hundreds of millions of credit cards they have on their system,” Cary said. “Bitcoin represents a major threat to any revenue model they may try to build. Anything they do with credit cards is not innovative. Bitcoin is.”
Despite the animosity, Cary still sees a positive outcome. When asked if Blockchain would file a lawsuit against Apple, Cary responded that he’d rather open a dialogue with Apple CEO Tim Cook than waste time and money on legal proceedings.
“I’d much prefer to work with Tim Cook and demonstrate how they’re missing out on the greatest innovation of our time.”
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