Bitcoin fans destroy iPhones to protest against Apple’s policy

iphone-smashCouple of days back, Apple removed Blockchain, world’s most popular bitcoin wallpet from the App Store.

This hasn’t gone down too well with some fans of the digital currency as they’re protesting against Apple’s policy by destroying their iPhones.

The protests seem to have started after a reddit user with handle round-peg promised to gift a Nexus 5 to people who posted videos of them smashing their iPhones for every 100 upvotes his thread received. The thread quickly made it to the homepage only to be removed for violating reddit’s policy, which prohibits vote manipulation.

Jeremy, a missionary from Argentina shot this video of himself smashing the iPhone with a steel bar. You can hear him whispering  “Go bitcoin. Down with Apple.” He apparently did this in the middle of the night, and did not want to wake up his wife and kids.

Ryan, a computer network engineer, went to a Dallas range to destroy his iPhone with a riffle:

Another user used a machete to destroy his iPhone 5:

They haven’t received a confirmation that they’ll be getting a Nexus 5, but round-peg has apparently put $200 in an escrow account for the phones.

The reason for the removal is not yet known as the developer received an email from Apple stating that the app was removed due to an “unresolved reason.”

Some think the popular digital currency app got pulled because it is a “threat” to what Apple wants to do in the future with mobile payments. It’s been rumored that Apple is working hard behind the scenes to offer its own mobile payment service, making its new iBeacon platform just a proxy for that plan.

Blockchain’s Cary thinks Apple is readying for its own mobile payments system. “I think that Apple is positioning itself to take on mobile payments in a way they haven’t described to the public and they’re being anti-competitive.”

It is quite clear that Apple has a problem with bitcoin wallet, which allowed users to send and receive the digital currency, as Blockchain was the last bitcoin wallet available in the App Store,  and apps such as ZeroBlock (iTunes link) that provide a real-time bitcoin ticker and news feed continue to be available in the App Store.

It is also not clear if the legal uncertainty around bitcoin spooked Apple. It would have been nice if Apple clarified their stand on bitcoin apps and what it meant by “unresolved reason,” but based on past experience, that’s probably wishful thinking.

[via Wired]