Tech giant Apple has come under fire for its tight control of the App Store, where developers are required to use its payment system
Apple was previously fined in the millions by the Dutch antitrust watchdog. AFP / Chris DELMAS


  • Jack Dorsey defended Damus' Bitcoin tipping feature and challenged Apple to include Bitcoin in Apple Pay
  • Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong agreed with Dorsey and criticized Apple's "culture"
  • Damus has removed the tips on content feature to remain in the App Store

Apple stood by its guidelines despite receiving flack from high-profile cryptocurrency personalities, forcing decentralized social media app Damus to remove its Bitcoin tip button to remain in the tech giant's app marketplace.

Following the two-week battle with the tech giant, Damus, the social media app that comes with a Bitcoin tipping feature, finally received the approval from Apple to remain in its App Store on Wednesday.

On June 13, Apple threatened to remove Damus from the App Store for violating its in-app purchase guidelines by allowing users to pay "zaps" or tips on content with Bitcoin instead of the tech giant's Apple Pay.

Damus creator William Casarin explained the measures the team took in order to remain in the App Store.

"Had to remove the tip button to stay on the app store. I will still build Damus on iOS as a vanilla Nostr client, but if you want to zap posts, Apple says nah," Casarin tweeted Wednesday.

The new version of the decentralized social media app no longer features the zaps option, which Apple sees as an equivalent to selling digital content.

Damus, however, will still allow users to send zaps to other users at the profile level.

Zaps allows users to give tips in Bitcoin to their favorite content creators. It is similar to the tipping service Twitter introduced in 2021 when the social media platform was still led by Jack Dorsey.

After Damus shared an email from Apple warning the team about the possible removal of the app from its app marketplace, the tech giant received criticisms from Bitcoin enthusiasts and other high-profile crypto personalities.

Twitter founder and Nostr backer Jack Dorsey initially asked Apple to reconsider the decision since the feature is "a critical part of the future of the internet" and "has the capacity to bring people around the world into the economy without the traditional gatekeepers."

Dorsey also questioned why Apple Pay does not support Bitcoin after telling the tech giant that "Tips aren't unlocking content."

The former Twitter CEO later criticized Apple's move against Damus, saying, "Removed from the App Store for enabling tipping to everyone in the world without the need for a bank, payment card, or government permission."

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong also expressed his displeasure, saying "It's really crazy that Apple will unilaterally block you from running the software you want on your own device. One of the most disrespectful parts of their culture, and it's damaging to their brand."