Coinbase iOS App No Longer Offers NFT Transfers!

On December 1st, Coinbase took to Twitter to announce a halt on their NFT transfers for Apple users. This was owing to Apple blocking the crypto exchange from releasing its latest app update. The feature was halted due to this in-app purchase dispute. Read on to learn about what this means for web2 vs web3 mega corporations and how they operate.

A picture of a mobile phone with the Coinbase App open, with a silhouette of the Apple company logo on the background

Why Did Apple Block Coinbase?

In the crossfire of many tech CEO’s calling out Apple for its various app store policies and limitations, Coinbase is the latest victim. It was recently outed by Elon Musk that Apple takes a 30% tax on in-app purchases. This in turn affects Coinbase. In the Twitter thread, Coinbase stated “Apple’s claim is that the gas fees required to send NFTs need to be paid through their In-App Purchase system.” This is  so that they can collect 30% of the gas fee. This is practically not possible due to how the blockchain (and gas fees) works.

Apple’s In-App Purchase System is a clear conflict due to the fact that Coinbase could not fulfill these requirements even if it tried. To draw parallels, this would be like Apple trying to take a cut off of every email sent on the internet. Virtually impossible. This policy impacts NFT owners on the Apple (and iOS) ecosystem the most. To quote Coinbase “if you hold an NFT in a wallet on an iPhone, Apple just made it a lot harder to transfer that NFT to other wallets, or gift it to friends or family.”

This policy creates a transaction where Apple protects profits while letting other ecosystems hang in the balance. There have been clear limitations on the NFT and crypto sector owing to these policies for Apple users. Policies like these also affect developer innovations across both ecosystems. In the Twitter thread, no further information has been provided other than Coinbase hoping Apple understands the far impacts of these moves. Coinbase has high hopes on Apple to look through this “oversight”. It has also reached out to Apple to offer help to turn the situation around. Apple has yet to respond to these comments as of the time of writing.

About Coinbase

Coinbase is a top cryptocurrency exchange that makes it easy to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrency. Users can also use Coinbase to convert one cryptocurrency to another. Moreover, with Coinbase, users can also send and receive cryptocurrency to and from other people.

The attack on Apple is also a result of its various malpractices for years around its app store limitations. This was first pointed out by Spotify founder Daniel Ek on November 30th. Daniel posted a 21-tweet thread tagging top tech leaders. He alleges that Apple “gives itself every advantage while at the same time stifling innovation and hurting consumers.” Later on, Elon Musk also criticized the fee Apple charges software developers, including Twitter.


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