Apple has issued a warning to decentralized social networking company Damus with expulsion from the App Store if it does not remove a feature that enables bitcoin payments.
Damus, which is based on a decentralized social media protocol Nostr, was developed as an alternative to Twitter and is backed by Jack Dorsey. Since its debut in February this year, the app has faced significant difficulties when trying to get listed in Apple’s global app store due to its decentralized nature, which is usually associated with a lack content moderation.
Apple versus Damus
In the latest development, Damus took to Twitter to reveal that the tech giant gave 14 days to remove a feature called “Zaps”. It allows the distribution of Bitcoin rewards in the form of tips through the integration of the Lightning Network widget. Apple claimed that this feature violated its in-app purchase requirement.
The social media app attached a screenshot of the tech giant’s disclaimer, which pointed to its feature allowing users to send “tips” associated with receiving content from digital content creators with a mechanism other than in-app purchase.
Apple said that “although tipping or donations may be optional if connected or associated with receiving digital content, they must use in-app purchase within guidelines.”
“It would be a watershed moment: if people can’t p2p transact freely on their platform, it has huge implications for the entire app ecosystem with Lightning and v4v integration.”
This isn’t the first time Damus has run into trouble. Last month, the app was banned from Apple’s Chinese App Store.
Urging Apple to correct its error, a creator of Nostr clarified that Damus app users do not “receive content from digital content creators” and the content is published on the network through many clients, which is completely free for everyone.
He added that users do not “pay for content” and “nothing is purchased”.
Several community members have drawn attention to Twitter itself, which also has a tip feature and accused Apple to play favorites.
Zaps on Twitter good ✅
Zaps on @damusapp bad ❌
Damus is forced to remove this feature, what about that? pic.twitter.com/nnq6ytna1I
— Damus⚡️ (@damusapp) June 13, 2023
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