Unable to Send NFTs on iOS Coinbase Wallet App: Here’s Why?
The only proper way to install apps on iOS or iPadOS is through Apple’s first-party App Store. Unlike on Android, you can’t install third-party stores without using dodgy alternatives that require a lot of data sharing.
Taking advantage of this, Apple levies a 30% tax they term as a service fee. It’s a commission that Apple takes from all App Developers. All in-app microtransactions are liable to be taxed up to 30%. There are occasionally exceptions, and many companies have complained that this policy was unfair exploitation.
Apple had several run-ins with companies because of this fee. Memorable ones include the disputes between Apple and Epic Games and Apple’s dispute with Spotify. In the end, Apple won the battle against Epic Games, and they removed the popular Battle Royale game Fortnite from their App Store.
The core reason for their disagreement was that Apple’s 30% tax for all in-game transactions was unfair, and Apple refused to change this policy. Epic Games was unwilling to comply, so Apple pulled their game out of the store.
A similar story follows with Spotify. While their app wasn’t purged, Spotify eliminated in-app transactions from their app. Users had to log in via a web browser to upgrade to Spotify Premium and complete the payment.
This way, they effectively avoid the 30% tax Apple charges since the payment is technically not being made in the app anymore. The main reason Apple denied giving Spotify a discount on this tax is that they wanted to get more people to use Apple Music. They don’t have to tax themselves, so they end up making more money in the end.
Now, news has surfaced that Apple has blocked the CoinBase Wallet app from sending NFTs. The App Store review team supposedly conveyed to the CoinBase team that “gas fees required to send NFTs need to be paid through in-app purchase.” We’re back to Apple wanting to levy their infamous 30% charges again, and this time with NFTs and Cryptocurrency.
The CoinBase team on Twitter quickly denied any such requirements, and they stated that the in-app transactions don’t even support Cryptocurrency in the first place. As a result, the assertion that costs for sending NFTs must be paid through the App Store was utterly false and impossible. Apple seemingly wanted a cut of the transactions.
According to reports, Apple prevented the current version of CoinBase from being released on the App Store and refused to approve the upgrade until they agreed to remove the NFT sharing function. CoinBase stated that these policies are profit-hungry schemes that deeply affect developer innovation in Cryptocurrency.
After the thread, CoinBase also wrote that they hoped this was a mistake or misunderstanding on Apple’s part since it would make NFT sharing for iOS users much harder, and they hope that Apple will cooperate. We will likely see NFT functionality back on the app if they do so.
If the two sides do not agree, we will likely see them redirect to a web browser for NFT sharing to bypass the 30% tax