Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of the Ethereum platform, is quite active on Twitter and absolutely does not hold back when there is something that needs to be said. This time, Apple’s app store was on the receiving end of his criticism: he thinks that it is strange that they get so much power and almost nobody complains.
I don’t get why Apple’s restrictive app store policies don’t get criticized more. One company (with market cap approaching $1 trillion) gets more de-facto filtering power over mobile internet users than many governments, heavily wields it, and so few tech people seem to complain.
— Vitalik “Not giving away ETH” Buterin (@VitalikButerin) June 27, 2018
He also argues that removing oneself from the conversation is not easier than drawing attention to the problem: “‘just switching to Android’ is more difficult than ‘just getting a VPN’,” he tweeted, referencing the way people get around government-imposed restrictions on the internet.
There were many theories as to what prompted this tweet, but one of the more prominent ones is that it was urged by Apple’s recent crackdown on crypto-related apps. The company, which has been known as having a relatively tough stance on crypto, now explicitly bans all apps that facilitate mining of cryptocurrencies from its app store.
Aside from outright banning mining, Apple also imposed strict restrictions on everything related to cryptocurrencies. Apple has taken a much stricter stance on crypto than its rival Google with its Google Play Store. Over the past few years, Apple has asked several businesses to stop accepting cryptocurrencies on their apps, and temporarily delisted a cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase from its app store a few years ago, as part of a broader initiative to crack down on cryptocurrency related activities.