Apple to delist Nostr-based Damus app for Bitcoin tip feature

Due to its Bitcoin (BTC) tipping feature, the decentralized social media app called Damus could face the axe from the Apple app store.

The creators behind the decentralized social media platform shared a warning letter from Apple on June 13. The letter warned that the app will be removed from the platform because of the “Zaps” feature that allows people to tip users and content creators in Bitcoin. The Bitcoin tipping feature was made possible through the integration of the Lighting Network widget to make Bitcoin payments and tips directly on the platform.

The Apple team in its warning claimed that the Zaps feature violates their policy that prohibits any other form of tipping feature other than in-app purchases. The tech giant claimed even though the tipping feature may be optional, “if they are connected to or associated with receiving digital content, they must use in-app purchase in accordance with guideline 3.1.1.”

The Damus team called it a watershed moment with huge implications for platforms with peer-to-peer support. The team also clarified that Damus doesn’t sell any digital goods or provide features for selling digital goods. It simply has tip buttons for facilitating p2p transactions like Venmo or Cashapp.

Bitcoin or crypto tipping has become quite popular on social media platforms and the likes of Twitter and Reddit have also enabled the same. The crypto tipping feature makes way for peer-to-peer transactions that don’t require an intermediary to process such transactions. Apple themselves approved a Bird game app with Bitcoin tipping in 2015.

Nostr creator who goes by the Twitter name Walker pointed out that the reservation made by Apple against its policies was wrongly placed as Damus is not selling any digital content and requested the tech giant to rectify their mistake.

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Many other crypto proponents also questioned how tips on Twitter are ok while the same feature on Damus violates Apple’s policies. While others accused Apple of protecting the interest of Silicon Valley over decentralization.

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