Coinbase says Apple blocked its last app release on NFTs in wallet


FILE PHOTO: A representation of cryptocurrency is seen in front of Coinbase logo in this illustration taken March 4, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

(Reuters) -Coinbase Global Inc said on Thursday customers using Apple Inc's iOS will not be able to send non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the cryptocurrency exchange's wallet anymore.

"Apple's claim is that the gas fees required to send NFTs need to be paid through their In-App Purchase system, so that they can collect 30% of the gas fee," Coinbase Wallet added in a tweet.

Coinbase said it would not be able to comply with the requirement even if it tried as the iPhone maker's proprietary in-app purchase system does not support crypto.

"Apple has introduced new policies to protect their profits at the expense of consumer investment in NFTs and developer innovation across the crypto ecosystem," said Coinbase, adding the policy was similar to Apple trying to take a cut of fees for every email that gets sent over open internet protocols.

Apple did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on the matter.

The 30% fees has been a contentious point between the world's most valuable company and other app developers like Spotify and "Fortnite" maker Epic Games, which have accused the company of misusing its "monopoly".

Coinbase's issue with Apple comes at difficult time for the crypto exchange, whose shares are down roughly 80% so far this year. The company has also cut jobs to manage expenses as investors lose appetite for cryptocurrencies.

NFTs, which are digital assets that exist on the blockchain and carry unique digital signatures, exploded in popularity in 2021 but have seen demand crippled by the crypto winter in recent months.

Cryptocurrencies have been roiled as higher interest rates and worries of an economic downturn force investors to dump risky assets with the recent collapse of rival exchange FTX also piling pressure on the industry.

(Reporting by Manya Saini in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Shailesh Kuber)

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