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Jack Dorsey Calls Out Tim Cook: Why Doesn’t Apple Pay Support Bitcoin?

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Block CEO Jack Dorsey is putting Apple CEO Tim Cook on blast for seemingly not supporting Bitcoin payments, per the app store’s policies.

His comments follow Apple’s recent confirmation that it would be pulling the Bitcoin-based social app, Damus, from its marketplace.

Apple’s Crackdown On Bitcoin

Damus is a decentralized social media app for interacting with Nostr – a Bitcoin-based protocol for exchanging information and messages in a censorship-resistant manner.

The app includes a tipping feature called “zaps” which let users tip one another in Bitcoin over the lightning network. The value exchange is totally peer-to-peer, and Damus takes no cut from such transactions.

Nevertheless, the feature ran afoul of Apple’s terms of service two weeks ago. The company said that it could allow for optional tips and donations, but not for payments that were required in exchange for digital content. “They must use in-app purchase in accordance with guideline 3.1.1,” said the company.


Damus refused to remove this functionality from its app, and tried to explain that zaps did not “unlock” any digital content for users. However, it received the same message from Apple again on Monday, and accepted that its removal from the app store was imminent.

“Their suggested fix is to use apple pay,” tweeted Damus on Tuesday. “Sure, I’ll use apple pay when it supports censorship-resistant, peer-to-peer payments to anyone in the world. Maybe start with peer-to-peer first?”

Jack Dorsey Responds

Jack Dorsey was quick to defend Damus on Monday upon hearing the news. “Tips aren’t unlocking content,” he said, rehashing the company’s own arguments.

He followed up on Tuesday by calling out Apple’s CEO specifically:

“Removed from the App Store for enabling tipping to everyone in the world without the need for a bank, payment card, or government permission,” he added.

Dorsey has previously praised Nostr for being one of two “truly censorship resistant technologies at scale” – alongside Bitcoin itself. While still the CEO of Twitter, Dorsey helped enable a tipping feature on the platform that incorporated Bitcoin lightning tips similar to those used by Nostr.

Tim Cook hasn’t shown interest in putting Bitcoin on Apple’s balance sheet but has confirmed that he personally owns some coins.

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