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Summary:

A change to Apple’s terms of service suggest a possible thaw in the company’s long-standing hostility to virtual currencies.

According to one bitcoin investor, Apple has updated the terms of service for its app store, now permitting developers to offer apps that transmit virtual currencies.

Silicon Valley investor Bill Lee pointed out Monday after WWDC 2014 that the company has updated its terms to read:

1.17 Apps may facilitate transmission of approved virtual currencies provided that they do so in compliance with all state and federal laws for the territories in which the app functions

Lee’s claim sparked a flurry of comments and retweets from other virtual currency boosters, including the Winkelvoss twins.

Apple did not immediately reply to a question for comment.

If the report is true, it could signify an important breakthrough for bitcoin. Apple has so far shown a cold shoulder to the virtual currency, booting the popular Blockchain app from its store in February after doing the same to Coinbase — another mainstream bitcoin service — in November. Meanwhile, such apps are flourishing on Android devices.

Apple has been tight-lipped about why it has been excluding the apps. The two most popular theories are that the company doesn’t want competition for its own virtual currency plans, and that the company doesn’t want to get involved with a product that has been subject to numerous criminal and regulatory probes.

Finally, we should note that Apple’s reported terms-of-service update refers to “virtual currencies” — which may or may not include bitcoin.

 

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  1. Have the laws been developed yet concerning these virtual currencies?
    Leslie

    1. Edward Snowden swo8 Friday, June 6, 2014

      Not many. The IRS has only said that capital gain taxes must be paid on profits.

      1. You have to declare them first. Some of these interactions may not be as closely monitored as bank truncations are.
        Leslie

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