US Congress Members Send Apple CEO Letter Seeking Clarity on Blockchain & NFT Policies for App Store
US Congressman Gus Bilirakis and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky have sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook seeking clarity on App Store guidelines for apps utilizing NFT and blockchain technologies in order to find out if their policies are limiting innovation.
US Congressman Gus Bilirakis and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Chairman and Ranking Member of the Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee respectively, have sent in a bipartisan letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook in order to find out more about the company’s App Store policies regarding blockchain, NFT, and distributed ledger technologies in an effort to understand if Apple is limiting innovation and “American technological leadership.”
Signed by the two Congress members, Bilirakis shared the letter in a tweet yesterday, July 29, with the full press release available on his website, linked in a reply to the tweet down below.
Apple has until August 14th to respond to the letter, which contains various different questions related to App Store’s guidelines, with the letter showing concern for how Apple handles apps utilizing blockchain technologies, stating that it seems as if the company has been using its App Store guidelines “to increase its own profits and reduce the utility of apps in blockchains, NFTs, and other blockchain-related technology,” citing Coinbase as an example of such a case. Back in December last year, Coinbase had to remove NFT transfers from its iOS version of the Wallet app due to Apple reportedly requiring the exchange to pay a 30% cut of the gas fees, which, as we all know, is impossible to do.
The questions asked in the letter could be useful for everyone making apps to see answered, not just blockchain game developers. It’ll be interesting to see how Apple responds to them, as their answers could be quite significant for the future of dApps on the App Store.
Axie Infinity co-founder Jeffrey “Jihoz” Zirlin has reached out to Bilirakis, expressing interest to speak to the congressman about how “NFTs and Blockchain can empower every American (alongside the people of the world) by giving them true sovereignty over their money and personal data.” As the game was mentioned in the letter, Jihoz also mentioned that he’d be happy to talk about the positives Apple has done so far, as well as discuss “where I think there can be expedited progress.”