Apple cited the absence of licenses and permissions required for an app to be available in the App Store. Since Zeus has not provided any licenses, including money transmitter licenses, it is considered to be violating Apple’s policy.
Tech giant Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) has denied approving the latest version of the open-source, non-custodial Bitcoin (BTC) wallet Zeus. Zeus founder Evan Kaloudis took to Twitter to announce the news.
Zeus v0.7.6 has been rejected by Apple pic.twitter.com/9dNSjBrVBd
— EVAN KALOUDIS (@evankaloudis) June 14, 2023
Currently, the App Store offers the “0.7.5” version of Zeus. The next update was expected to improve some features, but it would not enable money transfers.
Notably, Apple cited the absence of licenses and permissions required for an app to be available in the App Store. Since Zeus has not provided any licenses, including money transmitter licenses, it is considered to be violating Apple’s policy.
Many experts believe that non-custodial wallets like Zeus should not be classified as money transmitters. In a non-custodial wallet, third parties do not store the assets or private keys, which is typical for a custodial wallet. As such, the Zeus wallet can be considered as just a client (interface) to a decentralized network that helps users generate private and public keys and store them on their devices. In general, these platforms do not need licenses or authorizations to operate because they do not act as the custodians of their users’ assets. But apparently, this exception does not apply when it comes to Apple’s app store.
Apple Threatening to Remove Damus from App Store
Recently, we reported about another app that faced scrutiny from Apple. Jack Dorsey-backed app Damus, which is the first iPhone app for the Nostr social network, might be removed from the store within the next 14 days unless it provides all the permissions Apple requires.
Damus allows users to exchange tips via Bitcoin using the Lightning Network. These payment exchanges go directly between users and are not controlled or initiated by Damus. The app runs on the Nostr platform and calls these payments “zaps”. Notably, zaps allow social media creators to receive compensation for content that often is posted for free on other platforms. The feature serves as a way to gift content creators, which attracts users. Meanwhile, Apple claims that this function is equivalent to buying and selling digital content. As a result, Apple believes that Damus violates its App Store Review Guidelines unless it is done through an in-app billing mechanism. The latter means that all in-app payments go through Apple, with the tech giant retaining a 30% fee.
“Damus doesn’t sell any digital goods or provide features for selling digital goods. It simply has a tip [button] for facilitating p2p transactions like venmo or cashapp.”
Jack Dorsey also noted that tipping on posts is about providing feedback rather than selling digital content. But Apple still insisted on removing the “zap” button.
Now the community is waiting for further updates on the future of the Zeus app.