Apple disables version of Coinbase Wallet over NFT gas fees

Quick Take

  • Apple opted to block the latest version of Coinbase Wallet that would allow users to send one another NFTs, according to Coinbase.

  • The version of the app was shut down as Apple wants to take a 30% cut from gas fees for NFT transactions.

Apple blocked the latest version of Coinbase Wallet until a feature that allows users to send NFTs over iOS is disabled, according to the exchange.

“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 said in a tweet thread. 

If Apple does intend to take 30% of gas fees related to any blockchain transactions it would need to integrate a Web3 interface on its operating system, which iOS currently does not appear to support.

“For anyone who understands how NFTs and blockchains work, this is clearly not possible," Coinbase said. "Apple’s proprietary In-App Purchase system does not support crypto so we couldn’t comply even if we tried."

“This is akin to Apple trying to take a cut of fees for every email that gets sent over open Internet protocols,” the company continued, adding that users who hold NFT wallets on an iPhone will now have a more difficult time transferring that digital asset.

MetaMask developer and former Apple software engineer Dan Finlay publicly condemned Apple’s decision, likening it to an Orwelian foil.

“Oh I'll absolutely stand in solidarity here, I assume MM and every other wallet is next. I'm ready to dump the Apple ecosystem. The 30% tax is an abuse of monopoly. @tim_cook has donned the Big Brother screen,” he tweeted.

Apple and Coinbase did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Block.


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