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Coinbase Says Apple Blocked App Update Over NFTs

The cryptocurrency exchange says it's "simply not possible" to meet a requirement to use Apple's In-App Purchase system when sending NFTs.

Coinbase sticker on an Apple laptop
Coinbase first announced it was going to add NFTs to its wallet in December 2021.

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase said Thursday that Apple blocked users from sending non-fungible tokens on the Coinbase Wallet iOS app.

"You might have noticed you can't send NFTs on Coinbase Wallet iOS anymore," Coinbase, one of the biggest bitcoin exchanges in the world, tweeted Dec. 1 from its Coinbase Wallet account. "This is because Apple blocked our last app release until we disabled the feature."

According to Coinbase's tweet thread, Apple says "the gas fees required to send NFTs need to be paid through their In-App Purchase system, so that they can collect 30%." 

Coinbase says meeting that demand "is simply not possible."

"Apple's proprietary In-App Purchase system does not support crypto so we couldn't comply even if we tried," Coinbase said in a follow-up tweet. "This is akin to Apple trying to take a cut of fees for every email that gets sent over open Internet protocols."

People who are holding NFTs in their iPhone wallet will now find it a lot harder to transfer or gift them, Coinbase said. 

Apple said its App Store Review guidelines were designed to provide users with a safe and secure experience andare applied equally to all developers.

Coinbase didn't respond to CNET's request for comment.

In its tweet thread, 10-year-old Coinbase conceded that the NFT decision may have been an oversight and asked Apple to reach out.   

Coinbase announced back in December 2021 that it would be adding support for NFTs, Cointelegraph reported. On Tuesday, it revealed it was ending support for Bitcoin Cash, XRP,  Ethereum Classic and Stellar Lumen due to lack of use.

In August, Coinbase reported a loss of more than $1 billion in the second quarter.