Coinbase's iOS Wallet App Disables NFT Transfers Due to Apple's New Strict Fee Policies

Coinbase’s iOS Wallet App Disables NFT Transfers Due to Apple’s New Strict Fee Policies

5 December 2022

It is no longer possible to make NFT transactions using Coinbase’s Wallet iOS app since Apple has implemented tight new policies regarding non-fungible tokens, which were announced in October.

Coinbase tweeted this on Thursday:

Coinbase's iOS Wallet App Disables NFT Transfers Due to Apple's New Strict Fee Policies

Even though NFTs aren’t directly banned by Apple, each transaction will now incur a 30% tax. Those companies that don’t adhere to these requirements will have their apps removed from the AppStore.

According to Coinbase, Apple plans on taking 30% on all gas fees (fees on all Ethereum blockchain transactions) associated with NFT transactions performed through the wallet application, which is something that Coinbase says is impossible.

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

Gas is the fee that users pay whenever they make a transaction on the Ethereum blockchain, including simply moving NFT assets from one wallet to another. The network needs these fees to function. Moreover, these fees cannot be regulated by one entity alone and are more complex than fixed fees.

Smart contracts’ performance and Ethereum network traffic determine the price of gas, which is calculated in gwei and paid in ETH. More experienced users can pay a higher fee if they wish their transactions to be processed faster.

Coinbase is not pleased with the constraints on its mobile wallet, comparing it to Apple wanting to charge users fees for sending emails over open web protocols.

Apparently, Apple’s in-app purchase fees have upset many crypto advocates, including Epic Games’ head Tim Sweeney, who previously already sued the corporation for its practices.

Ryan Wyatt, the CEO of Polygon Studios and former YouTube executive, echoes this opinion, accusing Apple of a criminal tax policy. In Wyatt’s opinion, the monopolistic nature of the tax will forever hinder technological advancement.

Twitter’s new CEO, Elon Musk, had also expressed concerns about Apple’s censorship, claiming that Apple wanted to remove Twitter from the AppStore. (Afterwards, Musk had a meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday, and Cook appears to have dispelled Musk’s worries).

According to Coinbase, the company hopes that this decision was the result of an oversight and wishes to resolve the issue in the near future. In addition, Coinbase is worried that Apple’s strict policy on gas fees will hinder the widespread adoption of NFTs and make user transfers more complicated.

“Apple has introduced new policies to protect their profits at the expense of consumer investment in NFTs and developer innovation across the crypto ecosystem,” Coinbase stated.

While Twitter users criticized Apple’s policies, others cited the potential of Solana’s Web3-native Saga phone, which is still being developed and does not have such restrictions. There is currently no estimated release date, but it is expected to be released in the first half of 2023.

“Today it was Apple, but tomorrow it could be Google,” Austin Federa, the head of Solana’s communication department, noted. “We need a 3rd option.”

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