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Removal of Bitcoin app Blockchain from App Store causes fans to ditch iPhones

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(Credit: Reuters) One of the first customers to purchase the Apple iPhone 5S celebrates after exiting the Apple Retail Store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, New York.iPhone 5S
February 7
7:04 AM 2014

The decision of Apple Inc to take out a program that can send and receive Bitcoins from its App Store have led customers like Barry Silbert to end their devotion to the iPhone, Bloomberg reported. Silbert, the Chief Executive Officer of Second Market Inc, told the news agency through email that he is making the switch and will look for a new phone this weekend.

According to the report, fans of the technology company from Wall Street to Silicon Valley are now getting more frustrated at the Cupertino, California-based firm. Apple wants its apps to be legal wherever they are offered. However, the legal status of the Bitcoin has been questioned in some governments like China and India, the report said.

The removal of Blockchain has caused a backlash, with some fans taking extreme action to showcase their disapproval. Online videos posted by some displeased users show them mauling their iPhones. A sniper rifle was used by one to shoot his iPhone, another used a metal bar while still another hurled the iPhone down the stairs, the report said.

Bitcoins are software and computing devices facilitate transactions. While there is no actual physical currency, the money is accepted by various merchants. Those with Bitcoins use mobile applications like Blockchain and Coinbase to pay for their purchases. Coinbase was taken out from the App Store last year, the report said.

Users downloaded Blockchain 120,000 times before it was pulled out from the App Store. The company has also removed other applications that allow digital money payments from its App Store. Gliph Inc, however, is a Bitcoin app that Apple allowed to stay in the store after the company took out its ability to send and receive the digital currency.

Gliph Inc CEO Rob Banagale told Bloomberg, "Apple has been acting to suppress Bitcoin apps for years. Few consumers are using Bitcoin actively yet, including Apple customers."

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