Dan Finlay, co-founder of MetaMask and former Apple employee, is in support of the crypto sector abandoning Apple’s App Store entirely, calling Apple’s 30% in-app purchase tax a “monopoly abuse.”
Finlay responded to the news that Coinbase’s iOS Wallet software had previously been banned by Apple until it disabled NFT transfer features by saying, “I will absolutely stand in solidarity here.”
Coinbase’s Wallet said Thursday that its users will no longer be able to trade or transfer NFTs via its iOS app, stating that even if it wanted to comply with the “Apple tax,” it would be unable to do so due to Apple’s lack of integration with blockchains such as Ethereum.
“I assume [MetaMask] and every other wallet is next,” Finlay tweeted today. “I’m ready to dump the Apple ecosystem. The 30% tax is an abuse of monopoly.” It is unknown what this means for current MetaMask iOS app users.
Finlay, though, is not the only crypto supporter to express contempt for Apple’s policies. Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, and Ryan Wyatt, CEO of Polygon Studios, have both expressed anger with the 30% tax on in-app purchases.
As crypto companies attempt to build out functionality for their mobile applications to provide consumers with an alternative to browser-only experiences, a number of them are being rejected or deleted from the iOS App Store due to Apple’s tax policies.
Such regulations can feel arbitrary in a world that is becoming increasingly digital. While firms such as Amazon are permitted to sell real products in their applications tax-free, crypto companies such as OpenSea and Coinbase are not permitted to sell digital goods tax-free. Digital art (when exchanged as an NFT) is subject to taxation, whereas actual art is not.
Instagram, which recently introduced in-app NFTs, will adopt Apple’s 30% tax on all NFT sales, making mobile transactions far less attractive to customers.
In addition, it referenced section 3.1.1 of the App Store’s standards, which states that “Apps may not use their own mechanisms to unlock content or functionality, such as license keys, augmented reality markers, QR codes, cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency wallets, etc.”
According to Apple’s standards, apps are permitted to use in-app purchasing to sell and offer services linked to non-fungible tokens (NFTs), such as minting, listing, and transferring, but all of these transactions are subject to a 30% tax.