Apple briefly pulls MetaMask from App Store

Ethereum wallet MetaMask went offline on Oct. 14 for several hours on Apple’s App Store, raising concerns about its removal from the marketplace. The wallet is connected to a range of Web3 decentralized applications (DApps). MetaMask claims to have over 30 million users worldwide.

On Oct. 14, reports surfaced that the MetaMask app no longer appeared in the App Store. Apple users were also unable to download the application from the MetaMask website.

According to a spokesperson for MetaMask, the issue isn’t related to any security incident or malicious activity:

“We’re aware that MetaMask isn’t currently available for download on the App Store. This issue is unrelated to any malicious activity. Our dedicated team is working diligently to resolve it as quickly as possible. Importantly, this is not a security concern, and there is no compromise or action required on users’ part. Additionally, it’s not related to the app’s functionality.”

Apple’s service policies are likely behind the app’s disappearance. According to the marketplace’s guidelines, it doesn’t allow apps to run “unrelated background processes”, such as cryptocurrency mining.

According to MetaMask, the removal of its app was only temporary. “We anticipate that MetaMask will be back on the App Store shortly,” a spokesperson said minutes before app turned back on, adding that any fake MetaMask apps on the App Store should be reported immediately.

MetaMask faces challenges from Big Tech marketplaces for the second time. In December 2019, the company was suspended from Google Play’s app store for allegedly violating the company’s financial services guidelines. Google cited its policy prohibiting cryptocurrency mining on mobile devices and promptly rejected a MetaMask appeal to reverse the ban.

Apple’s guidelines also require app developers to share 30% of transaction revenues. For crypto firms, including those that want iOS users to be able to purchase nonfungible tokens (NFT), the 30% Apple tax has also been a barrier.

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