According to the exchange, the decision to disable the send NFTs feature in Coinbase Wallet came after Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) blocked the crypto platform’s app release over demands that gas fees be paid via the app to allow for a 30% cut for the iPhone maker.
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This in-app purchase dispute meant Coinbase had no option but to disable the feature for now – citing the fact that Apple’s in-app purchases do not support crypto payments. The exchange tweeted:
“For anyone who understands how NFTs and blockchains work, this is clearly not possible. Apple’s proprietary In-App Purchase system does not support crypto so we couldn’t comply even if we tried.”
‘Apple tax’ demand hurts consumers
Apple charges a commission to apps for every App Store of in-app purchase, including from subscribers. This fee stands at 30% and is dubbed “Apple Tax” within the online community. It’s a fee that came to the fore even more following a brief ‘dispute’ between Elon Musk’s Twitter and the smartphone maker.
The company wants Coinbase to make it possible for the surcharge to happen, but as noted, the crypto exchange says this cannot work. According to the US-based exchange, Apple’s demand for a 30% cut of all Ethereum gas fees paid on NFT transfers by iOS users is not different from an attempt to grab a fee “for every email that gets sent over open Internet protocols.”
While this could be an oversight on the tech company’s side and one likely to be navigated with further conversations between the companies, Coinbase believes the immediate impact is on consumers. iPhone users won’t be able to send or gift NFTs to other wallets. It also harms innovation across the ecosystem, the exchange tweeted.
Coinbase has halted the iOS NFT transfer feature roughly a month after an Apple App Store update that allowed in-app NFT purchases, as well as minting, listing and transfer.