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Date: 2022-12-01 19:59:23
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Coinbase has killed a non-fungible token (NFT) function on its mobile wallet because Apple demanded a cut, even though the cryptocurrency platform wasn't getting a cut either.
Driving the news: The company nixed a "Send NFT" function in its Coinbase Wallet, because it costs money (ether) to send an NFT.
Why it matters: Many large firms (and not a few informed users) in Silicon Valley are mad about the 30% Apple takes from any transaction that takes place on a large developer's iOS app.
What they're saying: "Apple’s claim is that the gas fees required to send NFTs need to be paid through their In-App Purchase system, so that they can collect 30% of the gas fee," Coinbase Wallet posted in a Twitter thread.
Context: Apple controls the most lucrative app marketplace in the world. Coinbase has, at times, been one of its most popular apps.
Zoom in: To send an NFT (to do literally anything on a blockchain) costs the sender a little money. Every time a user takes any action that goes into Ethereum or related blockchains, the user needs to pay the many computers that are going to run that computation.
Thus far, Apple has not objected to functionality that only concerns using tokens. Digital goods seem to be the key issue.
Coinbase has appealed Apple's decision, saying that it's not technically feasible to implement in-app purchases for sending NFTs within Coinbase Wallet, given the nature of blockchains.
Flashback: For a long time, Apple has had a hard time wrapping its head around blockchains and NFTs.
Quick take: If we had to bet, we'd say that Apple does not even have an Ethereum address to send their cut to, even if Coinbase found a way to pay them part of the gas fees.
Apple and Coinbase did not immediately reply to Axios' request for comment.