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Apple Warms to Bitcoin as Blockchain Returns to App Store

Apple Inc. has reinstated the Blockchain bitcoin wallet application to its App Store almost six months after booting the popular program.

The service, which is also available on the Web and other mobile platforms, has 1.9 million users for its bitcoin wallet, according to Blockchain Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Nicolas Cary.

Blockchain’s mobile wallet for iPhones had been downloaded about 120,000 times before being removed in February. The decision to eject sparked outrage among bitcoin enthusiasts, who took to social media to make their point. One user shot his iPhone with a sniper rifle and another smashed one with a metal bar.

Blockchain is looking forward to “working with Apple to re-imagine how the the world transacts,” Cary said.

Apple didn’t explain its decision to block the app at the time, leading some bitcoin enthusiasts to accuse the Cupertino, California-based company of seeking to stifle competition with a new form of payment. At the time, governments were also cracking down on bitcoin exchanges, creating legal uncertainty.

Since then, the relationship between Apple and bitcoin thawed before today’s breakthrough. It released guidelines in June about using digital currencies in applications, and on July 22, Gliph, a startup that lets users send bitcoins to friends, returned to the App Store.

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