According to Coinbase Wallet (a very popular cryptocurrency and NFT wallet), Apple would not approve an update to its app until it removed a feature that allowed users to transfer NFTs. Apple believes it is entitled to 30% of the transaction fees (“gas fees” in crypto parlance) paid to blockchain validators and miners whenever an NFT is sent from a Coinbase Wallet.
For clarity, this is not a fee that Coinbase Wallet is charging customers. Gas fees are pass-through transaction fees paid to blockchain miners or validators that neither Coinbase Wallet nor users have any control over (or get a piece of). Does Apple take 30% of wire transfer fees charged by banks? Do they take 30% of the fee that payment processors charge merchants for credit card purchases in the app store? I’m pretty sure they don’t, but if they do, someone should look into it. I would really like to know if Apple gets 30% of the $25-35 banks charge for a wire transfer.
This issue is bigger than it may appear. The decentralized finance industry (Web3, crypto, dApps, metaverse, NFTs, smart contracts, etc.) will struggle until its workflows and processes are incorporated into mainstream (Web2) apps and websites. Even if you don’t care about crypto or know anything about NFTs or gas fees, you have to sit back and acknowledge that with 1.2 billion iPhone users, Apple has an outsized power to control (or at least strongly influence) the way we transact business online.
Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.