The Damus app’s Bitcoin-linked feature, Zaps, has sparked a conflict with Apple’s App Store, potentially leading to its removal. Learn about the implications and the possibility of Damus having to remove Zaps to comply with Apple’s rules.

A Bitcoin-related feature of the Damus app can cause it to be removed from Apple’s app store. It is a characteristic of Damus called Zaps.

Apple: the Damus application and the Bitcoin link

A social network called Damus was developed using the decentralized Nostr protocol. Because Damus is created using open Internet standards, its use cannot be restricted or prohibited by anything or anybody. It is also encrypted and gives consumers complete control over their data and speech.

It doesn’t even need to be registered in order to use it, and opening an account doesn’t call for giving out personal information like phone numbers or email addresses. Because messages are dispersed across a decentralized network, it is not even based on a single server. Additionally, it may be programmed and incorporates bots to automate tasks.


Because it is based on Nostr, it also incorporates the protocol’s Zaps functionality, which allows for the almost free transmission of tips via the Lightning Network. In reality, Zaps are the primary means of transferring money in Nostr notes.

It is sufficient to have a client that supports the feature, such as Damus, and a wallet that is Zaps-compatible, such Wallet of Satoshi. This indicates that sending Bitcoin (BTS) in the form of Satoshi (Sat) via Zaps is actually possible. The smallest units of Bitcoin, or a hundred millionth of a BTC, are known as satoshis.

Therefore, Zaps permits sending and receiving Bitcoin, even though these are typically relatively small-value transactions. Sadly, Apple doesn’t appear to like this feature at all.

The Bitcoin use issue and the Apple issue

The Damus team itself brought attention to the issue on Twitter. In fact, they announced today that Apple has given their iOS software, version 1.4.3, a positive review. In actuality, the software would not adhere to the software Store’s rules, especially those that deal with in-app purchase payments.

Apple’s criticism primarily relates to transactions in Satoshi (Bitcoin), which are tips that may be sent on Damus utilizing the Zaps feature. The infraction specifically relates to using tips to pay for digital content in-app purchases.

However, it is unclear exactly what constitutes this infringement and, more significantly, why this action is forbidden. According to the Damus issue, Apple has banned tips because they could be used by content providers to sell digital content, thus the app will be taken down from the app store in 14 days.

Then they add a remark, saying:

This would be a watershed moment: If people can’t transact freely p2p on their platform, this has huge implications for the entire ecosystem of apps with lightning integration and v4v.

Bitcoin’s relationship to it

Evidently, the alleged breach against Damus has nothing to do with bitcoin as a currency. It most likely has something to do with the fact that LN transactions are neither censorable nor traceable, though.

Since they are completely uncensurable when purchased with LN, the selling of digital content appears to be the main issue.

Why Apple does not want to allow Damus users to sell digital content via this app is something that is difficult to comprehend. Additionally, only their users would be selling that content rather than Damus itself, and as the developers of this social network point out, the tips feature is available in other apps like Venmo or CashApp.

Furthermore, Twitter, another social network like Damus, has a feature that is comparable to this one. Why accept tips on the Twitter app from users but not on the Damus app?

It’s possible that the anonymity and non-tracking of transactions via LN are the only issues. In order to maintain its position in the app store, Damus will be compelled to delete the Zaps feature.

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