Temporary removal sparks concerns as MetaMask faces a brief hiatus from Apple App Store, raising questions about crypto wallet accessibility.

Over the weekend, there was a sort of Greek tragedy on steroids between Apple and the cryptocurrency wallet MetaMask.

Indeed, rumours that the MetaMask programme was no longer available in the Apple Store started to spread at some point on Saturday, particularly on X.

On the wallet’s official profile, the news was later verified.

In addition, the official statement stated that the developers were trying to get the app back into the iPhone store as soon as possible. In fact, they announced the restoration of the app less than an hour later.

Google Play was unaffected by the removal; only the Apple Store was.


What transpired between Apple and MetaMask, a cryptocurrency wallet

Consensys built the cryptocurrency wallet MetaMask, however neither its public profile nor that of its parent business disclosed all the specifics of the incident.

It is reasonable to presume that the issue directly related to Apple Store policies, though, given how quickly the problem was resolved.

There’s a chance that a notification explaining the reason for the removal was sent to developers along with the removal.

The developers moved quickly to try to identify the issue’s location and a workaround, and it appears that they did so in a remarkably short amount of time.

They then submitted the app again to the Apple Store for review, and this time it was found to be in accordance with the platform’s policies.

The reason why

Apple has not formally revealed the reason behind the app’s removal from the Store.

The only information made public is that there was no security breach and that the removal had nothing to do with a user request. These claims imply that the developers were fully aware of the policies of the Apple Store that were discovered to have been broken.

It sounds at least a bit odd that they choose to withhold this information still.

A similar incident occurred on Google Play in the beginning of 2020, but it was a misunderstanding because it occurred in a totally different setting and with a far older version of the app. The last time the issue was resolved, it took several days; this time, it only took a few hours.

Therefore, it is assumed that, unlike in 2020, where it was sufficient to demonstrate that the app was not mining, the developers had to step in this time to make a change.

It appears, though, that the modifications were made to the Apple account that was used to add the programme to the Store rather than the software itself.

In fact, according to Taylor Monahan, lead product manager at MetaMask, the issue identified by Apple had nothing to do with the programme itself and was instead related to “something procedural (?) with the Apple account.”

This explains why they were able to figure it out so fast.

Dangers to users

Therefore, there shouldn’t have been any risk for MetaMask users.

The programme was only unavailable to download and install for a few hours, but it was always live and useable routinely and consistently. Nothing changed at all for those who had already downloaded and installed it.

However, in these situations, it is advised against keeping all of your tokens in a single wallet, specifically because wallet issues might occasionally arise. The likelihood that the funds will all really be banned is much decreased when they are kept apart in distinct wallets.

Furthermore, MetaMask’s code is publicly available, meaning that anyone may theoretically visit and examine its functionality.

Because it is a non-custodial wallet, the user can alone possess the wallet’s private keys and seed, further enhancing its security.

The fact that it remained available on Google Play amply illustrates that Apple’s policies were the root of the issue, not the wallet.

Apple’s guidelines for the cryptocurrency wallet MetaMask

It may be argued that Apple has stricter regulations than Google Play.

For instance, it mandates that a percentage of the proceeds from downloaded programmes from the Apple Store be returned to Apple; this also has an impact on MetaMask.

However, wallet users cannot share, in whole or in part, the fees they pay to send tokens with Apple because they go to the miners or validator nodes rather than MetaMask or Consensys.

All the same, given it seems to be related to MetaMask’s Apple account rather than the software itself, this was probably not a cost issue.

Developer accounts that submit apps to Apple’s Store are likewise subject to stringent regulations; in this instance, it’s possible that a briefly absent criterion was all that was needed to reactivate the account.

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