On October 14, MetaMask, the popular Ethereum wallet boasting over 30 million users, faced an unexpected setback when its application mysteriously vanished from Apple’s App Store. Users eager to download the app were met with disappointment as they couldn’t find it either on the App Store or on the MetaMask website. This incident sent ripples across the cryptocurrency community, prompting concerns about its potential removal from the iOS ecosystem.
However, a spokesperson for MetaMask was quick to allay these fears, asserting that the disappearance was unrelated to any security breach or malicious activity. The company emphasized that users’ assets remained secure, and there was no compromise requiring user intervention. Furthermore, they assured users that the app’s functionality had not been affected.
The primary reason for the app’s removal seems to be Apple’s stringent service policies. Apple’s guidelines prohibit apps from running “unrelated background processes,” which encompasses activities like cryptocurrency mining. As MetaMask deals with Ethereum and various decentralized applications (DApps) in the Web3 ecosystem, it’s possible that this guideline led to the temporary takedown.
Shortly after the disappearance, a MetaMask spokesperson stated, “We anticipate that MetaMask will be back on the App Store shortly.” True to their word, the application was restored shortly thereafter. Users were advised to report any fake MetaMask apps on the App Store, as they may pose security risks.
This isn’t the first time MetaMask has faced challenges in major app marketplaces. In December 2019, Google Play suspended MetaMask, citing violations of financial services guidelines and policies that prohibited cryptocurrency mining on mobile devices. Despite MetaMask’s appeals, Google refused to lift the ban, marking a prior clash with big tech over their application.
Additionally, the “Apple tax” of 30% on transaction revenues has been a significant concern for cryptocurrency firms, including those dealing with nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and other blockchain assets. This levy has made it challenging for such companies to operate within the iOS ecosystem.
While the incident caused a brief disruption for MetaMask users, it serves as a reminder of the challenges that cryptocurrency-related applications face when dealing with the strict policies and guidelines imposed by major app marketplaces, in this case, Apple’s App Store. As the cryptocurrency space continues to evolve, navigating these hurdles is essential for widespread adoption and accessibility.