Uniswap Wants to Launch Crypto Wallet App, but Apple Says Not So Fast

The company behind the top decentralized exchange said Apple is standing in the way of the offering.

AccessTimeIconMar 3, 2023 at 4:02 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:09 a.m. UTC

DENVER – Uniswap Labs, which backs the top decentralized exchange (DEX) on Ethereum, is planning to launch a mobile crypto wallet for iPhone users, but Apple (AAPL) seems to have other ideas.

“Apple won’t yet green-light our launch and we don’t know why – we’ve responded to their concerns, answered every question and reiterated that we are 100% compliant with their specifications,” a spokesperson for Uniswap Labs told CoinDesk.

The unexplained delay may add to Apple’s perception as a hardline gatekeeper in regulating the crypto world’s access to iOS, its mobile software ecosystem. The iPhone maker has refused to adapt its commerce policies to accommodate some crypto companies and also bans crypto trading apps that don’t use an “approved exchange.”

As a DEX, however, it's unclear if Uniswap could ever meet Apple's "approved exchange" criteria. That could mean trouble for its non-custodial crypto wallet app because it plans to also have a swap feature that routes trades through Uniswap's permissionless – and unregulated – decentralized exchange.

Uniswap Labs Design Lead Callil Capuozzo said he doesn't think the company or DEX need to fit into existing regulatory regimes in order for the wallet app to launch.

Other crypto wallet apps on iOS already support DEX token swaps; market leader Metamask even routes some trades through Uniswap. Adding to the confusion, Capuozzo said Apple is giving different answers to different companies on what is and isn't copacetic.

"It's a rulebook that nobody can read which is a really hard environment to operate in," he added.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a press release, Uniswap Labs said its planned mobile app is primarily a self-custodial crypto wallet, meaning users will have full ownership and control over their assets. The app will also offer the ability to “trade tokens directly with” Uniswap, where more than $1.2 billion in average 24-hour trading volume makes it by far the most trafficked decentralized finance (DeFi) exchange, per CoinGecko.

Rather than wait around for Apple, Uniswap Labs said it plans to release its app to 10,000 users via the TestFlight beta platform. Capuozzo said the limited release will give Uniswap an opportunity to show Apple its service is "safe."


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Danny Nelson

Danny is CoinDesk's Managing Editor for Data & Tokens. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.