UPDATE (13 February 15:30 GMT): Mycelium’s bitcoin wallet app has been re-instated into the Google Play store, following the removal of its ‘donation button’.
The wallet provider, which currently has “between 50,000 and 100,000 users” announced the news via a Reddit post.
Speaking to CoinDesk, Jan Dreske, a Mycelium developer, said:
“We received an email from Google yesterday evening after uploading a new beta version for our testers, and the app was suspended at the same time.”
Dreske explains that the email cited “violation of the paid and free provision of the Content Policy and section 3.5 of the Developer Distribution Agreement” and referred Mycelium to a Third Party Payments help centre article.
The Content Policy states that developers are exempt from using Google Play’s in-app billing service as a method of payment “where the payment is for digital contents or goods that may be consumed outside of the app itself”.
The developer added that the team could not find any direct contradiction to the Terms of Service, saying that they “explicitly allowed to collect money for goods used outside the app”.
The decision to remove the app from the Google Play store has not gone unnoticed by commentators.
A Reddit user, who goes by the name of ‘bgrnbrg’, suggested that the “small percentage” charged to small traders may have resulted in the removal of the app.
This potential cause of the app’s removal is outlined in Section 3.5, which notes: “If the product is free, you will not be charged a transaction fee. You may not start charging a user for a product that was initially free unless the charge correlates with an alternative version of the product. The Payment processor must process all fees a developer receives for any version of a product distributed via the store.”
No impact to ‘current users’
Dreske said that they are “currently unable to push updates through the Google Play store, which will turn into a problem if this situation does not get resolved”.
However, “current users will not experience any problems”, as already installed apps “work fine”, he said.
Dreske confirmed that a complaint explaining why Mycelium feels “the app was removed in error” has been filed with Google.
CoinDesk contacted Google about the matter, but the company declined to comment.
Users wanting to download the app can still do so at the Mycelium website.