Bitcoin-Friendly App Damus Avoids Apple Deplatforming After 2-Week Battle Over 'Zaps' Tipping

Apple had threatened to eject the bitcoin-friendly social media app from its App Store by June 27 unless Damus removed the ability to receive bitcoin tips via “zaps” on content posts.

AccessTimeIconJun 28, 2023 at 6:18 p.m. UTC
Updated Jun 29, 2023 at 2:59 p.m. UTC

Bitcoin-friendly social media app Damus received approval to remain in the Apple App Store on Wednesday, after a two-week battle that started on June 13 when the tech giant threatened to eject it from the App Store for violating the company’s in-app purchase guidelines by allowing tips or “zaps” on content paid for with bitcoin (BTC) instead of Apple Pay.

The new version of Damus will no longer have zaps on posts – a configuration Apple reportedly considers equivalent to selling digital content – but will still allow users to send zaps to each other at the profile level.

Apple has come under fire from the Bitcoin community – among them former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey – with complaints that it’s impeding bitcoin adoption by imposing overly rigid guidelines when it comes to bitcoin-friendly applications on the App Store. The tech giant told CoinDesk it “reviews all apps against the same set of guidelines.”

Some Damus supporters considered the approval a small win despite the compromise to restrict zaps to profiles.

“The most important thing is that the concept of zaps exists,” one user tweeted. “Medium term, it will revolutionize social media. Patience.”

Damus creator William Casarin previously told CoinDesk he found Apple’s review process frustrating, but the Canadian developer has already moved on to adding new features to his app after compromising with the tech giant.

“Damus v1.5 approved,” Casarin posted on the decentralized social media app late Tuesday. “Onward.”

Edited by Bradley Keoun.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Frederick  Munawa

Frederick Munawa was a Technology Reporter for Coindesk. He covered blockchain protocols with a specific focus on bitcoin and bitcoin-adjacent networks.