Controversy is beginning to surface between major corporations and Apple, specifically with regard to the App Store. It started with Epic Games and WordPress, who have been unintimidated by Apple’s egregious demands. Now Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has joined the fray.

But what exactly is Apple doing to companies and crypto innovation? Can the little guys fight the beast?

Many companies have quietly been forced to pay 30% of their earnings to the behemoth, which is far higher than fees to other payment providers. Smaller companies have been left with no choice but to pay-the-price or risk losing their business. Beyond just paying high fees, Brian Armstrong gave a detailed thread on the challenges Coinbase is experiencing as a result of Apple’s policies.

Stating that negotiations have “hit a dead end,” Armstrong thinks that Apple is “holding back progress in the world.” Brain stated that Apple’s App store has thrown numerous obstacles in front of the Coinbase Team, making it difficult for users to enjoy normal features of the app such as their product Coinbase Earn and their recommendation of DeFi sites and services.

Participants in the Coinbase Earn product earn free tokens while learning about the crypto community – a win-win. Apple, having an issue with the product, has forced users to navigate through a maze if they wish to use Coinbase Earn. Brian Armstrong has conjectured that it may have to do with Apple Pay –  a conflict of interest with Coinbase. It will be interesting to monitor the precedent this dispute lays out for future censorship within the space.

Will public dissatisfaction be enough to change Apple’s tune? Epic Games defied Apple and Fortnite is now out of the store. An antitrust lawsuit has unfolded between the two and is yet to be resolved. In the midst of the Apple vs. Epic lawsuit, Coinbase is waiting to hear back regarding its own formal request for change. The response should ultimately shed light on which side will budge first. Until the dust settles, it looks like paying the piper is the only solution for unhappy customers.

A win for Coinbase would be big for crypto innovation, something the team will continue to monitor.

By Adam Tarlowski