Apple pulled a paid iOS app from its App Store on Monday (Dec. 11) after MyEtherWallet, a free app to store digital currencies, complained the paid version had appropriated its name.
According to a report in Reuters, MyEtherWallet said on Sunday via Twitter that the app that was charging $4.99 per download on the App Store had stolen the MyEtherWallet name and was not the same as its free service. MyEtherWallet was the third-most popular finance app on the App Store before the company removed it.
Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said in an email that the paid app had been removed, though he did not share how many customers had purchased the app or if Apple would refund those impacted customers. MyEtherWallet spokesman Jordan Spence said the developer of the free app had not seen signs that the fraudulent version had been used to steal from those who downloaded it, though a team is still looking into the possibility.
Interest in cryptocurrency, particularly bitcoin, is surging among regular people and the mainstream media. On Sunday (Dec. 10) the Cboe World Markets launched its bitcoin futures which jumped 26 percent in value, prompting the exchange to place temporary halts in trading to calm the market. CME Group, the largest futures exchange in the U.S., will roll out its own bitcoin futures on Dec. 18.
Apple’s problem with the fake app in the App Store comes at a time when Apple developers in China, which number 1.8 million, have earned a combined $16.93 billion and now account for approximately 25 percent of total global App Store sales. Apple CEO Tim Cook made those comments this past weekend during the fourth World Internet Conference in China.
Cook has visited the country several times this year as Apple aims to boost its business in China, including an October visit during which he met President Xi Jinping. China’s president also made prepared remarks at the conference.