Is Apple now okay with Bitcoin apps?

June 2, 2014, 9:53 PM UTC

Has Apple (AAPL) had a change of heart over apps that use Bitcoin?

The tech giant released updated guidelines for app developers on Monday – just after the company announced new operating systems for Macs and mobile devices – that appear to permit apps for transmitting Bitcoin and other virtual currencies.

Section 11.17 of the new guidelines reads: “Apps may facilitate transmission of approved virtual currencies provided that they do so in compliance with all state and federal laws for the territories in which the app functions.” Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether or not the policy covers Bitcoin.

Silicon Valley investor Bill Lee was among the first people to take to Twitter Monday afternoon after the new guidelines were released in order to wonder whether the policy update means Apple is suddenly at peace with the idea of allowing Bitcoin wallet apps into its online app store. Others followed soon after with further speculation, including Bitcoin-backer Tyler Winklevoss.

In February, Apple pulled a popular Bitcoin wallet app called Blockchain from its online app store “due to an unresolved issue.” At the time, many people speculated that Apple’s decision to block the app (and to not offer much in the way of its reasoning) supported the notion that Apple could be developing a mobile payment platform of its own.