Apple Blocks Coinbase Wallet, Demands 30% Cut of NFT Gas Fees

Just when you thought Apple couldn’t get any greedier, the tech behemoth has made a grab for a 30% cut of gas fees… yep, NFT transaction gas fees to be precise. 

Coinbase says Apple has blocked the latest release of its non-custodial Coinbase Wallet app. Why? Seemingly because Apple thinks NFT gas fees should be paid through its own payments system, from which it can take its infamous 30% cut. 

Of course, this is absurd for a couple of reasons. Firstly, as anyone even remotely familiar with the crypto space knows, gas fees are charged by blockchain networks, not wallet or marketplace operators, thus those platforms have zero control over them – and are certainly not profiting from them.

Indeed, as the Coinbase Wallet team pointed out on Twitter, the situation “is akin to Apple trying to take a cut of fees for every email that gets sent over open Internet protocols.”

Secondly, even in the unlikely event that a platform like Coinbase Wallet thought it made sense to pay Apple a 30% cut of gas fees, Apple’s payment system doesn’t even support crypto – so, charges would have to be converted to fiat, incurring yet more fees and making things physically unworkable. 

Are we really supposed to believe that those making the decisions at Apple are this ignorant of crypto basics? And, if we apply logic to the situation, if Apple thinks it is owed 30% of gas fees for NFT transactions on apps, will it soon claim the same for all crypto transactions? After all, virtually all crypto transactions from wallets incur fees. 

What is Apple playing at? Whatever it is, it’s probably safe to assume Coinbase will be joining the likes of Epic, Spotify, Meta, and Twitter in the growing anti-Apple entente. 

And, as for those using the iOS/Coinbase Wallet combo – you’ve already lost the ability to transfer NFTs until this issue is resolved, so you may want to reconsider using it for any crypto assets.