O3 Wallet Being Removed by Apple - We need your help

in #neo5 years ago (edited)

O3 Wallet Being Removed by Apple - We need your help

Hi All,

My name is Andrei Terentiev, and I’m one of the two creators of the O3 Wallet for iOS. This is an application that my friend and I have spent months of our lives building after work and on weekends to help improve the NEO ecosystem. Yesterday we were forced to remove the app from the App Store by Apple. We think that this decision is both unjust and disallowing us from pushing updates to the existing application is incredibly reckless by Apple.

I want to give an overview of the situation, and help gather support as we hope to overturn this decision in a formal appeal process, because the only way that this will happen is with Community Support.

Before initially being accepted on the App Store on October 31st, we received this questionnaire from Apple.

We have started the review of your app, but we are not able to continue because we need additional information about the virtual currency, NEO, available in your app.

Next Steps

To help us proceed with the review of your app, please provide detailed information to the following questions. The more information you can provide upfront, the sooner we can complete your review.

– What is this virtual currency’s most recent market cap?
– What kind of virtual currency is this?
– What is this virtual currency primarily used for?
– When was this virtual currency first introduced?
– What is the history of this virtual currency?
- Does your app enable users to buy/sell cryptocurrency?

Once you reply to this message in Resolution Center with the requested information, we can proceed with your app's review.

We at this time were obviously a bit worried that we would get rejected, but NEO is a legitimate project, and all of our wallet code is open source as is the NEO project itself. We already had had a successful beta without incidents. We understood that this policy was in place to prevent scams, and we had already shown that we weren’t running one, so from years of dealing Apple, we thought we would be fine. Here was our response at the time.

The market cap as of 10/23/2017 is $1,405,330,000. This puts NEO in the top 10 of cryptocurrencies by market cap, and in the same tier as popular crypto currencies like Litecoin (3,000,000,000) market cap and Dash (2,000,000,000 market cap)

NEO virtual currency is a stake in the NEO network protocol, which is an open source blockchain project originating from China. GitHub - neo-project/neo: NEO Smart Economy Out of other virtual currencies NEO most closely represents Ethereum

NEO will allow you to stake and generate GAS. Gas powers transactions on the NEO network just like Ethereum gas does on the ethereum network. Currently we only support storing of NEO and GAS on the wallet.

The NEO main network was launched in October of 2016, and has had no incidents since that time. Originally NEO was known as Antshares, and was made to help digitize assets and enable smart contracts. The key difference between NEO and Ethereum is its consensus mechanism. Whereas Ethereum uses Proof of Work, NEO used dBFT(or delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance). This makes transactions more scalable.

Since it’s rebranding NEO has gained a large development and supporter community. There are over 30,000 subscribers on the NEO subreddit and all open source code can be found at City of Zion · GitHub.

O3 is the first iOS NEO wallet.

We do not support buying or selling of virtual currency on this app.

For more information about NEO you can visit
https://neo.org/

After this our app was accepted and put on the App Store, we grew up a small user base ~2000 users, pushed out some small updates to improve app stability and everything was going fine until we tried to push out a new update, were rejected, and received this message.

Guideline 5.2.1 - Legal - Intellectual Property

The seller and company names associated with your app also do not reflect the name “O3 - Neo Wallet” in the app or its metadata, as required by Guideline 5.2.1 of the App Store Review Guidelines.

Guideline 3.1.5 - Business - Payments - Physical Goods and Services Outside of the App*

Your app facilitates the transmission of a virtual currency that is not approved for the App Store.

We were obviously very confused by this as O3 is not a company, but merely the name of the product, and NEO is also not a company, but an open source project, so we were not violating any sort of IP rules, and then we had already previously been asked to provide clarification about the cryptocurrency situation earlier. So it was known exactly which currency we were transmitting, so how could it possibly have been accepted the first time, and now rejected without any significant feature changes to the app.

We replied to these concerns again, and were told that we would be contacted by an Apple Representative in 3-5 days. So now we were locked out completely from pushing any updates. We received a call from Apple which we hoped would be productive on November 17…but it was more like talking to a brick wall than an actual conversation. The repeated statement was that the app had been accepted the first time as a mistake, which in my opinion is a ludicrous explanation given that there were explicit conversations about the nature of the currency and what we were doing with it, but allegedly the initial reviewer failed to follow the official policy.

Here is what I gathered is the “official policy,” there is unpublished list of approved cryptocurrencies is not visible to the general public, and any new cryptocurrency app must be published by the “company” which owns the cryptocurrency. Ironically since most cryptocurrency is based on open source projects this criteria is impossible to meet by basically anyone.

Today, over two million dollars worth of NEO and GAS are being stored on private keys secured by the O3 wallet on iOS. We’ve had zero significant issues, and happy users all around enjoying the ability to check their holdings, and transact on the O3 wallet. We’ve been listed on NEO’s website as an iOS client for NEO, and have received tremendous support from the NEO community at large, and yesterday we were forced to shut down.

This is incredibly disappointing for us, but we’re not giving up yet. We hope to gather support from the NEO foundation and the community itself as we fight to overturn this decision.

What You Can Do

  1. Bring this article up in your crypto social media circles
    1. This is not just a NEO issue, but a cryptocurrency issue
  2. Sign this petition to help support the NEO community Petition · Apple: Allow The O3 Wallet Back On the App Store · Change.org
  3. If you’ve used the app write a short message of support to us at [email protected] We’ll be compiling all of this data as we submit our formal appeal to Apple.

Thank you for taking the time out to read this; we're going to do everything in our power to get back on the appstore.

Sincerely
O3 Team

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Upvoted and resteemed

Hence the reason I dislike Apple and their products. Just like many government agencies, Apple knows what is best for us all, because we are too stupid to make good decisions on our own. I reject Apple's stifling control of what can be published in their apps or what we can install on devices we pay for. Sorry Apple, I will have to stick with Android and open source devices until your world view changes.

While fighting this appeal process we're simultaneiously working on the android version ;)

Well said. Yet another example of the communistic control Apple has on its users. They know what's best for you and uou should just be greatful. Exactly why I refuse to own Apple. Unfortunately most of the masses are sheep and has allowed Apple to grow too big.

Such slobs at that app store.

Apples answer is just showing their lack of understanding and causing miscommunication.

Apple "approved cryptocurrencies", they really are a joke. Non-existent tech support that have a habit of lying to boost sales and phones that lag behind Android by years in features.
Complain, fight them all the way & make them sweat.
Resteemed & will post on other sites.

Thanks man. This is really a cryptocurrency issue rather than a NEO issue. I hope we can see some change soon!

What you can do? Think bigger.
http://ec.europa.eu/competition/cartels/overview/factsheet_fines_en.pdf
I am mentioning this, because our BURST Wallet is facing a similar issue. Of course having the App on Google Play is no problem.
If Apple will not comply, we are prepared to call the Directorate-General for Competition
(http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/competition/index_en.htm)

Also, users may be entitled to call the EC
for "Unfair commercial practices", because we believe by barring
access to alternate payment channels Apple conducts unfair
business-to-consumer commercial practices which are prohibited in the
European Union.
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=LEGISSUM:l32011

ad 3.1.5

There is no such thing as "approved virtual currencies". Apple is in
no position to make this approval. Apple especially is in no position
to hinder usage of cryptocurrencies for whatever reason, or worse:
to protect their own payment system "Apple Pay".

Please keep me informed on how things proceed on your end. I am in favor of all cryptocurrencies being allowed on the appstore.

http://ec.europa.eu/competition/antitrust/overview_en.html

Second, Article 102 of the Treaty prohibits firms that hold a dominant position on a given market to abuse that position, for example by charging unfair prices, by limiting production, or by refusing to innovate to the prejudice of consumers.

We will go - among others - this route.

That is why I never touch the Apple ecosystem. Worse company out there yet people flock to their products not knowing how far they set back the IT industry :)

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