Apple Demands 30% of Gas Fees for NFT Transfers on iOS Apps
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Apple Demands 30% of Gas Fees for NFT Transfers on iOS Apps

Apple has demanded iOS apps to share 30% of gas fees generated from NFT transfers.
Neither the author, Ruholamin Haqshanas, nor this website, The Tokenist, provide financial advice. Please consult our website policy prior to making financial decisions.

Apple has demanded iOS apps like the Coinbase wallet to share 30% of gas fees generated from NFT transfers. In a bid to further pressure the company to comply, the tech giant blocked the latest update to Coinbase’s digital wallet on iOS devices. 

Coinbase Says Taxing NFT Gas Fees is Impossible

In a series of tweets late Thursday, Coinbase revealed that Apple blocked their last app release until they disabled the feature to send NFTs using Coinbase Wallet on iOS devices. The crypto platform said Apple wants the gas fees required to send NFTs to be paid through their In-App Purchase system, which will then allow them to collect 30% of the gas fee.

“For anyone who understands how NFTs and blockchains work, this is clearly not possible. Apple’s proprietary In-App Purchase system does not support crypto so we couldn’t comply even if we tried,” Coinbase added. 

Coinbase noted that iPhone users would be the only ones affected by the policy as they won’t be able to easily transfer their NFT if they hold it in a wallet on an iPhone. The company said:

“Simply put, Apple has introduced new policies to protect their profits at the expense of consumer investment in NFTs and developer innovation across the crypto ecosystem.”

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Apple Denies Making Exemption for Gas Fees  

Apple’s policy includes charging a 30% fee for any app sold via its app store. The same rule goes for in-app purchases. Gaming companies also should pay a 30% fee when a user buys some in-game items — like more lives on Candy Crush or skins in Minecraft.

However, due to the nature of crypto and blockchain, which means one certain entity or person is not in control, it is practically impossible for the tech giant to impose a 30% tax on gas fees. Consequently, there have been calls from the crypto community asking Apple to exempt tax on gas fees.

However, when the company updated its App Store Review Guidelines in late October, Apple chose to not exempt tax on NFT gas fees. Under the reviewed update, Apple upheld its 30% Tax on in-app crypto purchases and peer-to-peer NFT trading.

Apple’s 30% Tax Fee Drives NFT Platforms Away

Back in September, The Information reported that Apple’s tight fee policy is keeping marketplaces and creators away from its ecosystem. The report said many NFT projects don’t even think about selling their product through an app because of the commission. 

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has also lashed out at Apple for its tight fee policy, calling it “absurd.” He said in a recent tweet:

“Good example of the kinds of discussions we have with Apple on a monthly basis, to deal with their app store monopoly. It’s gotten pretty absurd at times.”

Meanwhile, the market for NFTs continued its downward movement throughout November amid the fall of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX. Overall, NFT trading volume dropped approximately 8% in November, while the total number of NFTs sold dropped 23% compared to the earlier month, according to data from DappRadar.

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Do you think industry experts should pressure Apple to exempt NFT gas fees from its tax policy? Let us know in the comments below.