Whether born to reduce power and censorship from “tech giants”, Web3 or cryptocurrencies are still subject to Apple and Google’s regulations on mobile app stores.
Web3 applies blockchain technology and is praised by many big names in the technology industry for its censorship resistance thanks to its decentralization . This helps to reduce the power of the “big guys” on the internet such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, giving users the right to control their own data, identity, and fate in the network environment. But is Web3 or cryptocurrency really as decentralized as it is envisioned?
According to The Verge, cryptocurrencies still have a big problem when this technology is quite picky for users, at least for ordinary internet users. As a result, centralized services have developed for non-tech-savvy customers such as Coinbase, OpenSea, Metamask, VeVe or Rarible. Meanwhile, major payment applications such as Venmo, PayPay add the ability to pay with cryptocurrency to their services. This way, the masses can access the cryptocurrency if there is a need. Experienced people also use it of course because the interface is friendly and helps protect them from scams.
But users will need to go to the application store of Google or Apple to download the above software to their personal mobile device and use. As such, centralized services to help users access cryptocurrencies are of course located on these two software repositories. And to appear here, Apple and Google will force the publisher to accept the requirements they make. Put simply, these two corporations are formulating content terms for Web3.
In a post by Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong on February 4, he affirmed that “Every application that wants to appear on the Apple or Google app stores must follow the rules of these two companies.” This means that regardless of what Apple or Google define as part of their policies, blockchain companies like Coinbase follow. If they notice something and want the partner to remove it, Coinbase will delete it. This company pursues pragmatism by avoiding problems unrelated to the main mission of the business – which helps it survive while many competitors have had to close.
The fact that Apple “molds” Web3 is not a mere speculation when it has repeatedly influenced partners who want to publish applications on the App Store to keep this “territory” under control. For example, “apple apple” took care of Parler – the social media site because of ineffective censorship. Parler can only return to the App Store after changing content controls. Google, Amazon also do the same thing. Or like the controversy between Apple and Epic Games related to antitrust, this company does not allow the Epic game store to appear in its ecosystem for various reasons. Even the “apple house” rejected the Google Search tool on the App Store in 2012 because “apps like this should allow users to choose the map instead of forcing to use the proprietary version” because Less than four months ago, the company launched its own mapping application called Apple Maps.
Luckily for crypto-lovers, Apple has so far been encouraging, allowing a few apps to appear on the App Store. The reason may be because “apple defect” is still collecting 30% commission from trading in digital products on their app store. For example, if someone wants to buy an NFT product in any software in the App Store, Apple will get 30% of the transaction value because the NFT is clearly a digital item. But at the same time the company can also change at any time.
Thus, when developers want to bring Web3, cryptocurrencies into a mass technology for all users in the market, Apple, Google or Amazon are the ones holding the handle, coordinating this market in the direction they want. . Because the trio is holding the world’s, where software wants to appear and be known to users, they must accept the terms they offer. And no matter how excited users are about the decentralized Web3 future, believing in an equal internet, the reality of this technology is still concentrated in the hands of the “tech giants”.