Coinbase blames Apple + other crypto stories for the week 

Temitope Akintade
Coinbase to lay off 950 members of its workforce

Coinbase, one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, has called out tech giant Apple for its monopolistic policies on commissions on NFT transactions.

Recall that Apple has been a thorn in the side of the NFT industry because of the ‘Apple Tax’. “Apple Tax” is a slang term for the commission fee Apple charges for using its App Store and in-app payment system. Many purchases made through iOS apps — including in-app purchases like gaming microtransactions and monthly subscription payments — are subject to a 30% surcharge.

Apple also once demanded that NFTs be made through in-app purchases. As a result, startups have had to limit their apps’ functionality, which is a blow to their ambitions.

Also, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is still hopeful about the company’s metaverse plans regardless of the billions of dollars it’s sucking up from the company, claiming “someone has to build that.”

Read also: 3 self-custody wallets to safeguard your crypto assets 

Here are the major crypto stories from around the world this week 

Another DeFi protocol exploited

Ankr, a decentralised finance protocol based on BNB Chain, has been exploited, according to a Friday announcement. The attacker created many Ankr Reward Bearing Staked BNB (aBNBc) tokens. 

Coinbase blames Apple + other crypto stories for the week 

According to blockchain security firm PeckShield, the aBNBc token contract has an unlimited mint bug. The attacker has already transferred some of the stolen funds to Tornado Cash, a decentralised crypto tumbler. 

Binance has already addressed the hack, claiming it is currently working with relevant parties to investigate the incident. The exchange has assured its users that their funds are safe. 

Kraken reduces workforce

The second largest crypto exchange in the United States, Kraken, has announced that it is laying off around 30%, or 1,100 staff members. The announcement was made on Wednesday by Kraken co-founder Jesse Powell. 

Powell cited “macroeconomic and geopolitical factors have weighed on financial markets,” and added that the company’s downsizing move is a correction of growth from the year prior when crypto prices reached all-time highs. The prospects for the industry appeared much brighter than the state they are in today.

Kraken has said that staff being let go will be awarded a decent severance package, including separation pay for 16 weeks of base pay, performance bonuses, and four months of healthcare coverage, including counselling, immigration support, and career support.

Coinbase calls out Apple

In a Twitter thread yesterday, Coinbase Wallet said Apple had blocked the latest release of its app to “collect 30% of the gas fee” through in-app purchases. 

Coinbase blames Apple + other crypto stories for the week 

The platform claimed Apple wanted Coinbase Wallet to disable NFT transactions, which would introduce “new policies to protect their profits at the expense of consumer investment in NFTs and developer innovation across the crypto ecosystem.”

“For anyone who understands how NFTs and blockchains work, this is clearly not possible,”

Coinbase Wallet.

“Apple’s proprietary In-App Purchase system does not support crypto so we couldn’t comply even if we tried. This is akin to Apple trying to take a cut of fees for every email that gets sent over open Internet protocols.”

The wallet app said that users affected by the decision — i.e., those with iPhones — would find it “a lot harder to transfer that NFT to other wallets.” However, the exchange hopes for some resolution, telling Apple it wanted to help. This isn’t likely to happen, given the latter’s stubborn position on these rules.

Related post:

All you need to know about Proof of Reserve (PoR) and why you should care

Porsche announces first NFT drop

Luxury car manufacturer Porsche has announced the launch of its first-ever NFT collection to be dropped in January 2023. According to a Thursday release, the collection will include 7,500 pieces of exclusive digital collectibles designed around the classic Porsche 911 model.

The unique feature of this collection is that buyers can dictate the design of their individual NFTs by selecting a particular ‘route’ from Performance, Lifestyle, or Heritage. Each of these routes will highlight a specific component of Porsche’s brand identity, which will be reflected through the design and character of the NFT.

After users purchase an NFT, Vogel will work on their input and design each NFT as a unique 3D asset in Unreal Engine 5. Other than having a say in how their NFTs will look, owners will also get exclusive access to virtual and real-life events.

Meta still powering through plans 

Appearing remotely for an interview on Wednesday at the DealBook Summit in New York, Zuckerberg was asked his thoughts on whether the tech giant’s metaverse play was still viable given its cost and the doubts cast over the platform, answering:

“I think things look very different on a ten-year time horizon than the zone that we’re in for the next few years […] I’m still completely optimistic about all the things that we’ve been optimistic about.”

Mark Zuckerberg on the Metaverse

Coinbase blames Apple + other crypto stories for the week 

He added part of “seeing things through” in the longer term was “powering through” the doubts held about its ambitions.

Recall that Meta’s latest earnings, released on October 26, revealed the largest-ever quarterly loss in its metaverse-building arm, Reality Labs. 

“We’re not going to be here in the 2030s communicating and using computing devices that are exactly the same as what we have today, and someone has to build that and invest in it and believe in it.” – said Mark. 

However, Zuckerberg admitted that the plans have come at a cost. Recall that Meta had to lay off 11,000 employees earlier in November. 

Here is all from us this week, see you same time next week!

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