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Coinbase CEO accuses Apple of antitrust behavior, calls for crypto-compatible phones

Coinbase's CEO and co-founder Brian Armstrong has called out Apple over "potential antitrust issues" on a recent episode of the Superstream Podcast.

Armstrong appeared on the April 20 episode of Superstream Podcast to talk about the current state of cryptocurrency, entrepreneurship, and the company he cofounded: Coinbase.

Coinbase is a cryptocurrency exchange platform on desktop and mobile, allowing users to purchase and exchange popular cryptocurrencies. The Coinbase App is the 18th most popular Finance app on the App Store, as pointed out by 9to5mac.

When asked if Coinbase would release its own cryptocurrency hardware wallet, Armstrong pointed out that he does not believe that most people would carry a separate wallet used solely for crypto.

He states that most people would be more comfortable using something inside of their phones. However, he believes that big tech — and goes as far as naming Apple specifically — doesn't allow features that would be required to make a user-friendly phone-based wallet plausible.

"Apple so far has not really played nice with crypto, they've actually banned a bunch of features that we would like to have in the app, but they just won't allow it — so there's potential antitrust issues there."

While Armstrong doesn't say what features have been banned, he does go on to say that he believes crypto-compatible phones will be necessary in the future and that they could become popular.

This isn't the first time that Armstrong has spoke out against Apple, either. In 2020, he argued that Apple's App Store regulations stifle innovation in the cryptocurrency space.

While Coinbase may not be allowed to have all the features it wants, several Apple-specific features are available to Coinbase users.

In June 2021, the crypto-based Coinbase Card became eligible to be used in Apple Wallet. The card allows users to spend cryptocurrency as cash across the globe.

Users can also buy cryptocurrency on Coinbase with Apple Pay.