In a remarkable turn of events, Zapple Pay, a new third-party payment service, has emerged as a solution to enable Bitcoin tipping on the Damus social media app, despite Apple's attempts to restrict such features.
This innovative workaround, created by independent developers, defies Apple's limitations and empowers users to engage in seamless tipping interactions on various apps using the Nostr protocol.
Apple recently threatened to remove Damus, a Bitcoin-friendly social media app, from its App Store due to its allowance of Bitcoin tipping or "zapping" on user-generated content. The tech giant deemed this practice akin to selling digital media, violating its guidelines.
Eventually, Damus creator William Casarin conceded, removing the app's ability to send zaps on posts or notes, although users could still tip each other at the profile level.
However, Bitcoin developers Ben Carman and Paul Miller have devised an inventive solution. On July 6, they launched Zapple Pay. Leveraging the permissibility of emojis on posts, Zapple Pay users can now once again send zaps on posts, sidestepping Apple's restrictions.
Carman and Miller, co-founders of Mutiny Wallet, a Lightning-enabled and self-custodial Bitcoin wallet, devised Zapple Pay independently. Users only need to provide their Nostr public key (npub), select an emoji, and link their wallet to utilise the service. When users react to a post with the chosen emoji, Zapple Pay initiates a zap to that specific post.
As a third-party service, it remains to be seen if Apple will act against Damus and engage in a potential cat-and-mouse game with Carman and Miller. The developers firmly believe that if Apple were to interfere, they could replicate the same functionality on top of any social network, emphasising the resilience of their solution.
Casarin, the creator of Damus, asserts that he played no part in the development of Zapple Pay and maintains no affiliation with the developers. Damus, known for its Bitcoin tipping feature, garnered support from crypto advocates, including former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
The emergence of Zapple Pay showcases the resourcefulness and adaptability of the crypto community in finding innovative solutions despite regulatory hurdles. By reintroducing Bitcoin tipping on Damus, Zapple Pay fosters community and engagement while promoting wider adoption of digital currencies among users.
The writer is the founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash