Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, shown in 2017. Photo: Bloomberg
Crypto Global
Crypto Markets

Coinbase’s App Store Ambitions; BitGo’s Coin Vaults

Photo: Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, shown in 2017. Photo: Bloomberg

Apple’s legal battle over its control of the App Store hasn’t swayed Coinbase from wanting to become the cryptocurrency equivalent of the tech giant when it comes to selling apps. 

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said in a blog post Tuesday that he wants to open a marketplace for decentralized apps, which run on blockchains and other peer-to-peer networks. Armstrong’s intentions could represent a seismic shift for a space that has yet to see a leading entity for selling access to dApps like games, social networks, non-fungible token marketplaces and finance tools.

Right now, many dApps can be found scattered online and accessed for free. With Coinbase as arguably one of the biggest names in crypto, paying to get listed on its marketplace could be an easy way for new apps to get quick exposure to crypto enthusiasts. But the idea also raises questions. If an application is downloaded through Coinbase, would the company get a cut of in-dApp purchases, such as buying a non-fungible token on a digital collectible platform? If Coinbase was able to open an Apple-like dApp store, how would it avoid the same accusations of running a monopoly?

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