William Casarin's widely-used decentralized social networking app, Damus, developed on the Nostr platform, is under threat of expulsion from the Apple App Store. 

According to a notice sent by Apple, the app supposedly infringes upon their policies by enabling users to tip, or 'zap,' digital content creators as a token of appreciation for their content, using a means other than the designated in-app purchase system. This alleged breach of Guideline 3.1.1 - Business - Payments - In-App Purchase has led Apple to contemplate corrective measures.

The possible removal from the App Store brings into question the liberty to execute peer-to-peer transactions on the platform, carrying far-reaching repercussions for apps built on the App Store that leverage Lightning integration and pursue value-for-value transaction models.

In a formal message from Apple's App Review, Damus was informed that it must submit a version of the app adhering to the App Store Review Guidelines within a span of 14 days to ensure its continued presence in the store. 

If the necessary changes are not made within the stipulated period, the app will face removal from the marketplace. Also, if an updated, compliant version of Damus is not approved even post the 14-day window, the app will continue to be inaccessible until a version meeting Apple's standards is submitted, greenlit, and launched.

Casarin shared his apprehensions by stating "if people can't transact freely p2p on their platform, this has huge implications for the entire ecosystem of apps with lightning integration and v4v."

Within hours, Casarin posted on Damus that Apple contacted him to discuss their decision in more detail.

Twitter Founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted in response that Apple may not fully understand how the zap feature works on Damus.

The latest update from Casarin explains that the zap button is allowed on profiles of users but not on notes (Damus posts). Apple deemed the zap button on notes to be a method of “selling digital content.”

Dorsey then tweeted that Apple’s updated evaluation is still incorrect because tipping on posts is a form of feedback rather than a sale of digital content.

The news also caught the attention of CEO of Tesla and SpaceX Elon Musk stating that Apple’s decision “is not a winning scenario.”

A UI workaround was quickly posted by JAN3 CEO Samson Mow that addresses Apple’s restrictions while keeping zaps for posts. 

Casarin reposted Mow's solution and is considering a possible implementation along with others.

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