Apple yanks ‘Off the Chain’ crypto podcast from iTunes

The move leaves many questioning its motives and stance on cryptocurrency in general

Cryptocurrency podcast ‘Off the Chain’ was removed from Apple’s iTunes app this week. It reached number four on the investing genre of the US rankings before being pulled, a move that caught the presenters and team behind it off-guard.

The podcast is hosted by cryptocurrency analyst and partner of Morgan Creek Digital, Anthony Pompliano, who was understandably dismayed at the decision to remove the episode, writing on Twitter: “We had no warning. We don’t know why. They took down our podcast, but they can’t take down Bitcoin!”

‘Off the Chain’ is produced by New-York based media company BlockWorks Group, the co-founder of which, Jason Yanowitz, said to Coin Rivet: “The episode exploded in popularity and began quickly shooting up the US rankings in the investing category. At some point, while the podcast was ranked number four, it disappeared. People began tweeting on Friday that they couldn’t find the podcast.”

No warning

He continued: “Without warning, the podcast was no longer available in the rankings. You couldn’t find it by searching the podcast store. It was still available on other platforms though, which made the disappearance on Apple even weirder.”

Yanowitz went on to explain how no explanation was given by Apple; it was simply removed without warning, prompting concern about how easily a centralised entity can censor content; a potentially damaging move in terms of freedom of speech.

He added: “The downside of centralisation is becoming apparent. Regardless of the reason for Apple’s actions, an individual corporation was able to make a unilateral decision to censor content. They didn’t give us a warning or explanation. One day it was there and the next it wasn’t.”

“Many people are rightfully asking if the removal of the podcast was due to the promotion of Bitcoin. I highly doubt it, but at this point, I don’t know. We are working to figure out what is going on, but it is more obvious than ever that centralised organisations and products present considerable counterparty risk.

“The nuances of the centralisation vs decentralisation debate are more complex than they originally appear. These complexities are compounded when you begin building technology products for a global audience — everyone is not the same.”

Interesting times

“We are living in interesting times because there has never been so much intellectual capital focused on building decentralised products and services. In my opinion, the most valuable companies will be the ones who build things we can’t even imagine today,” he concluded.

BWG has now decided to publish its podcast elsewhere. It is now available on Spotify, YouTube and its own website among others.

This isn’t the first time Apple has set its sights on censoring cryptocurrency content and applications. The tech giant banned all crypto mining apps from the App Store earlier this year.

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