Apple removes app after MyEtherWallet complaint

FILE PHOTO - A woman looks at the screen of her mobile phone in front of an Apple logo outside its store in Shanghai, China July 30, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song

(Reuters) - IPhone maker Apple Inc said on Monday it had removed a paid iOS application from its App Store after MyEtherWallet, a free service for storing digital currencies, complained that the program was improperly using its name.

“This is NOT US,” MyEtherWallet said on Sunday from its official Twitter account.

The statement was a response to a tweet by someone identified as @ChrisLundkvist, who posted an image of the $4.99 app, dubbed MyEtherWallet, showing it was the third-most popular finance app in Apple’s App Store.

Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said in an email that the MyEtherWallet app had been removed from the App store.

He declined to say how many customers had purchased the app or if Apple would provide refunds.

Interest in cryptocurrencies has climbed in recent weeks as the bitcoin has repeatedly hit new highs, bringing its year-to-date return to 1,600 percent. The currency’s surge has also generated the interest of scammers, who last week stole more than $60 million worth of bitcoin from the Slovenia-based cryptocurrency mining marketplace NiceHash.

MyEtherWallet spokesman Jordan Spence said the developer had not detected signs that the iOS app was used to steal from people who had downloaded it, but that the team was still investigating to verify that.

Reporting by Jim Finkle in Toronto; Editing by Richard Chang