Bitcoin wallet service Blockchain was removed from Apple devices.Reuters

Apple has removed popular bitcoin wallet app Blockchain from its app stores in a major setback for the popular digital currency.

As a result, iPhone and iPad users do not have any bitcoin wallet options for their devices at present.

Apple said the removal was due to "an unresolved issue", but it did not explain further or give any opportunity to address issues.

The iPhone maker had earlier removed bitcoin wallet apps Coinbase and CoinJar and forced encrypted messaging app Gliph to remove its bitcoin sending option.

Blockchain app was available on the Apple app store for more than two years, and was downloaded over 120,000 times.

Apple also removed the desktop version of the App from its Mac app store.

'Anti-Competitive and Capricious in Nature'

In a response, Blockchain criticised Apple, saying it has no concern for users' needs.

"These actions by Apple once again demonstrate the anti-competitive and capricious nature of the App Store policies that are clearly focused on preserving Apple's monopoly on payments rather than based on any consideration of the needs and desires of their users," the company said in its blog.

It claimed that the app has been the same throughout its life-span on the app store, and that Apple was trying to remove competition from bitcoin to its own payment system.

"By removing the blockchain app, the only bitcoin wallet application on the App store, Apple has eliminated competition using their monopolistic position in the market in a heavy handed manner," Blockchain said.

Users who downloaded the bitcoin wallet apps earlier would be able to use them, but they will not get any application updates and have no option to download the apps again after a device reset.

Bitcoin Fans Abandoning Apple?

Meanwhile, Blockchain praised Apple's rival Google and its Android platform for being more open to bitcoin apps, despite competition.

"Unlike Apple, Google has accepted hundreds of bitcoin-related applications even though they also compete against the company's own payment system 'Google Wallet'," it said.

Apple's move is expected to result in an exodus of bitcoin fans from the iOS platform to Google's Android.

Meanwhile, is organising a petition to allow bitcoin wallets on iOS devices.