During Apple’s recent Worldwide Developer Conference, the company updated some of the cryptocurrency app rules for its App Store. First spotted by Apple Insider on Monday, the new rules are a tad bit stricter and will apply to digital currency wallets, cryptocurrency exchanges as well as platforms that facilitate Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).
The new App Store guidelines restrict apps from mining cryptocurrencies unless the process is performed off-device. Apparently, the motivation behind this new policy is the concern that cryptocurrency mining contributes to much more battery drain in mobile devices.
To put this into perspective, the new guidelines detail that any cryptocurrency-related applications in the App Store must adhere to a rather strict set of guidelines that encompasses the cryptocurrency wallets, exchanges, ICOs and cloud mining platforms.
“Apps, including any third-party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining unless the processing is performed off device (e.g. cloud-based mining). Wallet Apps may facilitate virtual currency storage, provided they are offered by developers enrolled as an organization,” goes Apple’s revised rules. “Exchange Apps may facilitate transactions or transmissions of cryptocurrency on an approved exchange, provided they are offered by the exchange itself.”
“Initial Coin Offering Apps facilitating Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), cryptocurrency futures trading, and other crypto-securities or quasi-securities trading must come from established banks, securities firms, futures commission merchants (FCM), or other approved financial institutions and must comply with all applicable law.”
Unfortunately, there a number of apps in the App Store that are certainly going to feel the pinch of the new policy as the guidelines further detail that even applications that offer digital currencies for the completion of various tasks are no longer allowed to do so.
“Cryptocurrency apps may not offer currency for completing tasks, such as downloading other apps, encouraging other users to download, posting to social networks, etc.,” the fifth and last revised rule reads.
Is This a Trend?
It definitely feels likes one. Apple’s App Store has never been particularly cryptocurrency friendly and this has been evident from the stricter rules that are not found in other application marketplaces such as Google Play. In 2014, the App Store kicked out all Bitcoin-related applications before following through in 2016 when they asked all the companies with apps on the marketplace to remove digital assets such as Dash of from their apps.
Apple’s App Store is one of the most popular application marketplaces in the world. It boasts of over 283,000 games and a whopping 2.3 million non-gaming apps. Considering the large number of cryptocurrency applications that exist today, the new policy, in conjunction with other anti-crypto efforts, is going to have a huge impact on how things play out from here on out.