Tech

Gerald Fenech

Apple revises App Store rules, bans crypto mining apps​

Apple’s legendary App store is a commercial giant which provides well in excess of 783,000 gaming applications as well as 2.3 million non-gaming apps. Recently, the App Store changed its guidelines with regard to cryptocurrency applications that can be downloaded from the marketplace. This news follows hot on the heels of the announcement of Developers Union, a group of software developers that succeeded in convincing the tech giant to publish their free apps.

Under the updated App Store Review Guidelines, cryptocurrency-related applications will be categorized into a particular criterion: Wallet, for apps from developers “enrolled in an organization” that facilitate virtual currency storage; Exchange, for apps that facilitate transactions of cryptocurrency on an approved exchange, provided that they are offered by the exchange itself.

Apps are also forbidden from using an iPhone or iPad chipset to mine directly for cryptocurrencies. Only mining activities performed in the cloud or otherwise are allowed.

“Apps, including any third party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining,” according to the revised guidelines.

Meanwhile, apps for 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 or other approved financial institutions, according to the revised Apple rules. The apps must also comply with applicable laws.

Finally, applications—even those already on the App Store—that offer cryptocurrency from completing specific tasks are now prohibited. These tasks include downloading other apps, encouraging other users to download the app, as well as posting to social networks, among others.

“Cryptocurrency apps may not offer currency for completing tasks, such as downloading other apps, encouraging other users to download, posting to social networks, etc.,” according to the last rule.

Apple’s App Store is already much stricter in its attitude towards cryptocurrencies compared to marketplaces such as Google Play. In 2014, the Cupertino-based tech giant removed all Bitcoin-related applications, and, a couple of years ago, it asked companies to remove digital assets such as Dash from their apps. These rules may affect some of the apps on the App Store as well as those that may be published in the near future.

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