Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Technology | By Lionel Gonzales

Apple Updates App Store Guidelines, Tightens Rules for Crypto-Related Apps

Apple Updates App Store Guidelines, Tightens Rules for Crypto-Related Apps

The only limitation that Apple are putting down is that no apps will be allowed that encourage payments of cryptocurrencies or the incentivisation of cryptocurrencies to people who download certain apps or advertise certain cryptocurrency-based apps. Under the mandated rules.

The guidelines reference cryptocurrency mining in two places, in a section about power efficiency (2.4.2) and a separate Cryptocurrencies section (3.1.5). According to Apple, "Apps, including any third party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining". The rules appear to be an attempt to nip any kind of "crypto-jacking", an increasingly common scam that hijacks a small portion of a users' device to mine cryptocurrency without them realizing. That's 52.2 Million news homes for the wealth of App Store apps that are being created, under these new Apple guidelines.

The new rules ban any app from directly mining cryptocurrency. These conditions extend to apps providing cryptocurrency futures trading, and other crypto-securities or quasi-securities trading.

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Addressing the rising frauds with the unregulated initial coin offering-based (ICO) fundraising technique, Apple is now only allowing apps from established banks, securities firms, futures commission merchants ("FCM"), or other approved financial institutions.

Moreover, Apple will no longer allow reward-based crypto marketing with App Store listed apps. The technology giant reversed its stance soon after, despite pulling moves like removing multi-cryptocurrency wallet Jaxx after its disapproval of Dash in 2016.

Apple has previously blocked apps for supporting cryptocurrencies it disapproves of. Exchanges are fine, too, as long as they are the ones offering transactions or transmissions of currency. "Apps may facilitate virtual currency storage, provided they are offered by developers enrolled as an organization", the policy states.

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