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

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

The ban applies for apps designed explicitly with mining operations in mind.

"Apps, including any third-party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining", Apple said under the hardware compatibility section of its App Store policy. No apps may mine crypto, unless they process that mining off the device, like in cloud-based mining.

Mac and iOS users haven't been targeted as much as web servers and Windows users, who've taken the brunt of most coinmining malware campaigns, but Apple has seen at least one incident in March when a cryptocurrency miner slipped on the Mac App Store inside the Calendar 2 app by Qbix. These conditions extend to apps providing cryptocurrency futures trading, and other crypto-securities or quasi-securities trading.

Apple has a clear message for cryptocurrency enthusiasts: Don't mine it on our devices.

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.

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Four years ago, Apple removed every single bitcoin wallet application on its App Store, including popular wallet app Blockchain.

Apple has previously blocked apps for supporting cryptocurrencies it disapproves of. The app even made it to number 3 in the finance category of the App Store before Apple pulled it down.

Apple is also cutting down on third-party apps providing crypto transactions on approved exchanges.

The upshot of the new rules is that while Apple will permit cryptocurrencies to exist on its platforms, it's adding requirements to stop scammers and individuals from exploiting App Store customers, while making explicit that it's blocking developers from eating Apple device processing power for mining activities. Finally, cryptocurrency apps can't offer currency as a reward for downloading other apps, posting to social networks or encouraging other users to download apps.

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