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

Existing apps not following these rules will be taken down.

After Google, Facebook, and Twitter, now it’s time for Apple to join its Silicon Valley counterparts in restricting the crypto industry.

The Cupertino-based firm has updated its rules for publishing apps on the App Store and has specially mentioned cryptocurrency-related apps. Along with new apps, the guidelines will apply to existing apps as well.

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According to the new rules, Apple will no longer allow indie developers to publish any wallet app on the App Store as only developers affiliated with a registered organization are eligible. This makes sense as in last December, Apple accidentally listed a fake version of the widely-used MyEtherWallet app in the App Store. The app even made it to number 3 in the finance category of the App Store before Apple pulled it down.

Mining not allowed

Moreover, Apple is also barring apps from crypto mining activity done within the device. However, apps can provide cloud-based mining services. This step was taken by the firm considering the degradation of device performance and battery life due to mining as in the performance section of the guidelines Apple noted: “Apps should not rapidly drain battery, generate excessive heat, or put unnecessary strain on device resources. Apps, including any third party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining.”

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Apple is also cutting down on third-party apps providing crypto transactions on approved exchanges. According to the rulebook, only official apps developed by the exchange itself can provide such services.

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. These conditions extend to apps providing cryptocurrency futures trading, and other crypto-securities or quasi-securities trading.

Moreover, Apple will no longer allow reward-based crypto marketing with App Store listed apps. The guidelines noted: “Cryptocurrency apps may not offer currency for completing tasks, such as downloading other apps, encouraging other users to download, posting to social networks, etc.”

Necessary evil

Despite the strict guidelines for crypto-related apps, unlike other tech giants, Apple’s decisions actually make sense considering the rising number of frauds using fake apps and websites.

However, these guidelines will definitely hurt the pockets of some legitimate small developers. But considering the large amount of public money flowing into the unregulated sector, we cannot blame Apple.

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