Apple has just updated its Review Guidelines for its App Store to ban apps that mine cryptocurrency on its devices. This new ban is not limited to iOS, but also extends to all the device platforms that the company supports including macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. The new rules state that apps will not be banned if the mining, the actual “processing is performed off device”. The refers to “cloud-based mining” to ensure that the app is power efficient. According to the company, apps will not be able to “run unrelated background processes” related to cryptocurrency mining.
The company will still allow cryptocurrency wallet apps given that the developers are enrolled as part of the organization. This means that there will be no third-party cryptocurrency wallet apps. The company also added a new rule where only the apps offered by cryptocurrency exchanges would allow Apple users to carry out cryptocurrency-related transmissions and transactions. All the apps that offer ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) or any cryptocurrency futures trading and any other securities related to crypto should only “come from established banks, securities firms, futures commission merchants (FCM), or other approved financial institutions”. This also adds that these institutions must comply with the law that is applicable to them.
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The final update is that Cryptocurrency apps are not allowed to offer any cryptocurrency in exchange of asking users to complete tasks such as downloading any other apps or asking users to invite their friends and families to download the app and post about the app on their social media accounts.
This comes months after the company had removed “Calendar 2” from its Mac Store after the app started crypto mining on macOS-powered machines in return of “premium features”. This updated policy makes Apple’s stand on cryptocurrency and its mining much more clear than the past.
These updates will affect the cryptocurrency apps significantly given how they currently operate regarding ICOs or crypto transactions. We are not sure how many apps will be removed from the App Store because they have been mining cryptocurrency. However, as pointed by The Verge, jailbroken iPhones will still be able to mine cryptocurrencies but that will not really be cost-effective.