According to the new developer guidelines set during WWDC 2018, new rules have been set for cryptocurrency apps that are distributed through both iOS and Mac App stores.
In the guidelines, under Hardware Compatibility, Apple has stated, “Apps, including any third party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining.”Apple has added a new section to its App Store Review Guidelines related to cryptocurrency. The new ban extends to all Apple platforms.
Earlier this year, in March, Apple had removed Calendar 2 from the Mac App store, because the app had been mining cryptocurrency against some premium features. There was no rule as such on cryptocurrency back then, but Apple has now declared an entire section in its App Store Review Guidelines with these 5 rules for cryptocurrency.
- Wallets: Apps may facilitate virtual currency storage, provided they are offered by developers enrolled as an organization.
- Mining: Apps may not mine for cryptocurrencies unless the processing is performed off device (e.g. cloud-based mining).
- Exchanges: Apps may facilitate transactions or transmissions of cryptocurrency on an approved exchange, provided they are offered by the exchange itself.
- Initial Coin Offerings: Apps facilitating 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 (“FCM”), or other approved financial institutions and must comply with all applicable law.
- Cryptocurrency apps may not offer currency for completing tasks, such as downloading other apps, encouraging other users to download, posting to social networks, etc.
Apple is not the only platform that has been dealing with the problem of apps mining bitcoins in the background. Cryptocurrency mining problems has been found in Android apps for years.
According to The Verge, even though Apple’s rules apply to all apps within the App Store and Macs, jailbroken iPhones will still be able to mine cryptocurrency outside of Apple’s walled garden.