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

12 June 2018

Get exclusive fiat and cryptocurrency analysis on for just $39 per month. Along with new apps, the guidelines will apply to existing apps as well.

The ban is clearly spelled out in the new set of developer guidelines for the App Store released during Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which took place last week.

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

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Apps may not mine for cryptocurrencies unless the processing is performed off device (e.g. cloud-based mining). The former says that apps "may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining". Any apps that facilitate ICOs, futures trading or other securities must be provided by established banks, securities firms and futures commission merchants (FCMs).

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.

In July 2017, Apple 'approved' Dash as a cryptocurrency.

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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. Exchanges can offer fully-featured apps offering trading abilities, as long as the apps are issued by the exchanges themselves and not third parties.

Apple is also cutting down on third-party apps providing crypto transactions on approved exchanges. In a dedicated cryptocurrency section, the company goes on to break down in more detail what is - and, crucially, is not - permissible. It also rules that, "Cryptocurrency apps may not offer currency for completing tasks, such as downloading other apps, encouraging other users to download, posting to social networks, etc".

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