Apple announced their new App Store guidelines during the Worldwide Developers Conference last week. The tech-giant imposed an immediate ban on cryptocurrency mining on all Mac and iOS devices.

The updates rules are, probably, a response to a popular app called Calendar 2, adding a Monero miner to its premium upgrade. The app was, later, removed from the store for violation of a guideline that discourages apps from putting unnecessary strain on devices.

A Firm Stance on Cryptocurrency

The world’s most valuable brand has previously engaged in clamping down on crypto businesses. However, this is the first time it has taken a clear policy stance on the issue.

In 2013 and 2014, several crypto apps, including Coinbase, were delisted from the App Store due to an unexplained “unresolved issue.” Coinbase, later, returned to become the #1 app on the marketplace for a brief period in 2017.

The policy changes affect two sections of the guidelines. The first change can be noticed in a section about power efficiency (2.4.2). The company stated:

“Apps, including any third-party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining.”

In a separate section on cryptocurrencies (3.1.5), they have laid down five rules for apps:

1. Only those developers who are enrolled as organizations can offer virtual currency wallet apps.
2. Apps that let users mine on the cloud are allowed. Apps that use the device’s computing power are discouraged.
3. Apps that let users trade, send, or receive crypto coins on an approved exchange will be allowed only when they are offered by the said exchange.
4. Only banks, lawful firms etc. will be allowed to offer apps involved in crypto securities trading. Bitcoin futures trading and ICOs.
5. Crypto apps can’t offer free users digital coins for downloading apps or doing other tasks like boosting social media activity.

Apple iPhone 6 on MacBook keyboard with iPad, iPhone 5s and iPhone 4s. Source:
Apple iPhone 6 on MacBook keyboard with iPad, iPhone 5s, and iPhone 4s. Source:

What Do the New Rules Mean?

An iPhone doesn’t have sufficient computing power to mine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. However, apps installed on the phone could use the phone’s unused processing power to run background mining processes. The new store policy could help in curbing illegal mining and prevent stealth attacks from criminals.

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