Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Apple bans cryptocurrency mining from its app stores

Apple bans cryptocurrency mining from its app stores

Two sections have been updated in the new App Store Review Guidelines -section 2.4.2 (Hardware Compatibility) and 3.1.5 (b) (ii) (Cryptocurrencies).

In perhaps somewhat related news, Bitcoin (and most other cryptocurrencies) have fallen almost 8% in value over the last day, following the hack of South Korean crypto exchange Coinrail over the weekend.

The new rules ban any app from directly mining cryptocurrency.

However, with the latest addition in the App Store guidelines (via AppleInsider), Apple has gone official with its iOS-wide ban on cryptocurrency mining apps. The rules appear to be an attempt to nip any kind of "crypto-jacking", an increasingly common scam that hijacks a small portion of a users' device to mine cryptocurrency without them realizing.

Instead, the iPhone-maker is encouraging developers to embrace its new Safari App Extensions platform which was introduced back in 2010. These, Apple writes, "must come from established banks, securities firms, futures commission merchants, or other approved financial institutions and must comply with all applicable law". These conditions extend to apps providing cryptocurrency futures trading, and other crypto-securities or quasi-securities trading.

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Apple has been pushing extension developers toward Safari App Extensions for a few years now.

Such extensions will still work with Safari 12, but being depreciated means it's only a matter of time until support is dropped entirely, at which point only Safari App Extensions will work. "Apps may facilitate virtual currency storage, provided they are offered by developers enrolled as an organization", the policy states.

Apple is also cutting down on third-party apps providing crypto transactions on approved exchanges.

Apple further disallowed cryptocurrency apps that reward users for completing tasks such as downloading other apps or coaxing other users to do the same or to make social media posts.

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