Apple has updated the Apple store Developer Review Guidelines to explicitly ban cryptocurrency mining across any type of app, and all of Apple’s platform. The gist is that Apple products user won’t be able to mine any cryptocurrency on their devices, but they can store it there.
In March, Apple removed Calendar 2(a popular scheduling app) from the App Store. This was after the app was updated with the ability to mine Monero digital currency on users’ devices to unlock premium features.
Apple has an entire cryptocurrency section under the Business section, which spells out specific guidelines for how apps in the Apple’s app store can facilitate transactions, mine or trade digital currencies:Wallets: Apps may facilitate cryptocurrency storage, provided they are offered by developers enrolled as an organization.
- Mining: Apps may not mine for cryptocurrencies unless the processing is performed off the device (e.g., cloud-based mining).
- Exchanges: Apps may facilitate transactions or transmissions of cryptocurrency on an approved exchange, provided the Crypto exchange itself offers them.
- ICOs: ICOs, digital currency 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 digital tokens for completing tasks, such as downloading other apps, encouraging other users to download, posting to social networks, etc.
Consequently, the App Store is the only place to acquire Apps for iPhones, iPads, iPod touches, Apple TVs, and Apple Watches, Apple’s resolution will effectively end crypto mining on those devices. On macOS and jailbroken iPhones, users will continue to be able to acquire apps outside of the Mac and Apple Store, allowing mining and other activities to continue without Apple’s seal of approval.
Facebook, Twitter, Google, Snapchat, and LinkedIn have all banned ads featuring ICOs. In November last year, a researcher found nearly 2,500 websites running some form of crypto jacking malware designed to use users device to mine cryptocurrencies.