Apple has made amends to its App Store review guidelines. As per the updated guidelines, apps that allow cryptocurrency mining or any other unrelated background process will not be allowed on the App Store. The guidelines state as follows “apps, including any third party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining.”
Until now, the guidelines only mentioned that the apps facilitating the transfer of crypto value need to adhere to the local and the federal laws. Now the change in the guidelines clearly boots out the cryptocurrency mining apps that promise to pay by making use of the computing resources on your phone.
Interestingly, this is not the first time Apple has gone loggerheads with cryptocurrency apps. In 2013, it had delisted Coinbase, one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchange and had blamed it on an “unresolved” issue. The app not only made it back to the app store after some changes but it also rose to become the #1 app on the App Store.
“Apps may facilitate virtual currency storage, provided they are offered by developers enrolled as an organization.” In addition, apps may not mine directly for cryptocurrencies, unless the mining is performed in the cloud or otherwise off-device. Apps may “facilitate transactions or transmissions of cryptocurrency on an approved exchange, provided they are offered by the exchange itself,” although apps facilitating Initial Coin Offerings (“ICOs”) must originate from “established banks, securities firms, futures commission merchants (“FCM”), or other approved financial institutions.” And finally, cryptocurrency-related apps “may not offer currency for completing tasks, such as downloading other apps, encouraging other users to download, posting to social networks.”- App Store Guidelines
Cryptocurrency mining on smartphones or via a web browser is nothing new. In fact, select apps are offering premium features considering that the users allow them to mine cryptocurrency via the smartphone hardware. That being said, mining cryptocurrency via smartphones might be useful when done in large pools, however, in any other scenario, it is nothing but a futile attempt. Generally speaking, crypto mining requires dedicated GPU’s and other high-end hardware. Meanwhile, I personally feel that Apple should take a deeper look and allow the legit apps that mine crypto with the user’s permissions, after all, it is the users like you and me who own the hardware.