ICO News: Apple updates app store review guidelines re mining and ICOs

The update, added last Monday (June 4), goes into further details regarding apps as they pertain to cryptocurrency, blockchain technology and of course ICOs (initial coin offerings) or token sales.

Apple on ICOs

As was outlined in December, only mainstream banks and similar financial institutions will be allowed to develop and publish apps enabling crypto futures trading and initial coin offerings, Apple stated.

“Apps facilitating Initial Coin Offerings (“ICOs”), cryptocurrency 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,” read the unchanged policy first unveiled in December.

Clearly, the tech giant is worried about ICOs turning out to be scams, as is often the case.

Apple clamps down on ‘crypto-jacking’

Apple’s primary concern, in updating its app policies, seems to be cracking down on a phenomenon called ‘crypto-jacking’, wherein apps secretly run mining software on users’ devices for profits.

Users install and run apps and are totally unaware that their devices have been effectively enslaved by third-party developers to mine for cryptos; savvy iPhone users may wise up to the scam by picking up on their respective devices’ lower performance and greatly diminished battery life.

This kind of malware is a growing problem and is likely linked to the ever-increasing expense of mining coins like Bitcoin, and even Ethereum, legitimately.

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

Apple outlaws mining entirely

In fact, Apple has outlawed apps from mining cryptocurrencies on the device altogether.

An excerpt from the revised guidelines states:

“Apps may not mine for cryptocurrencies unless the processing is performed off device (e.g. cloud-based mining).”

Here’s the full ‘Cryptocurrencies’ section, which can be found here

Apple’s crypto section

3.1.5 (b) Cryptocurrencies:

(i) Wallets: Apps may facilitate virtual currency storage, provided they are offered by developers enrolled as an organization.

(ii) Mining: Apps may not mine for cryptocurrencies unless the processing is performed off device (e.g. cloud-based mining).

(iii) Exchanges: Apps may facilitate transactions or transmissions of cryptocurrency on an approved exchange, provided they are offered by the exchange itself.

(iv) Initial Coin Offerings: Apps facilitating Initial Coin Offerings (“ICOs”), cryptocurrency 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.

(v) Cryptocurrency apps may not offer currency for completing tasks, such as downloading other apps, encouraging other users to download, posting to social networks, etc.

Facebook, Google, and may others have taken similarly tough stances on all things crypto, blockchain, and ICO-related.



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