Apple bans cryptomining in all iOS mobile apps
Apple Inc. has declared that it’s not a fan of cryptomining by banning the practice via apps outright even when a user wishes to approve of the process.
The policy change was delivered at the same time as the recent Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, but it was buried in fine print and only noticed today. The relevant section within the App Store guidelines for iOS – 3.1.5 (b)(ii) now say, “Apps may not mine for cryptocurrencies unless the processing is performed off device.”
Along with the outright ban, in section 2.4 Hardware Compatibility (2.4.2), the revised terms of service includes the line, “Apps, including any third-party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining.”
The positive news is that Apple has, at the same time, confirmed that apps relating to cryptocurrencies are fine as long as they’re not mining for them. There is now an entire section in the ToS – 3.15(b) dedicated to the topic saying that apps can be used to store cryptocurrencies and facilitate trade in them, though with some arguably reasonable restrictions.
Section 3.15(b)(iv) states that apps relating to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency futures trading and other cryptosecurities or quasi-securities trading must come from legally registered institutions, while 3.15(b)(v) states that cryptocurrency apps “may not offer currency for completing tasks, such as downloading other apps, encouraging other users to download, posting to social networks, etc.”
Unlike the arguably manipulated price plunge following the hack of South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Coinrail over the weekend, the cryptomining ban had zero effect on cryptocurrency markets. Bitcoin rose slightly over yesterday’s three-month low, trading at $6,854.92 as of 9:50 p.m. EDT.
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