Apple slaps a ban on cryptocurrency mining apps

Cryptocurrency coins

Apple has updated its developer guidelines, making it clear that apps that overtly or covertly mine for cryptocurrencies are simply not welcome in the App Store.

The clamp down covers iOS devices, and it has only recently been introduced. The ban means that iPhones and iPads cannot be used to mine for cryptocurrencies, unless the processing is carried out in the cloud. It's not clear how big a problem mining apps have been, and iOS hardware would seem rather underpowered for the task.

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In a section of the guidelines about power efficiency, Apple says: "Apps, including any third party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining."

Additionally, the updated cryptocurrency-specific guidelines read:

3.1.5 (b) Cryptocurrencies:

  • Wallets: Apps may facilitate virtual currency storage, provided they are offered by developers enrolled as an organization.
  • Mining: Apps may not mine for cryptocurrencies unless the processing is performed off device (e.g. cloud-based mining).
  • Exchanges: Apps may facilitate transactions or transmissions of cryptocurrency on an approved exchange, provided they are offered by the exchange itself.
  • 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.
  • Cryptocurrency apps may not offer currency for completing tasks, such as downloading other apps, encouraging other users to download, posting to social networks, etc.

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