Apple’s Developer Guidelines bans crypto mining, limits ICO apps

iPhone, iPad and MacOS apps distributed through Apple’s App Stores will no longer be able to use processing resources for generating cryptocurrency.

Last week’s Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) saw the tech company tweak its software creation rules regarding cryptocurrency apps placed within its App Stores. According to Apple Insider, one notable new addition to its Hardware Compatibility section now dictates that “apps, including any third party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining.”

The article goes on to quote a later section of the rules as saying that while “Apps may facilitate virtual currency storage, provided they are offered by developers enrolled as an organization,” apps can only offer mining facilities if “the mining is performed in the cloud or otherwise off-device.”

Also, the amended rules limit the ways in which cryptocurrency and token issuing companies can use the App Store by saying that “apps facilitating Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) must originate from ‘established banks, securities firms, futures commission merchants (FCM), or other approved financial institutions,'” nor are that allowed to “offer currency for completing tasks, such as downloading other apps, encouraging other users to download, posting to social networks.”

Earlier this year, Apple removed an app called Calendar 2 from its stores for mining the cryptocurrency Monero (MNR) in the background, after Apple determined that the process negatively impacted devices that were using it. Qbix – the company behind the app, which generated it around $2,000 worth of MNR over the two days it was in the wild – had convinced users to allow mining in exchange for free access to premium features. However, several bugs caused the miner to run even if a user opted out, and one reported the app using 200% CPU.