Apple bans cryptocurrency mining on iPads, iPhones

By Anuj Sharma - June 12, 2018
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The new rules should drastically change the Apple cryptocurrency app ecosystem, given how third-party apps for initial coin offerings or sending and receiving cryptocurrency are essentially banned.

Apple has updated its developer guidelines to explicitly ban "mining" cryptocurrencies like bitcoin on iPhones and iPads.

“Design your app to use power efficiently. Apps should not rapidly drain battery, generate excessive heat, or put unnecessary strain on device resources. Apps, including any third party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining,” Apples said on its website.

The company’s crypto-related guidelines were first put in place in 2014 after the app store unlisted Coinbase and other cryptocurrency apps, citing an "unresolved issue.”

The new Cryptocurrencies guidelines include:

(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.

The new rules should drastically change the Apple cryptocurrency app ecosystem, given how third-party apps for initial coin offerings or sending and receiving cryptocurrency are essentially banned. It will also be interesting to see how many apps get removed for having secret miners that might have been added through hacks by cybercriminals.

According to CoinDesk, Bitcoin hit its lowest in two months in the last week after a relatively small South Korean exchange said it was hacked. The digital currency was trading near $6,726 Monday.

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