After OS releases, Apple bans currency mining on App Store

Sheetal Sukhija - Wednesday 13th June, 2018

CALIFORNIA, U.S. - After top banks issued a ban on the use of company-issued credit cards for buying cryptocurrency, Apple has announced a revision of its App Store rules.

According to the iPhone maker, it has now placed restrictions on cryptocurrency mining, storage and payment across the apps it distributes.

Previously, Apple had declared that apps transmitting approved cryptocurrencies could do so only in compliance with applicable laws. 

It had also insisted that apps involved in Initial Coin Offerings, cryptocurrency futures trading and the like had to come from established banks, securities firms, futures commissions merchants or other approved financial institutions.

Now, expanding its requirements, An Apple spokesperson announced, "Consistent with other enterprise practices in Wells Fargo Advisors and Wells Fargo Securities, customers can no longer use their Wells Fargo credit cards to purchase cryptocurrency. We will continue to evaluate the issue as the market evolves."

The announcement by the tech giant came after Wells Fargo joined the list of top banks like Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase, that have banned the use of company-issued credit cards for buying cryptocurrency.

At its annual developer conference recently, Apple even introduced beta versions of its forthcoming iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS releases - which coincided with the announcement. 

Now, the company allows only coders who are part of an organization participating in Apple's developer program to provide Apps that offer wallets to store virtual currencies. 

Further, cryptocurrency mining has been disallowed in App Store apps, unless the processing is performed somewhere other than an Apple device, such as a remote server or cloud provider.

Apple also does not allow apps to offer cryptocurrency as an incentive for taking specific actions, such as downloading other apps, posting to social media or urging others to download apps.

As part of its latest move, Apple has also expanded its prohibition on unnecessarily expending resources, draining the battery or generating heat with a specific callout to cryptocurrency mining.

According to the revised App Store rules, “Apps, including any third party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining.”

Apple’s announcement added further pressure on cryptocurrencies, which, at the start of the week suffered losses after a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, Coinrail announced that it had been hacked.

The incident caused Bitcoin's price to decline on Monday.

Meanwhile, the company’s new ban extends to all Apple platforms.