Apple has explicitly banned apps that mine cryptocurrency on its devices, according to newly updated Review Guidelines for the App Store. The new ban extends to all Apple platforms.
"Apps may not mine for cryptocurrencies unless the processing is performed off device," Apple's app store guidelines for iOS now say. This requirement was absent from the same document just a few weeks ago.
Previously, section 2.4 of Apple’s iOS developer guidelines said developers should design apps that “use power efficiently” and don’t “rapidly drain battery, generate excessive heat, or put unnecessary strain on device resources,” forbidding apps (and any third-party ads in them) from running “unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining.”
Going forward, crypto wallets or apps that facilitate the “transaction or transmission” of cryptocurrency are fine, but apps “may not mine for cryptocurrencies unless the processing is performed off device (e.g. cloud-based mining).”
Additionally, apps facilitating initial coin offerings must come from established banks, securities firms or FCMs, and must comply with all local laws. And finally, cryptocurrency apps will not be allowed to offer users coins for performing various tasks inside an app, like asking the user to review the app or post about it on social media.
Apple specifically calls out these two instances that it will not accept under any conditions:
(ii) Mining: Apps may not mine for cryptocurrencies unless the processing is performed off device (e.g. cloud-based mining).
(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.
Apple's new policy takes effect at a time of growing concern over scammy behavior in the cryptocurrency world. Google and Facebook both banned cryptocurrency ads from their ad networks earlier this year. And the Securities and Exchange Commission has become increasingly aggressive about shutting down initial coin offerings that are fraudulent or otherwise break the law.