Apple Officially Bans On-Device Cryptocurrency Mining

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Apple has banned on-device cryptocurrency mining in a new set of developer guideline updates.

The new language was added to Apple’s App Store review guidelines for developers sometime during the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference last week. The updated language relates specifically to rules surrounding cryptocurrency.

Per the new guidelines, apps are barred from running “unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining.” That ban also extends to third-party ads displayed within them.

The section of the guidelines explicitly focused on cryptocurrencies was also updated with more stringent regulations on the technology.

One part was updated to read that “apps may not directly mine for cryptocurrencies unless that mining is performed in the cloud or otherwise off-device.”

Apps that covertly use a device’s resources to mine cryptocurrency are rampant on the Google Play Store. Such apps can even cause physical damage to a smartphone if their resource strain is aggressive enough. The updated set of guidelines makes it clear that Apple is looking to avoid such apps on its own App Store.

In addition, the guidelines now state that cryptocurrency-related apps cannot “offer currency for completing tasks, such as downloading other apps, encouraging other users to download, (or) posting to social media.”

Two parts of the cryptocurrency section remain relatively unchanged, however.

Apps can still “facilitate visual currency storage” if they’re offered by developers enrolled in an organization. Apps can also facilitate Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), but only if they’re a part of an established and approved financial institution — like a bank, securities firm, or futures commission merchant.

Earlier this year, Apple pulled an app called Calendar 2 that had implemented a cryptocurrency mining feature. That feature allowed for users to “pay “for the full version of the app by leveraging their computer’s CPU to mine for cryptocurrency in the background.

At the time, Apple said that the feature violated guidelines mandating that apps should be power-efficient and avoid placing “unnecessary strain” on devices. The feature was pulled and the app was delisted in the App Store.

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