Apple has clarified its rules for cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), warning of what apps can do with these technologies.
With regard to digital currencies and their exchanges, the American tech giant said in the updated App Store rules that applications can facilitate cryptocurrency transfers and transactions on authorized exchanges. But the app can only be available in countries or regions that license and authorize the operation of cryptocurrency exchanges.
Apple added that apps are not allowed to use their own mechanisms to unlock content or functionality, such as cryptocurrencies or cryptocurrency wallets.
Apple also clarified the rules regarding non-fungible NFT tokens, which may be a digital representation of real assets, such as artwork, typically purchased with cryptocurrencies.
The guidelines state that in-app purchases can be used to sell non-fungible tokens and sell related services, such as minting, and transferring those tokens. Apps can also allow users to browse sets of non-fungible tokens owned by others as long as the apps do not include any external buttons, links, or other actions that might lead customers to out-of-app purchase mechanisms.
All of this means that any kind of non-redeemable token barter service must use Apple’s own internal payment mechanism, from which the company deducts 30 percent for each payment.
Although these guidelines do not include prohibiting codes that are not redeemable in any way, they do restrict the services that require those codes, given the 30 percent that Apple deducts.
Users can view non-replaceable tokens they own within the app provided those tokens do not “unlock features or functionality within the app.” Users often purchase non-redeemable codes as a way to access exclusive parts of a service or even as a kind of membership card for an app. But Apple says some of this will not be allowed.
It is noteworthy that app makers have long criticized the 30% cut, accusing the company of monopolizing in-app purchases.
Apple argues that controlling the App Store allows it to ensure the security of apps and payments. She also said that the App Store has spawned a successful app ecosystem that allows developers to make money.
This, 30 percent, was the subject of a high-profile lawsuit between Apple and Epic Games, the developer of the popular game Fortnite.
The cryptocurrency market has had a volatile and arduous year, with the entire market losing nearly $2 trillion since its peak last November.