App Store forbids applications that mine cryptocurrencies with iOS devices
The App Store has banned applications that use iPhone, iPad or Mac features to mine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
Apple has recently updated its developer guidelines, in which underlined that its devices will not be used to mine cryptocurrencies. The changes were announced at the 2018 Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), which was held in California. The goal is to prevent “crypto-jacking”, a scam in which individuals steal a fraction of a user’s device to mine cryptos.
The new guidelines aim to restrain the use of mobile phones to access digital currency brokers, but continue to allow for virtual wallets or cloud mining. Some of these rules seem to be preventing cryptos’ overall growth, which can be problematic in the long run.
AppleInsider published a detailed report, specifying the role cryptocurrencies and related matters will have on Apples’ apps:
- Wallets: Apps may facilitate virtual currency storage provided they are offered by developers enrolled as an organization
- Mining: Apps may not mine for cryptocurrencies unless the processing is performed off device (e.g. cloud-based mining).
- Exchanges: Apps may facilitate transactions or transmissions of cryptocurrency on an approved exchange, provided they are offered by the exchange itself
- Initial Coin Offerings: Apps facilitating Initial Coin Offerings (“ICOs”), cryptocurrency future 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
- Cryptocurrency apps may not offer currency for completing tasks, such has downloading other apps, encouraging other users to download, posting to social networks, etc.
The report also highlights the hardware damage caused by mining apps. “Design your application to use energy efficiently. Applications should not drain the battery quickly, generate excessive heat, or unnecessarily overload device features. Applications, including third-party ads displayed on them, can not run unrelated background processes (the primary purpose of the app), such as crypto-coin mining, ” explains the updated developer guide.
The processing power on the iPhone and Mac is considered low to perform mining efficiently, making the devices useful only on the network. For that reason, mining tends to generate gains only for the application developer, not the user.
Recently, Apple removed one of these programs from the macOS store. The Calendar 2 app drained battery and too much computer processing because, in addition to offering a calendar, it used hardware to mine cryptocoins. Removal occurred prior to the update of the developer guide.
In addition, iOS and macOS apps can not manage participation in ICOs (Initial Coin Offer), unless they are offered by financial institutions.