Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines have been updated to address various aspects of cryptocurrency. Some of the relevant provisions include the following.
One of the provisions relates to prevents an app from including ads that run background processes such as crypto mining. This is a tactic that has arisen, unbeknownst to many users. The relevant provision recites:
2.4.2 Design your app to use power efficiently. Apps should not rapidly drain battery, generate excessive heat, or put unnecessary strain on device resources. Apps, including any third party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining.
Another whole section is focused solely on Cryptocurrencies. This sections impose limitations on crypto wallets, prohibit on device mining, permit apps that facilitate crypto exchange transactions as long as the transaction is done on an approved exchange, specify that apps facilitating ICOs must come from approved financial institutions and limit the offering of cryptocurrency for users completing tasks. The full section is set forth below.
3.1.5 (b) Cryptocurrencies:
(i) Wallets: Apps may facilitate virtual currency storage, provided they are offered by developers enrolled as an organization.
(ii) Mining: Apps may not mine for cryptocurrencies unless the processing is performed off device (e.g. cloud-based mining).
(iii) Exchanges: Apps may facilitate transactions or transmissions of cryptocurrency on an approved exchange, provided they are offered by the exchange itself.
(iv) Initial Coin Offerings: Apps facilitating Initial Coin Offerings (“ICOs”), cryptocurrency futures 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.
(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.