The updated guidelines issued by Apple for it developers explicitly bans development of apps that help in “mining” cryptocurrencies. “Apps, including any third party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining,” Apple said on its website.
Apple’s clear guidelines for all crypto services
Apple has very categorically distant itself from the debate of cryptocurrencies by realizing its guidelines only with respect to protecting the hardware of its phones and iPad’s. The guidelines take care of both aspects – hardware compatibilities as well as its app development
With respect to Hardware compatibilities the guidelines number 2.4.2 states
“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.”
The second mention of cryptocurrencies comes under the “Business” which deals with the way App Store can be monetized. Guidelines No. 3.1.5 (b) states the following points with respect to crypto-based services and 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 the 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 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.
- 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 clears intention: Protecting hardware
Cryptocurrency “mining” is essentially math often done by high-powered computers. It requires transactions to be verified via solving complex math problems and equations so that the blocks can be added to the blockchain. According to Coinmint CTO Prieur Leary, each mining rig generates about 1,400 watts, the equivalent of a hairdryer.
These statistics make it really difficult or highly improbable that anyone would use an iPhone or an iPad to mine bitcoins but that doesn’t mean that a surreptitious app couldn’t mine tokens like Monero in the background. Apple with this guideline update has not only laid protection to its device’s hardware and battery but also has proactively stopped future, mining on these devices for cryptocurrencies that are less energy-intensive.
These clear guidelines also stop all “backdoor entry” for any cryptocurrency apps for mining. Although Apple will continue to allows apps like Coinbase and Robinhood to enable users to trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, so it’s not a complete ban on mobile crypto.
The language used in the guidelines is protective but not restrictive. It actually looks like Apple is concerned with its hardware being damaged due to heavy load activities such as “crypto mining” and not to stop cryptocurrencies based activities on the platform and device.
Do you think Apple would slowly curb other crypto services on iPhone or this is just one of thing and it’s actually protecting its hardware? Do let us know your view on the same.
Nilesh Maurya has been associated for past 8 years as an Investment Banker with Omega Capital, a bespoke Investment Banking outfit having offices in Mumbai, New York, Singapore, and Dubai. He has been a regular contributor to business publications such as Business India and Market Express and has been a mentor to many start-up companies. Nilesh Maurya has been associated for past 8 years as an Investment Banker with Omega Capital, a bespoke Investment Banking outfit having offices in Mumbai, New York, Singapore, and Dubai. He has been a regular contributor to business publications such as Business India and Market Express and has been a mentor to many start-up companies. Follow him on Twitter at @KoinKing1 or connect with me on linkedin.