Apple Bans Cryptocurrency Mining On All Devices

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After Google, Facebook, and Twitter, now it's time for Apple to join its Silicon Valley counterparts in restricting the crypto industry.

During its recent Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple quietly slipped some language into the App Store review guidelines that prevent anyone from using iPhones and iPads to mine cryptocurrency.

Along with new apps, the guidelines will apply to existing apps as well. Apple 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. This makes sense as in last December, Apple accidentally listed a fake version of the widely-used MyEtherWallet app in the App Store.

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Apps may not mine for cryptocurrencies unless the processing is performed off device (e.g. cloud-based mining).

Six months after crypto exchange Coinbase's app became the number one trending app on the App Store, Apple has now apps to provide wallet services under a caveat. In the most recent update, that section's language precludes apps from hiding mining (or other) features within background tasks. The section also bans apps and any third-party ads from running "unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining". Exchanges can offer fully-featured apps offering trading abilities, as long as the apps are issued by the exchanges themselves and not third parties.

Apple's decision to kill off support and stop accepting new applications for Safari Extensions is clearly meant to encourage iOS 12 and macOS 10.14 developers to embrace the newer App Extensions platform moving forward. Apps also can not offer cryptocurrencies as a reward for performing certain tasks such as downloading certain apps, or posting messages on social media. Any apps that facilitate ICOs, futures trading or other securities must be provided by established banks, securities firms and futures commission merchants (FCMs).

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