Apple has announced updates to the App Store Review Guidelines, offering guidance for apps offering cryptocurrency and NFTs.
The company has remained relatively quiet on blockchain technologies such as cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, but the new guidelines should help developers by spelling out what they can and cannot do.
Specifically, the changes involve the rules surrounding in-app purchases, and the company clarifies that cryptocurrencies can't be used as an alternative payment option.
Changes to 3.11 In-App Purchase
The text for the rule has been changed to include the following:
Apps may not use their own mechanisms to unlock content or functionality, such as license keys, augmented reality markers, QR codes, cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency wallets, etc.
The rule change is no surprise, as Apple only allows alternative payment systems in certain countries.
An addition to the 3.11 rule is as follows:
Apps may use in-app purchase to sell and sell services related to non-fungible tokens (NFTs), such as minting, listing, and transferring. Apps may allow users to view their own NFTs, provided that NFT ownership does not unlock features or functionality within the app. Apps may allow users to browse NFT collections owned by others, provided that the apps may not include buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms other than in-app purchase.
Finally, Apple has revised rule 3.1.5(iii) to include cryptocurrency exchanges. These companies let people buy and sell cryptocurrencies using traditional fiat currency.
Exchanges: Apps may facilitate transactions or transmissions of cryptocurrency on an approved exchange, provided they are offered only in countries or regions where the app has appropriate licensing and permissions to provide a cryptocurrency exchange.
Cryptocurrency exchanges, such as Coinbase and Binance, already exist on the App Store, but now developers have a little more guidance for their businesses.