Apple bans cryptocurrency mining from App Store

Apple has moved to ban cryptocurrency mining apps from both the iOS and Mac App Stores.

In what appears to be a major crackdown on potentially harmful apps, the iPhone maker has added new guidelines to block any new apps from carrying out cryptocurrency mining of any kind.

Following Apple's recent WWDC 2018 event, which saw the unveiling of iOS 12, the company added a new section to its App Store review guidelines concerning cryptocurrency.

This includes an addition in the Hardware Compatibility section that says, "apps, including any third party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining." 

No more mining

Along with this is an entirely new section related to cryptocurrencies, advising app developers on what precise functions or services will be permitted.

Apps are allowed to offer storage of cryptocurrencies, "provided they are offered by developers enrolled as an organization", and can also "facilitate transactions or transmissions of cryptocurrency on an approved exchange" - so long as these transactions are offered by the exchange itself.

Apple adds that any firms offering ICOs or other cryptocurrency transactions must be "established banks, securities firms, futures commission merchants ("FCM"), or other approved financial institutions."

However the rules explicitly state that, "apps may not mine directly for cryptocurrencies" - although this is not the case if the mining takes place away from the actual device - such as in the cloud.

Apps must also not offer cryptocurrency for completing tasks, such as downloading other apps, encouraging other users to download or making posts on social networks.

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.