For quite some time now, cryptocurrency mining has been an activity that people have become interested in. Because of its popularity, it has expanded onto mobile devices in the form of apps that users can download and use. Of course, this opens devices for a host of security issues that comes with cryptocurrency mining. Apple, making a stand for its users, has recently updated its developer guidelines with an explicit ban on such apps.
The new guidelines against cryptocurrency mining are enlisted under section 3.15 known as cryptocurrencies. The guidelines put a ban against Bitcoins and other virtual currencies mining apps on iOS devices unless it is done via the cloud or off-device. In addition to this, existing apps are no longer allowed to offer rewards in the form of cryptocurrencies for performing certain actions like posting a message on social media or downloading a certain app.
Apple’s reasoning behind the ban on such apps is part of the company’s wider restrictions on apps that generate excessive heat, drain battery, or strain the resources of a device. And since all of these occur during cryptocurrency mining, Apple has decided to put a stop on these.
The full list of the new guidelines include the following:
(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.
Apple isn’t the only one taking a stand against cryptocurrency mining apps posing a danger to its users. Google has also put a stop on cryptocurrency ads on YouTube, which resulted to sending the price of Bitcoin down. Additionally, Wells Fargo has banned its customers from buying cryptocurrency using their credit cards as they “continue to evaluate the issue as the market evolves.” Apple’s new guidelines, however, put things off to a more serious note.
It’s important to note though that both iPhones and iPads do not possess the right processing power to make them efficient devices for mining. So this ban doesn’t really come as a big frustration for any seasoned miner. Instead, the ban limits the option for using cryptocurrency mining apps on future Apple devices that are powerful enough for it.
Another important thing to note is that Apple is not banning apps related to cryptocurrency mining. The only thing that sends a red flag to the company is when the mini process runs on its devices. Any such mining can be done off of iOS devices. The ban does not include crypto wallets, which may still be used across iOS devices.