Monday, January 30, 2023

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Apple issues new guidelines for app store for crypto, NFT payments

New Delhi: Apple Inc. revised its App Store policies on Monday, adding new language that is more concise and explains its stance on cryptocurrency trading and non-fungible tokens.

The Cupertino, California-based business has no issues with cryptocurrency exchanges or any other apps that permit the trading of digital tokens and currencies, so long as those exchanges possess the necessary local operating permits where the app is distributed.

However, apps must use Apple’s in-app purchase systems in order to sell NFTs and related services, and they “may not include buttons, external links, or other calls to action that steer customers to purchasing mechanisms other than in-app purchase.”

The battle to force customers to use Apple’s own payment system has involved legal battles with Fortnite creator Epic Games Inc. and conflicts with governments like South Korea’s. According to the iPhone manufacturer, this is the only surefire way to protect users’ sensitive information.

Apple typically takes a 30% cut of the payments it processes, which has resulted in large profits from games like Fortnite that have a tonne of in-game content that can be unlocked by players with deep pockets.

Apple expressly advises against any NFT holders being able to “unlock features or functionality within the app” in order to circumvent its payments rule. This could have an impact on some NFT applications that use the token as a membership card to grant extra benefits and access that isn’t otherwise possible.

Even so, Apple’s apps for iPhones and iPads will let users show off, browse, and share their NFT collection with others.

After a slew of economic shocks and explosions in the cryptocurrency sector soured investors’ appetites for digital assets, trading volumes for NFTs, or digital artwork and collectables stored on blockchains, have fallen 97% from their record high in January.

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