Apple rolls out new App Store rules for crypto and NFT payments

Category: Crypto NTFs Payments
Posted by Teuta

Under new rules, all NFT sales will have to pass through Apple’s in-app purchase system, while crypto-exchange apps will need to have the necessary regional licenses.

Apple allows crypto and NFTs in the App Store but with 30% fee

Apple introduced new App Store rules that restrict features unlocked through NFTs and order all applications to exclusively use Apple’s payment method to purchase “boosts” for posts on social media.

According to the company, “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 company claims not to have issues with either NFT trading or with crypto exchanges – as long as they are operating under regional legal licenses. That means that the company is empowered to eliminate any crypto exchange from a local App Store if it’s illegal for that region.

However, in order for apps to trade NFTs, they’ll need to pass through the company’s own in-app purchase systems and “may not include buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms other than in-app purchase.”

These kinds of changes could have severe implications for the functionality of web3-dependant apps (including games) within the Apple ecosystem. 

Until now, NFTs were often used as a way to curb Apple’s App Store 30 percent fee and simultaneously as a token, or key, to unlock features for users — but that won’t be allowed anymore.

No unlocking features outside the app

One of the industry players opposing this decision the most might be Fortnite maker Epic Games Inc., famous for its extensive in-game content. Fortnite was removed from the Apple store since its players didn’t want to pay 30 percent to Apple every time an asset peer-to-peer was shared.

Apple lobbies against any app purposes that enable NFT owners to “unlock features or functionality within the app” but has said it will allow users to “display, browse and share their NFT collection with others in apps across its iPhones and iPads”.

Trading volumes for NFTs have recorded a severe fall of 97 percent from their January record high after a series of economic shocks and the prolonging of crypto winter. 

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