Apple's History With Cryptocurrency Mining Apps
In March 2018, Apple removed Calendar 2 from the Apple Store. The app was caught mining cryptocurrency on users' devices, which sent red flags to Apple.
Although the tech company lacked a formal guideline on cryptocurrency mining at the time, it still took action. Calendar 2 later relaunched on the App Store without mining for the cryptocurrency.
This wasn't the first time Apple took decisive action against a cryptocurrency app. In 2013, it removed Coinbase and other digital currency apps as well. Coinbase later rejoined the App Store. In 2017, it was the most popular app in the App Store.
Apple Officially Bans Cryptocurrency Mining
Sometime between June 4 and 5, Apple officially updated its developer guidelines to ban cryptocurrency mining on the iPhone, iPad and all Apple platforms. This includes bitcoin, monero, and other digital currencies.
"Apps should not rapidly drain battery, generate excessive heat, or put unnecessary strain on device resources. Apple wrote in the guidelines," Apps, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining."
This new rule specifically calls out mining because the excessive heat might drain the battery. It should be noted that it is difficult to mine for cryptocurrency on an iPhone because of the amount of energy required. It takes a computer about 1,400 watts just to mine for the cryptocurrency.
Apple's ruling does not allow for low-energy mining either. There are a few apps that do this, but they don't generate a lot of digital currencies.
Some apps use cloud mining for the cryptocurrency, but Apple has not issued a separate ruling on this. It is saying that apps cannot act as an interface for mining schemes. Mining performed off of the device is legal.
Apple's New General Cryptocurrency Guidelines
In addition to the changes in mining, Apple revealed other cryptocurrency guidelines. Effective immediately, Apple ordered that cryptocurrency storage can only be permitted if the developers are part of an organization. Apps can also facilitate cryptocurrency exchanges if a real exchange offers the transaction.
"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")," Apple wrote in the guidelines.
All apps are also banned from offering cryptocurrency to users for completing simple tasks, such as downloading apps and posting to social media.