Apple tightens rules for apps with NFTs and crypto

A new App Store policy has tightened restrictions on NFTs and cryptocurrencies in apps.
apple app store

Apple has clarified its stance on NFTs and cryptocurrency, outlining an updated policy that tightens restrictions for apps using these technologies. The latest App Store rules state that while apps can include NFT and cryptocurrency integration, it must be handled through Apple‘s in-app purchase system and only in regions where the company has license to operate a crypto exchange.

Mandating the use of Apple‘s proprietary system means any NFTs or cryptocurrency exchanges made in-app will be subject to Apple‘s payment policies. Each transaction will be split, with Apple retaining a 30% cut of these payments.

While this technically allows NFT and cryptocurrency exchanges to take place, it severely limits the potential profit margin of purchasers. It also makes integration of these currencies far less appealing overall.

Read: Why are video game companies doubling down on NFTs?

It appears that while the company is not willing to completely ban NFTs or cryptocurrency, it is placing major roadblocks in the path of those minting, buying, and selling these goods.

In addition to limiting this sales potential, Apple is also taking further steps to limit the functionality of NFTs on its App Store. Going forward, NFTs can no longer be used to ‘unlock content or functionality’ in apps, and apps can only be used to sell NFTs or related services directly on the App Store: minting, listing, transferring tokens. Outside of this, there can be no reference to outside services or purchasing mechanisms.

According to Apple, apps should ‘not include buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms other than in-app purchase.’

Essentially – it’s Apple‘s way, or the highway.

While these new guidelines may not stop every attempt at selling NFTs via the App Store, it is wildly discouraging for those looking to make a quick buck. Apple has stopped just short of outright banning the technology, but there’s no doubt these new rules will dampen enthusiasm for buying and selling cryptocurrencies and NFTs on the platform in future.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.