a year ago
App Store has updated its cryptocurrency guidelines. What does it mean?
On October 24, Apple updated its policies, including those regarding the use of cryptocurrencies in iOS applications. What changed?
1. In-app purchases
What does it mean? This means that iOS apps can no longer use cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency wallets as a way to unlock additional content or provide additional features to their users.
At the same time, Apple does not specify what to do for applications that not only offer payment for additional features in cryptocurrency, but such features are directly related to cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency wallets and cannot be separated from them and transferred to in-app purchases.
2. Use of NFTs
What does it mean? This means that if you are making an NFT game and your NFTs provide some additional functionality to users, then in iOS applications you should only sell them through Apple in-app purchases. If your application is an NFT marketplace, then now you cannot add links there that will lead to the purchase of NFT for cryptocurrencies - you must use in-app purchases.
Why did Apple change its policies?
Clearly, Apple sensed a threat to their own business from web3 applications. More and more users and companies are moving towards a decentralized economy where users can not only get the same experience as in web2 applications, but actually own their game items, content, accounts and other assets, as well as buy and sell them without the participation of Apple, which deprives them of their income.
The change in their policies is Apple's attempt to redirect users' financial flows back through their centralized payment system that they can control and from which they can get their 30% tax.
What will this mean for users?
It remains unclear what to do with those web3 applications that technically cannot comply with Apple's new rules. Most likely, while Apple will use a flexible approach in moderating such applications and try to sit on two chairs. However, the general message is this: web3 projects that want to stay in the App Store will be forced to adapt to the current rules. How?
1. Introduce additional mechanics for purchasing additional functionality through the App Store, where possible. At the same time, users will now have to pay not only for the crypto asset that they acquire, but also cover all additional fees for conducting and processing transactions and payments, services and risks of third parties involved in making these payments, as well as a 30% Apple tax, which will fall on top of all these costs and, of course, end users.
2. Remove or hide all additional functionality from iOS applications that can be unlocked using crypto assets or NFTs, turning them into limited versions of applications and significantly curtailing the capabilities of all web3 users of Apple devices, effectively making the iOS platform unsuitable for web3.
Both of these options will ultimately degrade the experience and limit the capabilities of iOS users. As a result, Apple may lose some of its users and its reputation as a technology leader. Who needs phones that can't use modern technology? In addition, the implementation of the new rules will impose an additional burden on the developers themselves, because they will have to provide additional logic for the behavior of their applications for iOS devices, as well as introduce alternative payment systems.
Will it kill web3?
No. Although such changes complicate the mass adoption of web3 applications in the short term, in the long term, on the contrary, they will rather only increase the trend of people moving to the web3 economy, because this is exactly why cryptocurrencies exist at all – not to give centralized authorities the right to control your finances, assets or decide what you can do and what not.