Apple updates its App Store guidelines with new restrictions on NFTs

In a recent update, the tech giant clarified that non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are allowed in the apps, but cannot be used to unlock additional in-app features or content.

“Apps may use in-app purchase to sell and sell services related to non-fungible tokens (NFTs), such as minting, listing, and transferring,” App Store’s October 24 update reads. “Apps may allow users to view their own NFTs, provided that NFT ownership does not unlock features or functionality within the app.”

Moreover, developers aren’t allowed to include “buttons, external links, or other calls to action” that may direct customers to purchase NFTs from platforms other than the app. And given the recent decision by Apple to impose a 30% tax on in-app NFT sales, this restriction seems to be pretty in line with the company’s business model — except that the NFT community is all but pleased with the new guidelines.

Jason L. Baptiste, the CEO of a move-to-earn platform YDY Life, criticized Apple’s policy update, tweeting that the company “is now the largest threat to Web3”. “The big takeaway is that this is Apple's largest and maybe first official stance on Crypto, NFTs, and Web3. It does not embrace it, but sees Web3 as a threat. This is a step in the wrong direction from both a policy and technology standpoint,” he added.

Besides NFTs, Apple has also revised its approach to cryptocurrency exchange apps.

“Exchanges: Apps may facilitate transactions or transmissions of cryptocurrency on an approved exchange, provided they are offered only in countries or regions where the app has appropriate licensing and permissions to provide a cryptocurrency exchange,” the guideline reads.