Apple updates App Store policies to ban apps from using NFTs to unlock token-gated content

Apple updates App Store policies to ban apps from using NFTs to unlock token-gated content

Quick take:

  • Apple does not allow NFT ownership to unlock features in apps on the App Store.
  • Users can browse NFT collections, but the apps cannot contain calls to action that direct customers to external purchase mechanisms.
  • These updates can be seen as Apple’s official stance on Web3.

Apple updated its App Store review policies following the release of new software updates, OS 16.1, iPad OS 16.1 and macOS Ventura on Monday.

The updated guidelines contain rules that limit certain features of NFT-related apps. It says apps are allowed to create, list and transfer NFTs, and can allow users to view their own NFTs and collections of others. However, NFT ownership cannot unlock in-app features or functionality, essentially prohibiting the use of non-fungible tokens to unlock token-gated features on iOS apps.

The NFT-related apps also cannot include buttons, external links or other calls to action that direct customers to external purchase mechanisms other than in-app purchases, thus ensuring that NFT platforms cannot bypass the 30% cut – known as the Apple Tax – which the tech giant charges for in-app NFT transactions.

In September, The Information reported that Apple told startups they must sell NFTs through in-app purchases, prompting Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney to answers: “Now Apple is killing all NFT app businesses they can’t tax, squashing another new technology that could compete with the grotesquely overpriced in-app payment service. Apple must be stopped.”

However, the new guidelines do not apply to crypto trading on exchange apps such as FTX, Coinbase or Binance, which do not need to pay the “Apple tax”.

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The new guidelines have angered NFT and Web3 enthusiasts, who now see Apple as the biggest threat to the space. These updates can also be seen as Apple’s official stance on Web3.

In accordance Jason L. BaptisteWeb3 influencer and CEO of sweat-to-earn platform YDY, the technology behind in-app purchases is not built to handle the dynamic pricing of NFTs.

“What does that mean? You can’t just use IAP to offer something for let’s say $54.20 or $69.69. You have to use preset prices like .99 or 14.99. Each price point is its own ‘item’, which requires its own approval The technology literally cannot work for NFTs/marketplaces,” he explained.

Citing gold bars in Candy Crush as an example, Baptiste went on to say that Apple is targeting NFTs as it wants to create a closed system that is regulated by the company when it comes to mobile games, where in-game currency is purchased in-app. using fiat.

“Who does this hurt the most? Game developers embracing Web3, NFT, crypto, etc. Why would Apple focus on this? Follow the money. 60-70% of Apple’s App Store revenue comes from games. Web3 threatens that, he continued.

However, Limit Break’s Gabriel Leydon remained unfazed by the new guidelines and what they would mean for the Digidaigaku NFT collection and the role the NFTs would play in Limit Break’s free-to-own blockchain game. He said in a tweet that “modern games aren’t just mobile” and to “watch Android react”.

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