outlined a new set of rules for what apps can do with cryptocurrencies and NFTs on the App Store on Monday night.
The company formally added that Apps may allow “users to view their own NFTs, provided that NFT ownership does not unlock features or functionality within the app.” Users can also browse NFT collections owned by others, provided that “the apps may not include buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms other than in-app purchase.”
But even with the new rules, Apple won’t be rejecting calls to exempt nonfungible tokens from a 30% fee on in-app purchases.
The 30% fee has been criticized by app makers who accuse the company of taking too large a share, and leaving customers footing the bill. It even led to a lawsuit between Fortnite developer Epic Games and Apple, a relationship from which Epic Games has made $600 million. The fee goes almost as far back as the iPhone. It was first introduced in 2008, a year after the iPhone was introduced.
Apple’s new rules around crypto mean that apps may now “facilitate transactions or transmissions of cryptocurrency on an approved exchange,” given that they are offered only in countries where the app has appropriate licensing and permissions to provide a crypto exchange, the guidelines state.
The updated wording around cryptocurrency does not appear to change Apple’s existing rules, which permit in-app crypto trading on platforms like FTX and Coinbase (which don’t pay 30% fees).