Apple Bans Use of NFTs to Unlock Content and Features in App Store

UTC by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
Apple Bans Use of NFTs to Unlock Content and Features in App Store
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Tech giant Apple recently released guideline updates that restrict user interaction with NFTs in its App Store.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has blocked apps on its App Store from using non-fungible tokens (NFTs). According to reports, this move is to discourage NFT buyers and sellers from transacting their business in-app. Apple also wants these businesses to take their activities outside the company’s purview.

By banning the use of NFTs on its App Store, Apple is also potentially exempting the digital assets from its App Store’s 30% fee. The guidelines published to the tech giant’s App Store Review suggest that its stance on NFTs is here to stay. Apple is saying that although NFTs may exist within apps on the App Store, they cannot unlock additional features or content. Part of the published guidelines read:

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

In addition, the California-based multinational tech company also states:

“Apps may allow users to 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.”

New Guideline Updates Crystalize Apple Stance on App Store NFTs

The updated guideline is the first codified specific set of rules governing NFTs on the Apple App Store. Meanwhile, last month, The Information reported that the tech giant’s fee policies prevent creators and marketplaces from entering its ecosystem. This has further led such groups to outrightly do away with integrating NFTs.

The 30% commission fee Apple currently charges for in-app commerce, including NFT-linked transactions, has also come under criticism. According to a Twitter post by Galaxy, Apple is going forward with collecting this though it will limit Web3 adoption.

In addition, several NFT startups have also frowned at Apple’s “hefty” commission on NFT transactions. The perceived imbalance becomes even more apparent when one considers that marketplaces charge about one-tenth of that percentage, according to these aggrieved companies. With NFT trading volumes declining in recent months, creators in the space are trying to implement more ingenious ways to market digital assets. This includes attaching added features to increase demand and revenue.

Apple’s policy also means that some users may have to resort to other cost-friendly marketplaces to conduct their NFT businesses.

New & Upcoming Apple Consumer Electronics Hardware

Apple recently unveiled new iPad pro models as well as an update to its Apple TV 4K. Additionally, the company also announced plans to release a new iPad dock which would complement the operability of the tablet. In essence, the iPad will be able to switch from tablet to smart display as preferred by the user.

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