Apple bans cryptocurrency miners from iPhones and iPads

Apple bans cryptocurrency miners from iPhones and iPads

Apple is trying to make it harder for developers to abuse users' information collected through apps. Most hardcore cryptocurrency mining requires ASIC chips, the favorite for mining common cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, or other high-end processing units. iPhones and iPads aren't very powerful devices in comparison (though the A11 chip could likely mine some less demanding currencies) and it's unlikely that they'd be the device of choice for many serious miners.

Following an update to its App Store review guidelines, Apple has explicitly halted the design and development of iOS applications which can be used for direct cryptocurrency mining. This is not a move against cryptocurrency apps in general. The company announced a new update to its developer guideline where it said apps may not run on unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining. These conditions extend to apps providing cryptocurrency futures trading, and other crypto-securities or quasi-securities trading.

But it's perusing the whole situation with a careful eye, noting that Initial Coin Offerings and other investments in digital money will need to come from established banks and securities firms, and approved financial institutions. Apple is making it harder for its App Store developers to gain or profit off of users' information, much of which the user may not be even be aware that the developer can access.

Apple has previously blocked apps for supporting cryptocurrencies it disapproves of.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook has made a number of thinly-disguised attacks on Facebook by emphasising his company's own pro-privacy credentials.

Apps may "facilitate transactions or transmissions of cryptocurrency on an approved exchange, provided they are offered by the exchange itself". They also may no longer offer cryptocurrency as a reward for completing tasks.

Apple's new guidelines "sound like they're nearly written in response to what Onavo and others have been doing", said Will Strafach, a researcher who has studied Onavo Protect and focuses on the security of Apple's iOS mobile operating system.

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