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Apple’s App Store Policies Investigated For Blockchain Regulation

App Store regulating crypto & NFT apps
App Store regulating crypto & NFT apps

Apple Inc. is facing scrutiny over its App Store practices, especially regarding cryptocurrency trading and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which are fast-growing sectors. On July 28, House Representatives Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) and Jan Schakowsky sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, seeking comprehensive information about the company’s App Store policies. They voiced concerns about the possible restrictions these policies might place on the advancement of crypto and blockchain technologies.

According to the representatives, it appeared that Apple was leveraging its App Store guidelines to generate revenue while also limiting the usage of apps related to crypto, NFT, and other blockchain technologies. They pointed out that Coinbase had previously accused Apple of compelling them to remove NFT transfers from their App Store app. Numerous NFT companies have made similar allegations, stating that Apple required them to launch “Lite” versions of their apps.

These concerns arise amidst broader apprehensions that the policies of the App Store might impede American leadership in blockchain and other emerging technologies. The representatives have posed 21 comprehensive questions, which Apple is required to respond to by August 14, 2023. These inquiries cover a wide range of topics, including general aspects of the company’s app admission policies related to security and data privacy, as well as more specific ones, such as whether Apple has explored Solana’s secure element feature and if it has plans to develop apps utilizing blockchain-related technologies.

The CEO of Crypto Council, Sheila Warren, voiced her endorsement for the government’s inquiries, stating that they demonstrate cryptocurrency is not a matter of political divide and that both Republicans and Democrats are earnest about America’s involvement in the future advancement of the blockchain and cryptocurrency market. Paul Grewal, the Chief Legal Officer of Coinbase, also shared his thoughts, indicating that it is time for Americans to reassess their approach to digital currencies and the underlying technologies.

The results of this investigation could hold substantial consequences for the crypto and NFT sectors, shaping how they are regulated within Apple’s App Store. With the deadline for responses nearing, stakeholders in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry are eagerly anticipating Apple’s answers and any possible alterations to its App Store policies.

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