Tech giant Apple has clarified its App Store rules regarding nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrency exchanges, marking the first time the company has codified specific rules for NFTs.
The new rules clarify how NFT purchases will be taxed, what can and cannot be used, and when a crypto exchange app can be listed.
The App Store guidelines were updated on October 24 to allow for in-app purchases of NFTs; any NFTs acquired elsewhere cannot be used for anything other than viewing.
Applications can also use in-app purchases to “sell and sell services” related to NFTs, such as “minting, listing, and transferring.”
However, the tech company appears to be doubling down on its NFT “Apple tax,” which bundles in-app NFT buying into its conventional 30% commission rate on all items purchased by requiring all NFT buying to be made in-app.
Apps will be prohibited from including “buttons, external links, or other calls to action,” which could allow users to avoid app-store commissions when purchasing NFTs. It also prohibits apps from employing mechanisms “such as […] QR codes, cryptocurrencies, and cryptocurrency wallets” to unlock content or functionality within an app.
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The new rules come after the firm was chastised for charging a 30% commission on NFT sales made through NFT marketplace apps like OpenSea or Magic Eden. This step was deemed “grotesquely overpriced” compared to the typical 2.5% commission on NFT purchases.
After learning of the policy, Magic Eden said it deleted its service from the App Store. Other NFT marketplaces have pared back their application functionality, with users only able to browse and view their owned NFTs.
Apple’s standards also prohibit the use of cryptocurrency for in-app buying, only allowing fiat purchases with a “valid payment method” such as debit or credit cards.
The latest guidelines from Apple also do not indicate any changes to the company’s current policy on cryptocurrency trading apps provided by crypto exchanges such as Binance and Coinbase, where trades are exempt from the 30% “Apple tax.”
However, new language was added to clarify that crypto exchange apps can only be offered in “countries or regions where the app has appropriate licensing and permissions to provide a cryptocurrency exchange.”
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