Apple Takes Bite Out of App Store NFTs in Hunt For Revenue

Apple appears to be clamping down on crypto and other NFT apps circumventing its App Store fee model, which demands up to 30% commission

article-image

Source: Shutterstock

share

key takeaways

  • Apple has restricted App Store apps to basic NFTs which don’t unlock content or additional functionality
  • Showcasing NFTs is still allowed but external links are prohibited, considered a move to gather revenue from in-app purchases

Apple has taken a swipe at the fledgling NFT ecosystem growing in its App Store — less than a month after the tech giant approved tokens to be bought and sold on the platform.

Following an update to its Review Guidelines on Monday, Apple said approved apps may allow viewing NFTs only if they don’t unlock content or offer additional functionality.

Apple cited banned content and functions including license keys, augmented reality markers, QR codes, cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency wallets.

NFT-related functions in-app — such as sales, mints, listings or transfers — are OK, but that’s as far as it goes. Blockworks reached out to Apple but did not receive a response by press time.

While Apple does let apps showcase NFT collections, the Cupertino-based firm has disallowed external links or buttons that take customers away from the App Store to facilitate purchases, such as via OpenSea auctions.

Apple also targeted crypto exchanges operating out of bounds. Those apps are now prohibited from facilitating transactions unless they are offered only in countries or regions where the platform has appropriate licensing and permission.

Apple wants its cut of NFT revenue

Aimed at curbing the NFT profits made by apps outside its store, thus circumventing fees, Apple’s latest guidelines have attracted skepticism from both the crypto community and gaming industry veterans.

Apple had already drawn flak when it first allowed NFTs on the App Store in late September. The company — the largest public company in the world — revealed it would take a 30% cut from app developers who make over $1 million and 15% for those who make less, aligning with Android’s Google Play policies.

Apple also nixed any hopes of the App Store accepting crypto payments in the short-term. All related transactions must be denominated in USD, not digital assets.

Loading Tweet..

“It’s clear Apple doesn’t want NFT sales that happen outside of its store to unlock benefits on iOS because it wants its 30% commission from the sale of in-app features,” MyMetaverse CEO Simon Kertonegoro told Blockworks.

Only NFT wallets, marketplaces and libraries can function on Apple devices while Web3 games are not welcome, Kertonegoro said.

Earlier this month, Morgan Stanley reported that App Store monthly revenues had fallen 5% year on year in September, their biggest drop since it started tracking them in 2015.


Start your day with top crypto insights from David Canellis and Katherine Ross. Subscribe to the Empire newsletter.

Explore the growing intersection between crypto, macroeconomics, policy and finance with Ben Strack, Casey Wagner and Felix Jauvin. Subscribe to the On the Margin newsletter.

The Lightspeed newsletter is all things Solana, in your inbox, every day. Subscribe to daily Solana news from Jack Kubinec and Jeff Albus.

Tags

Upcoming Events

Salt Lake City, UT

MON - TUES, OCT. 7 - 8, 2024

Blockworks and Bankless in collaboration with buidlbox are excited to announce the second installment of the Permissionless Hackathon – taking place October 7-8 in Salt Lake City, Utah. We’ve partnered with buidlbox to bring together the brightest minds in crypto for […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Research Report Templates.png

Research

ZKPs enable efficient offchain transaction processing and validation, resulting in increased throughput and reduced fees. Solana's ZK Compression leverages ZKPs to minimize onchain storage costs, while Sui's zkLogin streamlines user onboarding by replacing complex key management with familiar OAuth credentials.

article-image

Plus, is Polymarket this cycle’s breakthrough mainstream app?

article-image

The crypto asset manager lowered its planned fee from 0.25% to 0.15%, undercutting its competitors

article-image

Plus, a look at planned ETH ETF fees and how they differ from their BTC counterparts

article-image

North Korea suspected in breach of Indian exchange’s multisig wallet

article-image

Plus, Sanctum’s CLOUD token has officially launched — but not without problems

article-image

It’s not yet clear whether Donald Trump is pumping bitcoin. But an unofficial memecoin is still seeing benefit.