Google Play eases restrictions on blockchain apps

Blockchain apps will be required to comply with local regulations, and no promotional activities will be allowed


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In a move that piqued the interest of crypto developers, Google Play on Wednesday gave the inaugural greenlight to select blockchain-based applications on its platform. 

Supported app categories, according to Google, include games that use NFTs as rewards, crypto exchanges and wallets. Crypto mining apps did not receive a reprieve from their ban. 

Blockchain-related apps looking to list and launch on Google Play are required to comply with jurisdictional regulations in the regions where they’re based.

If an app enables digital asset trading, developers are required to issue a clear disclosure — and those products cannot be promoted or advertised. 

Apps must also ensure compliance with Google’s gambling eligibility requirements. When it comes to NFTs, Google said that digital collectibles with unclear valuations can not be offered up for sale.  

John Linden, CEO of Mythical Games said in a press release that Google’s change of pace will “move these new economies forward.”

“We think these new policies are steps forward for both players and developers alike and will positively impact the adoption of new technology while also protecting consumers,” Linden said. 

As large traditional app stores begin opening up to blockchain technology, competition could increase for crypto-natives, such as Solana which has recently rolled out Saga, a mobile phone with a crypto twist. 

Saga was created as a Web3 alternative to Android and Apple phones, which had strict rules around their payment systems. 

Beyond Google Play, Saga also offered its own crypto app store, where users could download dApps and connect directly to a seed wallet already integrated into their phones. 

Between its launch on May 8 until June 22, almost 10,000 Sagas had been sold. Although the figure is still significantly less than any Google or Apple phone — which earn the companies billions each year — neither of Saga’s competitors are yet to seamlessly integrate payments with dApps.

Representatives for Google Play and Solana Saga did not immediately return requests for comment.

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