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• Apple regulates the use of NFT’s iOS-Apps
• Commission on in-app purchases
• A curse or a boon for the NFT industry?
Apple reveals new App Store policies
iPhone maker Apple recently updated the guidelines for its own app marketplace, the App Store. If it is also possible to install applications from other sources on devices running the Android operating system from Google, then iPhone and iPad users must go through the Apple App Store. Thus, the group has a lot of power when it comes to terms for app developers. The group has long been criticized for the required 30 percent commission, which is incurred when purchasing apps and in-app purchases and which the company deducts from developers. With the current version of the application rules, Apple now also secures a share of the reservation of the so-called Promotional “boosters”. — much to the chagrin of the Meta Platforms group behind the social network Facebook.
Apple wants a piece of the NFT pie
As part of a recent update to App Store Guidelines, the group also commented for the first time on how it regulates the purchase of NFTs via apps from relevant trading exchanges such as OpenSea. “Apps may use in-app purchases to sell and resell services related to non-fungible tokens (NFTs), such as minting, listing, and transferring,” the stipulation reads. In this case, Apple also keeps 30 percent of the purchase price paid in the app. However, if you’ve already purchased collectibles with access to NFT markets, they can be viewed in the corresponding apps, Apple confirms. “Apps may allow users to view their NFTs, provided that owning the NFTs does not unlock any in-app features.”
References to external purchasing mechanisms are not allowed
Application providers often refer to external options for purchasing or activating features with links or buttons. However, Apple also wants to prevent this in the NFT area. The group states that “Apps may enable users to browse NFT pools owned by others, provided that the apps do not contain buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchase mechanisms other than in-app purchases.” Apple wants to ensure that NFT purchases are actually carried out as in-app purchases — including a 30 percent commission.
No position among NFT providers
The new provisions are causing criticism, especially among NFT market operators. Sydney Zhang, co-founder of NFT trading platform Magic Eden, explained to “The Information” that such regulations tend to lead startups to cut back on innovation. So it was never an option for Magic Eden to offer to buy NFTs via the AS app because the commission was too high and disproportionate. Although Apple wanted to find a middle ground and reduce the amount of payments to companies making less than $1 million per year to 15 percent, the NFT merchant still refused.
“It seems like Apple doesn’t really want users to be able to buy or sell NFTs,” Alexey Valin, CEO of NFT exchange Rarible, told the paper. In-app purchases are counter to the fact that “fixed subscriptions or fixed prices” are required.
Web3’s biggest threat
Jason L. Baptiste, CEO of Web3 fitness platform YDY, is also critical of Apple’s latest guidance, as he explained via Twitter.
Make no mistake about it – Apple is now the biggest threat to Web3 with the latest App Store Guidelines I published today. Apps are Deux part nonsense. There is a thread below on the implications of this for Web3 & Crypto 🧵
– Jason Baptiste | jasonlbaptiste. find (JasonLBaptiste) October 24, 2022
“Make no mistake – Apple is now the biggest threat to Web3 with the latest App Store policies they issued today,” the entrepreneur warned. “Importantly, this is Apple’s largest and possibly first official statement on encryption, NFTs, and Web3: Apple does not welcome it, but rather sees Web3 as a threat. This is a step in the wrong direction, both politically and personally for the show.” In Baptiste’s view, game developers focused on Web3, NFTs, and cryptocurrencies are likely to suffer the most from the new set of rules. Apple’s actions should be understood as a direct attack on the sector, as the company makes a significant portion of the App Store’s revenue from mobile games and Web3 applications that threaten it.
A positive signal for the Web3 industry?
However, Mattias Tengblad sees things differently. Web3 platform CEO Corite told BeInCrypto that Apple’s new NFT rules are a positive sign. “It is likely that many marketplace apps will create companion apps for iOS that allow users to organize, view, and interact with NFTs while using a browser-based interface for the actual buying and selling portion,” said Tengblad. “There are certainly ways in which these restrictive fees can be circumvented.” Instead, he sees it as a good sign that Apple has not banned NFT apps from the App Store, but instead regulates their use.
On the other hand, CoinGeek points out that the App Store guidelines do not currently apply to trading apps like Binance. Cryptocurrency can be purchased in the app without paying Apple a 30 percent commission.
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