Blockchain News

Apple to Allow Third-Party App Stores in Windfall for NFTs and Crypto

In a boon for crypto app developers, upcoming EU legislation would require Apple to allow alternative app stores and programs that do not need going via its App Store.

Apple is preparing to allow third-party app stores on its devices in order to meet with new anti-monopolistic EU laws, which might be a significant gain for crypto and NFT app developers, at least in Europe.

According to a Dec. 13 Bloomberg report citing those familiar with the matter, under the new rules, European customers would be able to download alternative app marketplaces outside of Apple’s proprietary App Store, allowing them to download apps that avoid Apple’s 30% commissions and app restrictions.

Apple now has strict limitations for NFT applications that effectively require users to make in-app purchases subject to Apple’s 30% fee, while apps are not authorized to accept cryptocurrency payments.

Apple’s implementation of its regulation resulted in the blocking of Coinbase’s self-custody wallet app update on December 1 because Apple sought to “capture 30% of the gas cost” via in-app sales, which Coinbase claims is “obviously not practicable.”

It went on to say that Apple intended the wallet to disable NFT transactions if they couldn’t be completed via its in-app purchase mechanism.

On December 13, co-founder of NFT marketplace Rarible Alex Salnikov tweeted in reaction to the news that a “crypto app store” might be established and would be a “wonderful candidate” for a venture capital-backed firm.

Apple’s decision to open its ecosystem comes in reaction to the EU’s Digital Markets Act, which intends to regulate “gatekeepers” and guarantee platforms behave fairly, with one of the provisions enabling “third parties to interoperate with the gatekeeper’s own services.”

It will go into effect in May 2023, with corporations required to completely comply by 2024.

Apple has not determined whether it would comply with a provision of the Act that allows developers to use alternative payment mechanisms in applications that do not involve Apple. If it does comply, it may enable cryptocurrencies to be used in payment systems.

In order to safeguard consumers from harmful applications, the tech giant is considering implementing security measures for software outside of its store, such as Apple authentication.

The modifications to Apple’s restricted environment would only apply inside the EU; other areas would need to approve comparable legislation, such as Senators Marsha Blackburn and Richard Blumenthal’s proposed Open App Markets Act in the United States Congress.

Crypto products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky. There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions. Crypto is not a legal tender and is subject to market risks. Readers are advised to seek expert advice and read offer document(s) along with related important literature on the subject carefully before making any kind of investment whatsoever. Crypto market predictions are speculative and any investment made shall be at the sole cost and risk of the readers.