Apple Allows in-app NFTs, but they Can't Unlock Additional Content

Apple Allows in-app NFTs, but they Can’t Unlock Additional Content

Apple has updated its App Store Review Guidelines with more rules for non-fungible tokens (NFTs)

In short, NFTs are allowed to exist within apps on the App Store—but they can’t unlock additional features or content.

“Apps may use in-app purchase to sell and sell services related to non-fungible tokens (NFTs), such as minting, listing, and transferring,” the new guidelines read.

“Apps may allow users to view their own NFTs, provided that NFT ownership does not unlock features or functionality within the app.”

This may actually deter users from purchasing NFTs, as the main use case for NFTs is that they can sometimes unlock token-gated content. For example, Moonbirds NFTs and Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs offer holders exclusive access to various communication channels, merchandise, and other such perks.

In addition, developers aren’t allowed to create “buttons, external links, or other calls to action” that might tell users how to circumvent the App Store to buy NFTs through other platforms. Instead, the App Store wants its users to make in-app purchases.

And paying in crypto is not an option.

Apple releases new updates on NFTs

The tech giant codified its rules for iOS apps that handle NFTs on October 24. The tech firm issued its first formal green lights on offering in-app NFT minting, buying, and selling. 

Unfortunately, under the reviewed updates, the tech firm has upheld its 30% Apple Tax on in-app crypto purchases and peer-to-peer NFT trading despite numerous calls from the crypto community to exempt it.

Creators and marketplaces have long balked at the fees, choosing to limit in-app NFT functionality rather than lose a massive slice of revenue.

Just last month, reports started circulating on how Apple’s fee policies are keeping marketplaces and creators away from its ecosystem and sometimes leading them to abandon NFT integrations outright.

Because Apple’s “in-app purchase” service does not handle crypto payments, it would appear unlikely that apps that choose to offer NFT mints could accept crypto in return.

The Monday updates mark the first time Apple has provided specific rules for NFTs in its App Store guidelines.

The policy update also bans apps from offering exclusive access to NFT owners, or from linking their users to third-party sites where they might buy, sell and mint outside the Apple ecosystem – thus evading the fee derisively known as the “Apple Tax.”

“Apps may not use their own mechanisms to unlock content or functionality, such as license keys, augmented reality markers, QR codes, cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency wallets, etc.,” reads section 3.1.1. of its App Store rules on Oct. 24

Read More:

What are NFTs Used For?

Why Are NFTs Valuable?

How are NFTs Bad for the Environment?

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