The App Store is opening up to NFTs and cryptocurrencies, but on its terms

The decision shouldn’t really help silence the allegations of abusive business practices that Apple faces in several countries, including France. On Monday, the Apple company released new terms of use for its application store, the App Store.

If the American company has obviously decided to further open its ecosystem to non-fungible tokens (NFT) and cryptocurrencies, this will have to be done according to its own rules. Developers can now sell NFTs, but only through an in-app purchase. Holding NFTs acquired in ways other than purchasing through Apple, on the other hand, should not unlock new features in an application or provide any benefit.

In-app purchase or nothing

Apple’s goal? Prevent any other form of currency exchange or disguised payment that could be made outside of the app and that would allow developers to evade the 30% commission the App Store takes on each transaction (15% for those generating less than $ 1 million in revenue per year). It should also be noted that Tim Cook’s company will now also charge 30% on purchases of advertising visibility in applications, which will have to go through its payment system. A heavy blow especially for Meta, which is how it works for “increased” visibility on Facebook and Instagram.

This shows that Apple’s motives are purely financial“, reacted in a tweet Tim Sweeney, head of Epic Games, Apple’s staunch opponent since 2020 regarding this fee and in-app purchases. “They support NFTs that tax and prohibit NFTs that don’t tax“, He added.

And these new rules aren’t just about virtual tokens. “Apps cannot use their own mechanisms to unlock content or features, such as license keys, augmented reality indicators, QR codes, cryptocurrencies, and cryptocurrency wallets“, specify the new conditions of use. Even cryptocurrencies will therefore be no exception and the applications concerned will also have to have the authorizations to carry out this type of exchange in the regions in which they operate.

Legislative pressure

It’s shocking enough that, despite antitrust lawsuits and growing legislative and regulatory pressure, Apple is stepping up its efforts in its brazen pursuit of monopoly lease.“, then added Tim Sweney. These new rules could really surprise as this toll imposed by Apple, as well as the contractual inability to escape from it, are or have been the subject of legal battles in several countries such as the United States, South Korea, the Netherlands… and France.

The Directorate General for Competition, Consumers and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF), under the leadership of Bruno Le Maire, sued Google and Apple in 2018 for abusive business practices. If Google was sentenced by the Paris commercial court to a € 2 million fine last March, Apple is expected to be fixed on its fate on December 19.

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