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

The decision should not really help to silence the allegations of abusive trade practices against which Apple faced in several countries, including France. On Monday, the apple firm published new terms of use from its app store, the App Store.

If the American company has definitely decided to further open its ecosystem to non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrencies, it will have to be done according to its own rules. Developers can now sell NFTs, but only through an in-app purchase. Holding NFTs obtained by means other than a purchase through Apple, on the other hand, should not enable the unlocking of new features in an app or provide any benefit.

In-app purchases or nothing

Apple’s goal? Prevent any other form of foreign exchange or disguised payment that can be made outside the app – and that would allow developers to avoid the 30% commission that the App Store takes on each transaction (15% for those generating less than 1 million dollars in revenue per year). It should also be noted that Tim Cook’s company will already charge 30% for in-app ad view purchases, which will have to go through its payment system. A heavy blow, especially for Meta, which thus works to “increase” viewership Facebook AND instagram.

This shows that Apple’s motives are purely financial“, reacted in a post on Twitter Epic Games boss Tim Sweeney, a staunch opponent of Apple since 2020 on this commission and in-app purchases. “They support taxing NFTs and ban non-taxing NFTs“, he added.

And these new rules aren’t just for virtual tokens. “Apps cannot use their own mechanisms to unlock content or functionality, such as license keys, augmented reality markers, QR codes, cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency wallets“, specify the new terms of use. Therefore, cryptocurrencies will not be an exception and the applications in question must have the authorizations to carry out this type of exchange in the regions where they operate.

Legislative pressure

It’s shocking enough that despite antitrust lawsuits and mounting legislative and regulatory pressure, Apple is ramping up its efforts in its brazen pursuit of monopoly rent.“, then it is added Tim Sweeney. These new rules can be really surprising since this fee imposed by Apple, as well as the contractual impossibility to escape, 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, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF), under the leadership of Bruno Le Maire, had sued Google and Apple in 2018 for abusive commercial practices. If Google has been punished by the Paris Commercial Court with a fine of 2 million euros last March, Apple must decide its fate on December 19.

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