Apple will be forced by incoming EU rules to allow alternative app stores and apps without the requirement that they go through Apple’s App Store. This will be a positive development for crypto app creators.
At least in Europe, the fact that the tech giant Apple is getting ready to allow third-party app stores on its devices in order to comply with new anti-monopolistic requirements from the European Union (EU) could be seen as a huge win for app developers working on cryptocurrency and non-fungible token applications.
According to a report that was published on December 13 by Bloomberg, which cited people who were familiar with the matter, the new rules would allow customers in Europe to download alternative app marketplaces outside of Apple’s proprietary App Store. This would give them the ability to download apps that circumvent Apple’s 30% commissions and app restrictions.
At the moment, Apple has stringent rules for NFT apps, which practically compel users to make in-app purchases subject to Apple’s 30% commission, while apps are not permitted to support cryptocurrencies as a form of payment. Apple’s rules also prohibit apps from supporting third-party payment systems.
The enforcement of Apple’s rule resulted in the blocking of Coinbase’s self-custody wallet app update on December 1. This occurred because Apple wanted to “collect 30% of the gas fee” through in-app purchases, which Coinbase argues is “clearly not possible.” Apple also wanted to “collect 30% of the gas fee” through in-app purchases.
The report continued by asserting that Apple wanted the wallet to disable NFT transactions if they couldn’t be completed using the company’s in-app purchase system.
On December 13, in response to the announcement that a “crypto app store” could be established and would be a “wonderful candidate” for a venture capital-backed firm, Alex Salnikov, co-founder of the NFT marketplace Rarible, tweeted his thoughts. Rarible is a marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Apple’s decision to open its ecosystem is a response to the European Union’s Digital Markets Act, which aims to regulate so-called “gatekeepers” and ensure platforms behave fairly. One of the measures in the act allows “third parties to inter-operate with the gatekeeper’s own services,” and this is what prompted Apple to make its move.
It will become effective beginning in May of 2023, and all businesses will be required to comply in full by the end of 2024.
Apple has not yet made a decision regarding whether or not it will comply with a provision of the Act that permits app developers to install non-Apple-related alternative payment systems within their own apps. In the event that it does comply, it may pave the way for payment systems that accept cryptocurrencies.
In an effort to shield consumers from potentially dangerous applications, the tech giant is mulling over the possibility of enforcing some security measures for software that is not sold in its own store, such as verification from Apple.
Changes to Apple’s closed ecosystem would only take effect within the EU. Other regions would need to pass similar laws, such as the proposed Open App Markets Act in the United States Congress from Senators Marsha Blackburn and Richard Blumenthal. In order for these changes to take effect in other regions, similar laws would need to be passed.