Apple will be forced by forthcoming EU rules to allow alternative app stores and applications without the need that they go via Apple’s App Store. This will be a positive development for crypto app creators.
At least in Europe, 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 that have been imposed by the European Union. This could be seen as a huge victory for app developers working on cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens.
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.
According to Coinbase, Apple’s implementation of its regulation resulted in the blocking of Coinbase’s self-custody wallet app update on December 1. This occurred because Apple sought to collect thirty percent of the gas cost via in-app sales, which Coinbase claims is not feasible.
Apple’s decision to open its ecosystem is a response to the EU’s Digital Markets Act, which aims to regulate so-called “gatekeepers” and ensure platforms behave fairly, with one of the measures allowing third parties to inter-operate with the gatekeeper’s own services. Apple’s move to open its ecosystem comes as a result of the EU’s Digital Markets Act.It will become effective beginning in May of 2023, and all firms will be required to comply in full by the end of 2024.
Apple has not yet made a decision about whether or not it would comply with a provision of the Act that permits app developers to install non-Apple-related alternative payment systems inside their own apps. In the event that it does comply, it may pave the way for payment systems that accept cryptocurrency.
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 certification 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.