The iPhone isn't a great cryptocurrency miner, especially compared to special mining machines, but that doesn't mean that a surreptitious app couldn't mine tokens like Monero in the background. Along with new apps, the guidelines will apply to existing apps as well.
During its recent Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple quietly slipped some language into the App Store review guidelines that prevent anyone from using iPhones and iPads to mine cryptocurrency. The latter has five subsections that further describe what apps can and cannot do in terms of cryptocurrency.
"Apps, including any third-party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining", Apple said under the hardware compatibility section of its App Store policy.
The ban applies for apps designed explicitly with mining operations in mind.
Apple additionally wants to ensure the seriousness of Initial Coin Offerings, cryptocurrency futures trading, and other crypto-securities or quasi-securities trading.
Apple has previously blocked apps for supporting cryptocurrencies it disapproves of. Exchanges can offer fully-featured apps offering trading abilities, as long as the apps are issued by the exchanges themselves and not third parties. The company took this step after hidden cryptocurrency mining has become the most popular cybercrime trend among malware developers this past year. The app even made it to number 3 in the finance category of the App Store before Apple pulled it down. The guidelines noted: "Cryptocurrency apps may not offer currency for completing tasks, such as downloading other apps, encouraging other users to download, posting to social networks, etc".
Similarly, Apple is also allowing apps to facilitate crypto transactions "on an approved exchange, provided they are offered by the exchange itself".