App Store Guidelines acknowledge bitcoin policy for the first time

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Despite pulling various Bitcoin trading apps from the App Store, Apple hasn’t previously made clear its stance on virtual currencies and how it plans to handle them in future.

Following the unveiling of iOS 8 at yesterday’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), the company has issued a revised set of its App Store Review Guidelines, complete with a section specifically dealing with virtual currencies. If we’re interpreting it correctly, it appears that Apple will accept apps for review which deal in the transmission of digital funds — at least to a degree.

“Purchasing and Currencies 11.17 Apps may facilitate transmission of approved virtual currencies provided that they do so in compliance with all state and federal laws for the territories in which the app functions.”

This is the first time that Apple has officially recognized virtual currencies, having previously denied app submissions dealing with Bitcoin trading, but never stating a hardline policy against such software.

The company has previously pulled Bitcoin trading and storage apps Blockchain and Coinbase from the App Store, while virtual currency app Gliph was allowed to remain on the condition that it disabled the ability to make Bitcoin transactions.

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About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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