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Apple's policy update could pave the way for bitcoin payments

Apps can now accept payments from “approved virtual currencies” although Apple hasn’t said which ones qualify.

Image: Jeff Chiu/AP/Press Association Images

APPS THAT ACCEPT payments made using virtual currencies, like bitcoin, could make an appearance in Apple’s app store.

Soon after its WWDC keynote, Apple updated its App Store Review Guidelines which states that apps can contain the option to accept “approved virtual currencies”

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.

However, it hasn’t defined which virtual currencies are approved or how one can be approved.

The move is a major change for Apple which has taken a hardline approach to apps that use virtual currencies. Back in late 2013, it took action against a number of apps that used virtual cash despite most of them being available on the App Store for months.

It resulted in the majority of bitcoin and cryptocurrency apps appearing on Android and Windows Phone instead.

The rule change could also refer to virtual currencies used in apps and games instead of cryptocurrencies.

Currently, bitcoin is treated mostly as an asset instead of a real currency in a number of countries. At time of writing, one bitcoin has a value of €484.

Read: After nearly ten years, Sony will pull the plug on the PSP >

Read: What we learnt from Apple’s keynote announcement >

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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