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Victory for NFT, Crypto App Developers as Apple Complies with EU Laws

Following the new anti-monopoly law of the European Union, Apple intends to allow apps from third-party app stores to operate on its devices, which could mean significant gains for developers of NFT and cryptocurrency apps in the Europe region.

A Bloomberg report released on Dec. 13, 2022, stated that European customers can install substitute apps outside of Apple’s exclusive app store under the new regulations, eventually enabling users to install apps that are not subject to Apple’s 30% fee and that are free of restrictions.

At the moment, Apple has imposed strict restrictions on NFT applications, effectively requiring users to pay a 30% commission fee for IOS purchases while existing apps aren’t allowed to accept crypto payments.

Recently, Coinbase’s wallet app update was blocked by the tech giant in a squabble over the company’s stringent requirements to collect a 30% fee via the in-app purchase. According to Coinbase, the tech company wanted the platform to disable NFT transactions if they could not be completed via the in-app purchase requirement.

Coinbase claimed that the move was not possible, and users who would be affected by the decision — iPhone users — would have a more difficult time transferring that NFT to other wallets. Coinbase further stated that the block might have been a mistake and urged Apple to get in touch with the platform if there were any problems.

Apple’s decision to make its systems more accessible is a response to the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), which seeks to regulate door guards and ensure platforms act responsibly and fairly by enhancing collaboration between the gatekeepers and third parties.

However, Apple has not made it clear whether it intends to abide by a provision of the act that allows developers to embed other payment systems within non-app store applications. To comply with the provision, Apple would have to allow payment methods that support NFTs and cryptocurrencies.

To protect its users from potentially harmful applications, the tech company plans to add security requirements, such as verification, for software that is not downloaded from the app store.

The transition is expected to begin in May 2023, although companies have until 2024 to fully comply with the DMA. Only the EU would benefit from the changes to Apple’s restrictive environment; other territories will be required to formulate legislation with a similar effect, such as the Open App Markets Act proposed by Senators Richard Blumenthal and Marsha Blackburn for the U.S. Congress.

As more jurisdictions tweak their rules around blockchain either through legislative processes or through the court system, a suitable environment for industry actors such as Riot Blockchain Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT) will gradually emerge.

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