Google Play is pushing for Blockchain support

Blockchain adoption is accelerating despite ongoing regulatory challenges. Recently, Google Play announced that it will support blockchain-based apps. This has left crypto enthusiasts wondering if Apple will try to catch up.

Google Play enters the world of blockchain

On Wednesday, July 12, Google Play announced plans to enable new blockchain-powered experiences. Joseph Mills, Group Product Manager at Google Play, stated that the platform is adjusting its policies to integrate tokenized assets, including NFTs.

“We are excited to see creative in-app experiences blossom and help developers grow their business,” said Mills. This move will allow developers to reinvent traditional games with user ownership of content. In addition, they can make money by selling these assets.

The updated policies also emphasize user protection, requiring apps to be transparent about tokenized digital assets. For example, if an app sells or allows users to earn tokenized digital assets, developers must declare it.

Despite this, Google maintains a strict approach to gambling with valuable assets. The new guidelines state that apps that do not meet gambling requirements cannot accept money for games of chance, including NFTs. This also includes offering blockchain-based loot boxes.

Google embraces blockchain, while Apple receives criticism

Unlike Google, Apple has made no efforts to accommodate blockchain developers. Some critics even argue that Apple is stifling blockchain innovation.

In October 2022, Apple updated the App Store Review Guidelines, which guide apps offering cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The rules clarified that cryptocurrencies cannot be used as an alternative payment method within apps.

Apps can use in-app purchases to sell services related to NFTs, such as creating, listing, and transferring them. However, NFT ownership was unable to unlock features or functionality within the app. In addition, apps must not contain buttons or links that direct customers to purchase mechanisms other than in-app purchases. This effectively blocked NFT platforms from the App Store.

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Apple’s approach has received criticism from certain parts of the blockchain community. The company faced opposition for blocking several blockchain-based apps and for high fees. However, Apple claims its policies protect users and charges are in line with industry standards.

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