Apple, Inc. (AAPL) has weighed in on the use of its iPhones in the cryptocurrency generation process known as mining. According to a report by CNBC, the tech giant recently updated developer guidelines, shifting its stance toward mining for digital currencies like bitcoin. Now, Apple has explicitly banned the practice. The guidelines restrict the use of apps which will either generate excessive heat, put unnecessary strain on the resources of the mobile device, or drain the battery. In digital currency mining, each of these things is likely to take place.

No Unrelated Background Processes

Apple stated that "apps, including any third party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining." The company's guidelines related to cryptocurrency were originally released in 2014, following the app store's decision to unlist Coinbase and other digital currency apps because of what it termed an "unresolved issue." Other aspects of the guidelines referring to cryptocurrencies have remained the same since at least late May of this year, according to the report.

Does it Make a Difference?

While Apple has stated concerns about the resources required for mining on an iPhone, in actuality it is unlikely that anyone could successfully mine bitcoin on any of the company's mobile devices. At this point, the process of mining for bitcoin requires such a large amount of computing power that the process is typically reserved for specialized computer systems known as "rigs." However, the move by the tech company could preemptively put a halt to future mining processes for other digital currencies. The guidelines revision also prevents iPhone users from being able to participate in so-called mining "pools," collaborative processes in which multiple users share computing power to complete the mining process.

Up to this point, there are many apps on the iOS store which claim to allow users to mine digital currencies with power from their mobile devices, including "Cryptocurrency Cloud Mining" and "Crypto Coin Miner." Many of these apps claim to allow users to make money without having to invest in expensive mining rigs. The fate of these apps remains unclear at this point.

Investing in cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings ("ICOs") is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author owns bitcoin and ripple.

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