Google has recently announced the implementation of a new blockchain-based content policy for Android apps on the Google Play Store. The policy, set to be effective on December 7th, aims to regulate various aspects related to cryptocurrency exchanges, software wallets, transparency requirements, and the implementation of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in gaming. These changes reflect Google’s commitment to ensuring user safety, compliance with regulations, and improved transparency within the mobile app ecosystem.
As part of the new policy, developers of crypto exchanges and software wallets targeting specific regions will be required to comply with applicable regulations in those areas. Google expects these developers to conduct cryptocurrency-related activities, such as purchasing, holding, or exchanging, through certified services operating in regulated jurisdictions. To ensure compliance with rules and regulations, Google reserves the right to request additional information from developers.
Furthermore, the policy mandates that any apps selling or allowing users to earn tokenized digital assets must explicitly disclose this functionality. Developers are prohibited from promoting or glamorizing potential earnings derived from playing or trading activities. This move by Google aims to promote transparency and prevent misleading or deceptive practices within the app ecosystem.
In the context of gambling apps, those integrating digital assets like NFTs will need to undergo Google’s special application process. Apps that fail to meet Google’s gambling app requirements will not be allowed to accept money in exchange for “a chance to obtain an NFT of unknown value.” Additionally, NFTs cannot be used in wagers to win real-world monetary prizes.
The policy update also emphasizes the ban on on-device crypto mining, which was already in place but is now being moved from the financial services section to Google’s updated blockchain-focused content policy. This change reinforces Google’s commitment to ensuring a secure and reliable user experience on the Play Store.
The introduction of these blockchain-focused updates is just one part of the broader set of additions to Google’s Play Store policies. For instance, any app offering financial features will be required to submit a “financial features declaration form.” Additionally, Google is updating its “deceptive behavior” policy to ensure that an app’s functionality is reasonably clear to users, without any hidden, dormant, or undocumented features.
Google’s implementation of these new guidelines aims to protect users from potential risks associated with cryptocurrencies and NFTs while promoting compliance and transparency within the app ecosystem. As the December 7th deadline approaches, developers and app owners are encouraged to review their apps and ensure compliance with Google’s updated content policy. Failure to comply may result in the removal or restriction of non-compliant apps from the Google Play Store.