Insights Google updates its Play Store policy to allow more blockchain-based apps


Google has updated its Play Store policy to allow more blockchain-based apps, with developers being able to create and publish such apps from 12 July 2023.

Until now blockchain apps have been largely prohibited on the Play Store, and Google has long only allowed apps that allow users to remotely manage cryptocurrency, trading, and some other basic functions.

Developers are now permitted to integrate digital assets like NFTs into their games. However, there are a number of restrictions on this, including that:

  1. Apps that use tokenised digital assets must be certified in regulated jurisdictions and comply with applicable laws
  2. Developers must complete a declaration for apps that enable users to transact blockchain-based digital content
  3. Developers cannot promote or glamorize potential earnings from playing or trading activities, and
  4. Apps that do not meet Google’s gambling eligibility requirements cannot accept money for a chance to win assets of unknown real-world monetary value – such as NFTs. This explicitly includes loot boxes.

The update reportedly aims to prevent misleading marketing tactics and protect users from unrealistic expectations.

Google plans to work with industry partners to further support blockchain-based applications, while Apple’s policy remains cautious with restrictions on NFT features within apps and a 30% commission on in-app NFT transactions. We may now see a surge of new blockchain content on the Play Store due to the eased restrictions.

Overall, the update provides opportunities for developers to create blockchain games on the Play Store. However, it also places responsibilities on them to be transparent, comply with regulations, and avoid promoting gambling or misleading users. Developers must carefully navigate these guidelines to successfully publish blockchain games and avoid any policy violations that could lead to app removal.