Calendar 2, an application from the App Store has been mining Monero (cryptocurrency) with the help of users’ devices for at least 24 hours and Apple did nothing about this.
Ars Technica reports that Calendar 2 was designed to have an optional feature that allows customers to mine Monero in exchange for some internal app features. This option could unlock paid features and let you purchase some additional stuff for your machine. However, it has been bugged and mined coins by without manual activation.
Despite the fact that an app mined coins by a mistake, Apple let it remain available for at least 24 hours. Ars Technica claims that they tried to contact Apple and ask whether this function violates the App Store policies, however, didn’t get any reply and the app was available for download for at least two days.
The question is controversial. First, the reason for Apple to behave that way might be simple: they do approve cryptocurrency mining as a way to allow paid features and plan to move in this direction. Second, they may allow such things happen just because they don’t care about the App Store too much.
However, this application received too much attention from the media and therefore the company that stands behind Calendar 2 (Qbix) was forced to remove the mining feature from the application. Later, the Qbix owners said that the app worked improperly because of the bug and the miner worked without an approval by a mistake. There were other bugs that required too many resources from Mac and prevented it from running at high speed.
In the beginning, deleting applications from the App Store turned to be a bad option for Qbix. Its owners claimed that the bugs will be fixed soon and then decided to remove the mining feature. So from that moment, the opportunity to unlock additional features with the help of cryptocurrency is absent. Ars Technica has published the following quote from an email Qbix sent to them:
We have removed the mining function in the application. The updated version will run without features available via mining. The reasons are the following:
- We have received a miner library from a certain company and they didn’t provide a source code. Therefore, fixing the root cause of the CPU problem would take too much time and effort.
- This incident made everything seem like we actually wanted to make the app mine digital money without customers’ permission. This goes against Qbix’s policy and ethics.
- We believe that cryptocurrency mining has a set of dangerous sides, including global electricity waste. We do our best to avoid these incentives and hope that removing miner from the app will help and set an example for other developers.
Still, it is unclear whether Apple supports cryptocurrency mining within the applications or not. At first, the company showed absolute indifference to this episode and we suppose that this may lead to new attempts for them to go this way and implement features in exchange for mining powers.
Previously, apps and websites tried to play on users’ carelessness and non-suspicion, but nobody openly offered features in exchange to mining powers in App Store before.
Today, Calendar 2 has been removed from the App Store at all. This was done by Apple after they found out about the issue with mining and the scandal around it. Qbix reports that they discussed this problem with Apple and decided to remove an app entirely instead of blocking a mining feature. Also, they said that the new version of the app with no mining features is coming soon.