Google supports NFTs and blockchain apps


July 13, 2023


Olumide Adesina

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Google has changed its mobile software marketplace policy to allow application developers to integrate digital assets such as NFTs into their games through the Play app store, according to Joseph Mills, group product manager at Google.

Mills said that as part of the policy amendment, apps must be "transparent with users about tokenized digital assets" and that developers aren't allowed to "promote or glamorize any potential earning from playing or trading activities."

Apps cannot collect money in exchange for chances to win assets, including NFTs if they violate Google Play's real-money gambling, games, and contests policy or don't meet the standards for eligibility. "Loot boxes," for example, enable customers to receive randomized blockchain-based items from purchases," stated Mills.

Due to those restrictions, some ventures in the area might be prevented from misleading NFT novices into thinking that purchasing these tokenized assets will lead to enormous profits.

The new update will also enable Google Play apps and games to reimagine "traditional games with user-owned content to boost user loyalty through unique NFT rewards," according to Mills.

As a small number of developers are testing out the new policy ahead of its widespread distribution to all developers on Google Play later this year, the company thinks customers will start seeing in-app and gaming experiences later this summer.

Reddit, which has seen success with crypto wallets and NFT avatars, has partnered with Google to help update its policies, Matt Williamson, senior engineering manager at the social news site, said in a post.

Going forward, Google Play will work with industry partners to further enhance support for blockchain-based applications, including secondary marketplaces.

While Google updates its policies, Apple's app store, one of the other major app stores,  remains stable.Apple has generally taken a careful approach to the ecosystem of digital assets, including extra levies for NFT sales that the majority of NFT authors would find objectionable.

In October, Apple said apps would be allowed to list, mint,  and broadcast, allowing users to view their own existing NFTs. However, that rule prevents owning an NFT from unlocking more features within the app. The app also allows users to browse other collections, but does not display external links, buttons, or calls to action to purchase NFTs. According to the company's official policy, users can only purchase NFTs through Apple's in-app payment system.