Google Bans Cryptocurrency Mining Apps from Play Store

The tech giant, Google bans cryptocurrency mining applications from its mobile play store.

The latest move of Google against cryptocurrency says that it has removed the cryptocurrency mining apps from the Play Store. This decision has been taken just after the ban of Chrome extensions mining cryptocurrency. Google has updated the Play Store policies revealing the matter on banning the apps that were mining cryptocurrency on handheld devices.

According to the report by Android Police, this decision was announced via the latest update to the Play Store developer policies:

“We don’t allow apps that mine cryptocurrency on devices. We permit apps that remotely manage the mining of cryptocurrency.”

Although merchants have no access to mine directly from their devices, however, Google is currently allowing developers to release their apps on the cloud-based platforms.

Google has also reviewed the apps holding the offensive material. They have restricted the apps which were performing the following activities:

  • Promotion
  • Violence
  • Self-harm
  • Discrimination
  • Hate speech, etc.

However, recently on the Play Store, several applications have been reported as tacitly mining cryptocurrency via the processing power of smartphones.

Cyrptojacking is the familiar problem that’s the reason to affect multiple apps today. This happens when scammers insert the mining software into different applications.

Some stats say that: “The Android platform has almost two billion monthly users. Additionally, in the first half of 2018, the Play Store of Google achieved over 35 billion app downloads.

This move has been played just a few weeks after Apple applied their updated policies to the App Store Guidelines with an entirely new section on the restriction of cryptocurrency mining apps.

After analyzing the Apple’s review, Google then took a stance to update their Play Store policies. The result is out and somewhere similar to ban the cryptocurrency mining apps.

Google is Following the Footstep of Apple

Google released the Developer Policy update this week, indicating the banning of the variety of application such as cryptocurrency miners:

  1. Selling firearms and accessories
  2. Tricking children to download the adult-themed apps
  3. Application based on automated tools, wizard services, or templates

This is just the similar update, what Apple has focused on their App Store Guidelines saying:

“Mining can be held in the cloud or otherwise off-device.”

The company did something similar to Google last December, where the outcome was not as expected. Apple has to revise its policy, which only affected the developers spamming the App Store. However, they made some mistakes while considering the policies. Google decided not to make the same mistake regarding its policy updates and considered all sort of aspects prior to confirming.

Cryptocurrency Mining was in the Race

In late 2017, the trend of cryptocurrency mining surged in the crypto markets, at the time when the sales of GPUs skyrocketed. In addition to this, the mining process needs a significant amount of computing power which is the ultimate clause of profitability.

The ban of mining Play store apps and extensions from Chrome is likely due to the threats they can pose to a device. They can be seen by the mining malware effects via public Wi-Fi networks or websites.

Not the First Move against Cryptocurrency

In March, Google prohibited cryptocurrency-related advertisements on its platform.  This ban was the same as the one applied by the Facebook, Twitter on cryptocurrency advertising. This decision was implemented to reduce the scam promotion via Google’s search platform.

Less than one month after the ban of cryptocurrency ads, the company declared that they would not accept Chrome extensions related to cryptocurrency mining. Google stated the decision on their official blog, saying:

“Starting today, Chrome Web Store will no longer accept extensions that mine cryptocurrency. Existing extensions that mine cryptocurrency will be delisted from the Chrome Web Store in late June. Extensions with blockchain-related purposes other than mining will continue to be permitted in the Web Store.”

And their latest ban is related to the cryptocurrency mining apps.

According to Coinmarketcap, on Monday, the major cryptocurrency prices edged down as Google announced the ban on cryptocurrency mining apps.

  1. Bitcoin was trading around $8,208.0, dropped 0.1% in the last 24 hours.
  2. Ethereum was down by 0.5% to $465.53
  3. Ripple dropped to $0.45434.
  4. Meanwhile,  Litecoin was also trading at 84.14 and lost 0.4% on Thursday.

In the Chromium blog posted on April 2, the Product Manager of Extension Platform, James Wagner mentioned that:

“Until now, Chrome Web Store policy has permitted cryptocurrency mining in extensions as long as it is the extension’s single purpose, and the user is adequately informed about the mining behavior. Unfortunately, approximately 90% of all extensions with mining scripts that developers have attempted to upload to Chrome Web Store have failed to comply with these policies, and have been either rejected or removed from the store.”

In the late June, Chrome extensions related to cryptocurrency mining operations were officially removed from the Chrome Web Store.

With the updates recently made, Google is looking to achieve the space and clean up its Play store by eliminating all malicious apps.

What do you think about this step of Google? Which thing is Google behind? We would like to hear from you on Twitter

Image source – Bloomberg

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Delma Wilson

Delma is a B2B Content Marketer, Consultant, Blogger in the field of Blockchain, and Cryptocurrency. In her spare time, she loves to blog, play badminton and watch out ted talks. She likes pets and shares her free time with NGO.

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