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Google Bans Mobile Cryptocurrency Mining Apps from Play Store

Google has followed up cryptocurrency mining script ban with another ban on mining apps. The prohibition is part of a raft of new rules contained in the recent July 2018 update to the Google Developer Policy Center.

Details of the Ban on Cryptocurrency Mining Apps

A portion of the new policy reads:

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

Based on the new rule, all crypto mining apps on the Play Store are explicitly banned. There is no word yet on when the removal of such erring apps will commence. However, taking a cue from the mining script ban, it took all of two months to effect the removal of those scripts from the Chrome Web Store.

In the last one year, virtual currencies have become even more valuable. The price of many coins skyrocketed in 2017 prompting the desire in many to acquire these virtual currencies. Cryptocurrency mining is one of the ways by which people can obtain virtual coins using apps called miners.

In reality, smartphones aren’t an efficient device for crypto mining. The process involves complex computations that are usually beyond the operating capacity of even most high-end phones. However, such is the allure of these cryptocoins that mobile app developers went ahead to create apps that can be used to mine cryptos even though the yield of such apps is most likely much lower than a full-fledged mining rig.

The Menace of Cryptojacking

Perhaps the biggest issue is that of cryptojacking – the hijacking of a user’s device to mine cryptocurrency without the express permission of the affected person. Cryptojacking cases have been on the rise, even overtaking cryptocurrency malware attacks. Recently, internet security experts identified unsecured mobile apps as a major reason for the increase in cryptojacking attacks.

By banning cryptocurrency miners, Google might be striking a blow to the activities of cryptojackers. However, the move is not without its casualties. Charity organizations sometimes encourage users to contribute the mobile phone’s processing power to mine cryptos to raise money for relief efforts around the world.

Will the ban have any significant effect on cryptojacking activities? Do you think the ban is unfair to charity organizations who raise funds via charitable cryptocurrency mining? Keep the conversation going in the comment section below.


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Google Ban Thickens, Removes Crypto Mining Scripts From Chrome Store

Google has revealed it is banning all forms of mining extensions from the Chrome Web Store, saying it has it has already blocked 90% of Chrome browser cryptocurrency mining extensions due to their non-compliance to Google policy. The move, according to observer is to guard against cryptojacking.

Google’s recent announcement is coming after Facebook, Twitter and Mailchimp maintained their ban on Crypto-related advertisement saying they all aim at regulating the cyberspace from fraudulent ads.

On April 2nd, 2018, Google declared there will be no new cryptocurrency mining extensions on the Chrome Store.

“As the extensions ecosystem continues to evolve, we remain focused on empowering developers to build innovative experiences while keeping our users as safe as possible.”

The statement added that any remaining extension will be removed from the store in June. Google says it noticed increasing malicious extension with people thinking they are useful, not knowing they usurp a great amount of CPU resources, thereby lowering the functions and performance of the system without the user knowing.

“Over the past few months, there has been a rise in malicious extensions that appear to provide useful functionality on the surface, while embedding hidden cryptocurrency mining scripts that run in the background without the user’s consent.”

Google had in the past agreed that designer upload mining extension on Chrome Store only if users of the extension were informed of the activities and if the apps were used for mining alone. However, most of the applications fall below the stipulated policy of Google.

According to the Chromium post, “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.”

The new policy, according to Google will give opportunity to users to use the store without exposing themselves to risks.

“This policy is another step forward in ensuring that Chrome users can enjoy the benefits of extensions without exposing themselves to hidden risks.”

There seems to be a complete clamp down on cryptocurrencies and ICO, especially with big advertisement companies, claiming through body languages, that they pose more threat to users.

Many a number of observers are of the opinion that cryptocurrencies needs regulations to make them reliably acceptable without the need for fear.