Google just nixed any app that mines cryptocurrencies from its Play Store. With a recent update to the store’s policies, the tech monolith rewrote its stance on cryptocurrency apps.
We don’t allow apps that mine cryptocurrency on devices. We permit apps that remotely manage the mining of cryptocurrency.
As the latter half of the policy indicates, other mining applications, such as those that facilitate cloud and other forms of remote mining, will not be removed. The policy change is a stricter version of the cryptocurrency mining extension ban Google effected in April of 2018. It also puts Google in the company of Apple, which banned cryptocurrency mining apps from its App Store and smart devices this June.These prohibitions are likely to call to mind recent steps legacy tech companies have taken against the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Earlier this year, Google, Facebook and Twitter instituted industry-wide bans of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related ads. Since such ads were shuttered, Facebook has reversed its decision, though Google and Twitter have stood by theirs, thus far.Explaining its reasoning for the original ban, Facebook indicated that it sought to steer its users from “misleading or deceptive promotional practices.” And per its reversal, the social media giant also indicated that it would work on sifting the bad actors from the good and revisit its policy later.“This policy is intentionally broad while we work to better detect deceptive and misleading advertising practices, and enforcement will begin to ramp up across our platforms including Facebook, Audience Network and Instagram. We will revisit this policy and how we enforce it as our signals improve.”Like Facebook’s original blanket ban and subsequent amendment, Google barring exposure for cryptocurrency mining apps may be from a place of pragmatism and not competitive malice. As cryptojacking and mining malware rise as persistent cyber threats, Google’s mining restrictions could be an attempt to mitigate the proliferation of such malware on the company’s Play Store. Recently, the store has become a target of hackers who covertly embed their malware into its app offerings, leaving users to mine cryptocurrencies like Monero through these applications unawares.