In the Google’s latest move against virtual currencies, cryptocurrency mining apps have been banned from the Google Play Store. Despite the ban, Google has indicated that it will continue to permit mining apps that mine for cryptocurrency from outside of a device, such as cloud-based mining.
Non-Cloud-Based Cryptocurrency Mining Apps Banned from Play Store
Google has updated the developer policiesfor its Play Store to prohibit several categories of apps, targeting cryptocurrency mining applications and alongside many others.
Under the category of “Financial Instruments,” Google now states that it does not “allow apps that mine cryptocurrency on devices.” Despite such, Google states it will continue to “permit apps that remotely manage the mining cryptocurrency,” such as cloud-based mining services.
The new policy also prohibits apps that “appeal to children but contain adult themes,” applications that “facilitate the sale of explosives, firearms, ammunition, or certain firearms accessories,” “apps that are created by an automated tool, wizard service, or based on templates and submitted to Google Play by the operator of that service on behalf of other persons,” “multiple apps with highly similar content and user experience,” and “apps or developer accounts that impersonate any person or organization, or that misrepresent or conceal their ownership or primary purpose.”
Google Cracks Down on Cryptocurrencies
The move has come after months of growing hostility toward cryptocurrencies on the part of Google, which announced its intention to ban cryptocurrency mining extensions from its Chrome Web Store in April of this year in order to provide protection from “extension cryptojacking” to its users.
At the time, Google extensions platform product manager, James Wagner, posted that “approximately 90% of all extensions with mining scripts that developers have attempted to upload to Chrome Web Store have failed to comply” with Google’s policies, ultimately being “either rejected or removed from the store.” Mr. Wagner’s post stated that “existing extensions that mine cryptocurrency will be delisted from the Chrome Web Store in late June.
In March, Google also announced that it would launch a crackdown on advertising content relating to “Cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice).”