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Google bans cryptocurrency mining extensions – More trouble for the community?

Abhishek Anil

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Google bans Cryptocurrency mining extensions - More trouble for the community?
Source: PxHere

After banning cryptocurrency and blockchain related ads, Google has announced that it is soon going to prohibit cryptocurrency mining browser extensions which are available for its browser ‘Chrome’. It has been observed that Play Store has been laden with crypto-based apps that have developed a reputation for robbing the people who download them, harvesting their data, or mining coins for some third party. It seems related problems have cropped up with non-compliant extensions in the Chrome Store.

Google in a post stated:

“As Chrome Web Store policy has permitted cryptocurrency mining in extensions until now…. and if the user is adequately informed about the mining behavior.”

Google claims that around 90% of the extensions that allow mining and are laden with mining scripts have been attempted to transfer to the Chrome web store. The developers have apparently failed to abide by the policies, leading to Google’s action to remove them from the store.

It further added that:

“Chrome Web Store will not accept extensions that have intentions mine cryptocurrency…. Current  extensions that mine cryptocurrency will be denotified  and removed  in late June from the Store…. Extensions that have blockchain-related purposes other than mining will continue to be permitted in the Web Store”.

This development comes in light of Google, stripping access to Chrome apps for both Mac OS and Windows 10 in order to boost support for Chrome Os. Google has various reasons to be suspicious as it was found that the firms’ Advert distribution platform was hijacked and was being used for Monero mining malware affecting 1,40,000 users. Its stern action on cryptocurrency is being copied by various platforms like OPERA which recently added cryptocurrency mining protection as a standard feature across all its mobile browsing platforms.

James Wagner, Product Manager for Google’s extensions platform clarified that:

The key to maintaining a healthy extensions ecosystem is to keep the platform open and flexible… This is why we chose to defer banning extensions with cryptomining scripts until it became clear that the vast majority of mining extensions submitted for review failed to comply with our single purpose policy or were malicious.”

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