August 1, 2018
A recent update to Google’s developer policy says crypto-mining apps are not allowed on the Google Play Store. Currently, cryptocurrency mining extensions are banned from Chrome. Now Google is extending that ban to its other services.
Under the heading “Cryptocurrencies,” the policy states: “We don’t allow apps that mine cryptocurrency on devices. We permit apps that remotely manage the mining of cryptocurrency.”
The new ban follows the action taken by Apple, which also bans crypto-mining apps but still allows remote management cryptocurrency mining, such as through cloud services.
What Is Crypto-Mining?
Crypto-mining is the practice of using massive amounts of processing power to quickly acquire virtual currencies or “digital coins.” It tracks cryptocurrency transactions, and when it’s done on smartphone devices, it can overheat the device or use up extensive battery power.
Companies like Google are cautious about crypto-mining because it is often used by malware gangs. These gangs inject code into websites with poor malware protection to invade users’ computers for the purpose of generating cash.
Other Companies Also Banned Cryptocurrency
Google and Apple are not the only two companies making changes regarding cryptocurrency. Back in January, Facebook placed a ban on bitcoin, binary options, and initial coin offerings to protect users from scams and deceptive ads. Although the company lifted the ban on cryptocurrency in June, adding a new Cryptocurrency Products and Services policy so approved advertisers could continue promoting cryptocurrency, it left the ban intact for binary options and coin offerings. Twitter also banned cryptocurrency ads from its platform back in March.
What Else Did Google Ban Recently?
In its updated developer policy, Google also restricts apps promoting the sale of guns, ammunition, and explosives. Under the heading “Dangerous Products,” it reads:
“We don’t allow apps that facilitate the sale of explosives, firearms, ammunition, or certain firearms accessories.
Restricted accessories include those that enable a firearm to simulate automatic fire or convert a firearm to automatic fire (e.g. bump stocks, gatling triggers, drop-in auto sears, conversion kits), and magazines or belts carrying more than 30 rounds.
We don’t allow apps that provide instructions for the manufacture of explosives, firearms, ammunition, restricted firearm accessories, or other weapons. This includes instructions on how to convert a firearm to automatic, or simulated automatic, firing capabilities.”
Additionally, Google says it will begin removing copycat apps in the Play Store that offer nothing to distinguish them as unique.
Written by Anna Hubbel, staff writer at AdvertiseMint, Facebook advertising company