Cryptocurrency Mining Android Apps Banned From the Play Store

If you’re a crypto-fiend, i.e. a Bitcoin or whatever cryptocurrency aficionado, we have bad news for you, as we just got word that Google banned cryptocurrency mining Android apps from the official Play Store. First it was Apple to ban apps that mine cryptocurrencies, then Google followed into Apple’s footsteps, after this week the tech giant updated its Play Store policies; more precisely, any cryptocurrency mining Android app that runs in the background digging for “digital gold” is now verboten. As in forbidden.

All things considered, there are still plenty of cryptocurrency mining Android apps available in the Play Store, the likes of AA Miner, MinerGate, Crypto Miner or NeoNeonMiner. Crypto-mining is nothing new really, but hackers started abusing this technology in recent years by hijacking people’s personal computers and “force” them to mine crypto in the background, thus making untold millions of dollars for the perpetrators, without the righteous users’ consent, nor knowledge. Due to this modus-operandi, crypto-mining has become a major security threat, and negative sentiment regarding this revenue scheme started to pile up, until tech giants like Google and Apple decided to restrict the use of such apps in their official app stores.

Apple banned cryptocurrency mining apps in the Play Store one month ago, and Google followed by updating  its Play Store Developer Policy, which now expressly forbids various categories of Android apps that are used for mining cryptocurrencies by utilizing a device’s CPU. Together with  cryptocurrency mining apps, Google banned, but let me quote:

  • Apps that serve distracting ads to users after each tap.

  • Apps that misrepresent or conceal their ownership or primary purpose.

  • Apps that sexualize minors, or are designed to appeal to children but include adult content.

  • Apps that distribute “content with child sexual abuse imagery.”

  • Apps that “facilitate the sale of explosives, firearms, ammunition, or certain firearms accessories.”

  • Apps that promote hate speech, violence, self-harm, discrimination based on various factors such as sexual orientation or gender.

Just a month ago, crypto-mining extensions were banned from the Chrome Web Store by Google, in order to prevent malicious extensions from cryptojacking people’s browsers, without their knowledge. Ads promoting ICOs, crypto-exchanges, crypto wallets and crypto trading advice are also seeing restrictions imposed upon them. Twitter and Facebook did the same earlier this year, banning ads promoting crypto-stuff on their platforms, including ICOs and Bitcoin.

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