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Google doesn’t like cryptocurrency mining, and it doesn’t want users to use the company’s different platforms doing so. And now the internet behemoth specifies to Android developers that they should know that as well.
A visit to Google Play’s Developer Policy Center – where Android developers can find out what they can or can’t do – will now reveal the following brief directive regarding Cryptocurrencies:
We don’t allow apps that mine cryptocurrency on devices. We permit apps that remotely manage the mining of cryptocurrency.
Crypto mining is out, crypto mining management is (still) in.
It’s important to emphasize that this decision of Google to ban crypto mining apps is more symbolic than practical. Mining cryptocurrencies efficiently necessitates some substantial hardware processing power, and meager mobile devices – even the most potent out there at the moment – are not really sufficient for this kind of purpose. Serious crypto miners will not be affected by this policy change, but it does point out that Google believes that mining apps are quite valueless.
This is not the first move Google makes against cryptocurrency mining. Back in April, Google announced that it has banned mining extensions from its Chrome Web Store after revealing that about 90 percent of all mining extensions had failed to abide by the Store’s guidelines or had contained malicious scripts. It would be safe to assume that this current ban on Google Play is based on similar reasons, especially due to the incremental rise of cryptojacking – the unauthorized utilization of the user’s processing power to mine cryptocurrencies.
With this new policy, Google follows Apple that in June added a clause to its App Store Review Guidelines which forbids almost entirely from apps to mine cryptocurrencies (“3.1.5 (b)(ii) Cryptocurrencies”):
Mining: Apps may not mine for cryptocurrencies unless the processing is performed off device (e.g. cloud-based mining).
The road to mine cryptocurrencies on mobile devices is now virtually closed as the two most popular mobile operating systems – Android and iOS – have blocked this path. Again, it doesn’t really carry practical meanings, but it does signify that the biggest tech giants in the world are sick and tired of all the crypto shenanigans out there – and frankly, even the most enthusiastic crypto fans can’t deny that these mining bans are not without merits.