Google removes all Bitcoin mining apps from Play Store

Avatar By Le Williams | 2 years ago

Subsequent to the current cryptocurrency extension bans, Google has recently announced its plans to remove all bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining apps from the Play Store.

Google announced the decision to ban crypto-mining apps on the Play Store’s developer policy page, saying, “We don’t allow apps that mine cryptocurrency on devices. We permit apps that remotely manage the mining of cryptocurrency.”

While users can no longer mine directly from their devices, Google continues to permit developers to release applications that allow mining to be done elsewhere, such as on cloud-based computer platforms.

The popularity of cryptocurrency mining surged in late 2017 during the bull run in the crypto markets. Sales of GPUs skyrocketed to a point where GPU producers, like Nvidia, saw price surges in their stock due to higher than normal earnings.

The process of mining uses up a significant amount of computing power, and the profitability is directly related the amount of processing power a miner can contribute. Access to highly profitable mining rigs is limited due to the tremendous expenses that stem from sizable equipment and electricity costs.

The decision to ban mining extensions from Chrome and mining apps from the Play Store stems from the risks imposed to a device. Both phones and computers can suffer from internal damage due to mining if it is not properly managed.

The risks of mining are highlighted by the effects of mining malware that has been circling through public Wi-Fi networks and websites over the past year.

Google’s director of sustainable ads, Scott Spencer, spoke to CNBC regarding the decision, saying:

“We don’t have a crystal ball to know where the future is going to go with cryptocurrencies, but we’ve seen enough consumer harm or potential for consumer harm that it’s an area that we want to approach with extreme caution.”

Their latest decision to ban apps that mine cryptocurrency from the Play Store is likely due to fears that apps will damage user’s computers or significantly slow computer performance.