Google has banned applications that mine cryptocurrencies on the Play Store in a new policy update. Apps that manage mining operations remotely are however still allowed.
“We don’t allow apps that mine cryptocurrency on devices. We permit apps that remotely manage the mining of cryptocurrency,” the update reads.
The move follows a similar one in recent months by Google’s rival Apple. Google had previously disallowed cryptomining add-ons on the Chrome web store over fears it could compromise user experience. Cryptocurrency mining is a power hungry process and places huge demands on batteries and the overall performance of a device.
On its part Apple had started that apps should “rapidly drain battery or generate excessive heat,” its policy update of June 2018 stated. “Apps, including any third party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining,” the new rules state.
While pioneer cryptocurrency bitcoin can no longer be viably mined using PCs, altoins like Monero can still be generated using an ordinary computer.
Because of this, criminals are taking advantage to deploy malicious cryptomining software to computers to help generate easy profit. Cryptojackings, as they are called, went up by as much as 8500% in the last one year according to reports underlining the huge interest it has attracted.
In the wide ranging policy update by Google, apps that allow users to trade binary options have also been disallowed. The new rules are contained under the Financial Instruments section.
Gambling apps are allowed but must comply with local laws where the app will be distributed. Gambling apps must, however, meet a long list of requirements including a license from each country where it is distributed. The must not be purchasable “as a paid app on Google Play, nor use Google Play In-app Billing.”
Other rules prohibit repetitive apps that serve the same functions as those already on the platform. Apps that are created automatically are similarly banned from featuring.