Google has made the surprise move to update its policies to ban cryptocurrency mining apps on the Google Play Store. In the wake of news circulating this week regarding the search engine’s move to unban crypto ads, it seems Google has made its stance clear on crypto mining apps.
The update in Play Store’s policies has seen the banning of cryptocurrency mining apps and apps that are disruptive, which have been reported by the Android Police.
Roller coaster ride for cryptocurrency mining apps in 2018
It has been a roller-coaster year for relations between the crypto industry and major internet giants such as Google and Facebook. The new ban on cryptocurrency mining apps on Play Store comes at a time when the industry was beginning to think Google has loosened its stance on cryptocurrency.
In recent weeks, Facebook had unbanned cryptocurrency adverts for the first time in several months, and when news broke earlier this week that some crypto ads had been unbanned on Google search engines in the West, we had hoped for a more forward-thinking approach from the search engine overlords.
Google has now said that cryptocurrency mining apps are now prohibited but pointed out that “apps that remotely manage the mining of cryptocurrency” are still okay.
The Google Play Store policy change on crypto mining apps comes at a time when Apple also banned the apps and said that “the only cryptocurrency mining apps allowed are those that mine outside of the device, like cloud-based mining.”
Clearing up the new Google Play Store policy
The policy doesn’t just attack cryptocurrency mining apps. The official line from Play Store is that repetitive apps are now banned. These are the type of apps that copy or mimic apps that already offer the same experience on their site. Apps that copy content from other apps that do not add anything new or unique to the product fall under the ban. This is also true of a developer who makes multiple apps that are similar in content and use.
The new Google Play Store policy also attacks apps that “are created by an automated tool, wizard service, or based on templates and submitted to Google Play by the operator of that service on behalf of other persons are not allowed,” said the company.
It is important to note that cryptocurrency mining apps that “remotely manage the mining of cryptocurrency” are still available, so please do read the small print of these new policy updates.
More restrictions have been placed on ads that have something to do with firearms and accessories that fall under the banner to “facilitate the sale of explosives, firearms, ammunition, or certain firearms accessories.”
As the subject of cryptocurrency mining apps has long been controversial, it is probably not too surprising that Google Play Store have banned these types of apps. It seems that the policy updates are part of a larger exercise to clean up apps and to protect users against cheap copies that add nothing new to each app category.
I am very experienced writer/blogger who has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community for several years. I have experience writing for crypto news sites and proactively been involved in the startup of other ICO and crypto ventures over the course of the past four years.