Google has followed Apple’s lead in banning apps that mine cryptocurrencies.
The company recently updated its Play Store policies to explicitly ban cryptocurrency-mining apps, although several such apps are still available to download at press time.
“We don’t allow apps that mine cryptocurrency on devices,” the new policy says. “We permit apps that remotely manage the mining of cryptocurrency.”
It’s not clear if this change will only apply to new apps. There are still several of crypto-mining apps available via the Play Store, though they are explicitly labeled as such.
We’ve reached out to Google for clarification on its policy.
an example of a crypto-mining app in the Play Store.
Image: google play
Of course, in most cases, your smartphone is pretty far from an optimal mining device — smartphones just don’t have enough power in most cases. The bigger problem is cryptojacking, when shady developers sneak crypto-mining software into other apps without users knowing. This has been a problem on the Play Store for years, which is likely why Google is now cracking down on mining apps.
Google’s ban follows a similar move by Apple, which updated its own developer policies in June. Apple, however, took its rules a step further, also banning apps that use coin giveaways as an incentive to get social media engagement or app downloads.