Google To Remove All Crypto Mining Extensions From Chrome's Store

  • Google is removing all cryptocurrency mining extensions from its Chrome web store, as about 90% extensions fail to comply with policies
  • Google's move follows a ban on cryptocurrency-related ads, enacted by various tech platforms.

Google is going a step further in improving user experience on its Chrome browser. After recently announcing a ban on crypto-related ads, the company has now publicised it will remove cryptocurrency mining extensions from its Chrome Web Store.

Crypto Mining Extensions To Be Removed

On April 3, the tech company announced that it would block all Chrome browser extensions mining cryptocurrencies with user's machines. Google has in the past taken down few illicit extensions that secretly drained victims' hardware resources without their consent.

The company's announcement stated:  

“Until now, Chrome Web Store policy has permitted cryptocurrency mining in extensions as long as it is the extension’s single purpose, and the user is adequately informed about the mining behavior. Unfortunately, approximately 90% of all extensions with mining scripts that developers have attempted to upload to Chrome Web Store have failed to comply with these policies, and have been either rejected or removed from the store,”

Google

Extensions related to blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, other than mining, fall under the standard quota and will be permitted in the Chrome web store.  All existing crypto mining focused extensions will be delisted by July this year.

Google Takes Action Against Cryptojacking

Over the past few months, cryptojacking incidents shot up, forcing some browsers to develop tools that prevent illicit mining scripts from using user's computer resources. Because of minor failures in Chrome's Web store policies, developers have managed to deploy their illicit mining extensions on Google Chrome, one of the world's most popular web browsers. James Wagner, Google’s Extension Platform product manager, said:

“The key to maintaining a healthy extensions ecosystem is to keep the platform open and flexible. This empowers our developers to build creative and innovative customizations for Chrome browser users.”

Google Extension Product Manager

Recently, various tech companies banned crypto related ads from their platforms. These include Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and Snapchat. MailChimp - a popular email marketing platform - was the latest one banning crypto ads, reportedly to protect its users from fraudulent activities floating in the crypto space.

Cryptojacking hasn't just been a problem for users.  Large companies and government organizations throughout the world have fallen prey to it. Recently, Tesla’s cloud system was hijacked to mine, and even Google’s DoubleClick Ad Service was used as a vehicle.

BittrexUS ‘Geofencing’ a Total of 74 Tokens During June

Fast on the heels of Binance’s announcement to open a separate, curated platform for U.S. users, U.S.-based Bittrex yesterday, June 14, delisted, or "geofenced," another rash of tokens that will be excluded from trading on BittrexUS.

A total of 42 tokens will be delisted from trading starting on June 28. This is the second tranche of tokens to be delisted on BittrexUS within the month, with an almost identical announcement having come on June 7, delisting 32 tokens at that time.

In total then, BittrexUS will delist a total of 74 cryptos during June. Users will still be able to withdraw their tokens if they miss the deadline, but trading will be closed.

American Wall

Although no explicit explanation for the removals is given, the spirit of these delistings is clearly regulatory, as all tokens will still be available to trade on Bittrex’s International platform. Almost all of the tokens listed are ERC-20 tokens.

The isolation of the U.S. crypto markets seems to be the theme of the moment, with Binance causing a huge stir in past days by announcing their exclusion of all U.S. customers within 90 days from their main platform. Like Bittrex, Binance will proceed with a completely separate domain for U.S. customers - with a vastly reduced list of tradable tokens.

The issue in the U.S. is a lack of regulatory clarity, specifically regarding determining which digital assets are to be considered securities. Securities are highly regulated financial products, and U.S. financial regulatory agencies and legislators have not succeeded in clarifying the law in this regard.

What’s more, the SEC has shown its willingness to bare its fangs and issue indictments to certain projects - the most notable recent example of which is probably the indictment of Zach Coburn, founder of the now inactive (but forked!) EtherDelta decentralized ERC-20 exchange. Coburn was obliged to pay $400,000 in penalties.