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.

74% of Russians Have Heard About Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies, Survey Shows

A recently conducted survey has shown that while most in Russia have heard about cryptocurrencies, only 2% claimed to have already invested in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Some, on the other hand, believe these were illegal in the country.

The survey, conducted by the state-owned Russian public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM), interviewed 1,600 Russians aged 18 via telephone earlier this month, and found 56% of respondents know about bitcoin, while 18% claimed to have heard of the term.

Notably, only about 9% of respondents revealed they had detailed knowledge about cryptocurrencies. About 37% of those who heard about bitcoin noted they are sure anyone can buy cryptocurrencies, while 12% believe they are banned in Russia.

Currently, cryptocurrencies are unregulated in the country. Younger generations showed a higher level of awareness when it comes to cryptocurrencies, as 67% of 18 to 24 year-olds revealed they’re aware of them. Only 2% of these actually bought crypto.

Although the Russian public has shown it hasn’t been too directly invested in the cryptocurrency space, the country’s government has been increasingly focusing on it. As covered, its Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev noted the space was “still interesting” despite last year’s bear market.

In February, Russia’s former Energy Minister, Igor Yusufov, reportedly proposed the development of an oil-backed cryptocurrency to the State Duma. Reports have also suggested the country is looking to use bitcoin to bypass sanctions.

Notably, Russian social media giant Vkontakte (VK) has reportedly launched a “mineable” virtual currency its users can earn on its platforms, although it’s unclear whether the currency is blockchain-based.