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.

Ernst & Young Report Reveals QuadrigaCX Has $21 Million in Assets, Owes $160 Million

A new report published by Ernst and Young (EY) has recently shown that the embattled Canadian cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX has $21 million in assets, but owes its creditors $160 million.

The report shows the firm’s assets and debts are spread between three subsidiaries associated with the cryptocurrency exchange, namely Quadriga Fintech Solutions, Whiteside Capital Corporation, and 0984750 B.C. The report revealed QuadrigaCX’s assets and liabilities as of April 12, 2019.

George Kinsman, the EY employee acting as the monitor and trustee in QuadrigaCX’s case, noted on the report that there’s “material discrepancy between the reported fiat and cryptocurrency obligations,” and that shoddy bookkeeping was an issued the firm faced.

Notably, QuadrigaCX is reportedly locked out of $145 million worth of cryptocurrency, as the unexpected passing of its founder and CEO Gerald Cotten saw the firm lose access to its cold storage wallets.

After initially filing for creditors protection, the exchange declared bankruptcy early last month, after receiving approval by Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Michael Wood. The bankruptcy was set to allow the firm to sell assets, “including but not limited to Quadriga’s operating platform.”

As covered, EY wasn’t able to locate any cryptocurrency in the Canadian trading platform’s cold wallets, which had been empty since April of 2018, having one of the addresses received an accidental transfer recently. The exchange, EY’s report claimed at the time, weren’t able to explain why the wallets hadn’t been used for months. Kinsman wrote in the report:

The applicants have been unable to identify a reason why Quadriga may have stopped using the identified bitcoin cold wallets for deposits in April 2018.

The monitor has reportedly managed to get a hold of about $500,000 worth of cryptocurrency recovered from QuadrigaCX’s hot wallets and “various other sources,” and now holds 61 BTC, 33 BCH, 2,661 BTG, 851 LTC, and 960 ETH.