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.

Best Time to Launch Libra Was Three Years Ago, Calibra's Vice President Says

Kevin Weil, the vice president of Facebook’s subsidiary Calibra, has revealed the best time to launch the Libra cryptocurrency was three years ago, before the 2017 bull run.

Speaking at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, during the Web Summit, Weil emphasized Libra will only be launched once it’s approved by regulators, but noted the “best time to launch Libra was three years ago,” with now being the second-best time.

Weil noted that he started thinking about Facebook getting into the cryptocurrency space after a friend joined a cryptocurrency fund. He noted that he wasn’t initially a fan of bitcoin, but became one in 2015 and 2016.

He compared modern financial services to communications before the internet. Per his words, 30 years ago people sent text messages to only those under the same telecoms provider, and sending messages to people in other countries was extremely expensive.

Then, he said, the internet came along and “suddenly we have a decentralize infrastructure, where the cost of sending something to someone else is close to zero.” Weil added Libra is trying to do for money what the internet did for communications.

What is motivating us is whether we can do for money what the Internet has done for information. It is very expensive to be poor. The question was, what if we could move this to a system that decentralized infrastructure and could send value across the world?

Calibra’s vice president further emphasized no single entity should run Libra, and as such the Libra Association was born. Calibra itself is creating a wallet for the cryptocurrency, to let users store their funds where they’re safe and easily accessible.

The Libra Infrastructure

Libra’s use cases will revolve around sending money to friends and family and slashing remittance fees. As people are already chatting via social media platforms like WhatsApp, it’s convenient to also send money through them, Weil added.

Nevertheless, he said Calibra is trying to “guarantee it’ll be good for businesses.” Around 18 months ago, he noted, Libra was already an idea being cooked up. He added:

We are committed to make Calibra a product built on Libra's infrastructure. I think Internet analogies are good. Take your favorite digital wallet, Paypal, Venmo, whatever. None of this works together. This is not the way the world should work. Libra will work like email. We should not decide which email service to use before sending money.

Weil then addressed those who don’t feel comfortable sharing data with Facebook, saying Libra’s financial data will be separate from the data collected by the social media giant. Even if a user chooses not to use Calibra, he said, he’ll still be able to receive Libra tokens.

Featured image via Unsplash.