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.

Overstock (OSTK) Shares Are up Over 160% Year to Date

Cryptocurrency-friendly e-commerce giant Overstock (NASDAQ: OSTK) has seen the price of its shares surge so far this year, as traders who bet on OSTK are now up over 160%.

The beginning of the year wasn’t great for Overstock shareholders, as the firm started the year trading at $7.04 but faced the continuation of a downturn that saw it drop to a $2.67 low in mid-March, when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization and all major U.S. stock market indices entered a bear market.

Since then, however, OSTK has been steadily rising, now trading at $18.9. Those who bought the company’s shares at the beginning of the year are now up nearly 170%, while those who bought it at its low are up a whopping 600%.

OSTK price chartSource: Google

The e-commerce giant saw its share price surge after the company revealed sales had skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, as customers started using e-commerce platforms more and more. Per CEO Jonathan Johnson, quarter-to-date retail sales went up 130% year-over-year, and the company shifted to a model where all of its employees are working from home.

Overstock has also seen new retail customer growth of 85% year-to-date. Overall, the company’s new customers are up 260% quarter to date. The category that’s best performing on its website is the home furnishing products one, with online penetration of 42%.

According to Overstock, as its sales went up the overall retail industry suffered a decline of roughly 30% over shelter-in-place orders. Looking forward, the e-commerce giant is looking to improve its mobile site, reduce logistics costs, and improve inventory management for faster delivery.

On May 19, the company will be distributing a digital preferred stock dividend, which will trade exclusively on its tZERO cryptocurrency trading platform. Investors will receive one security token per 10 OSTK shares held as of April 27.

Overstock’s former CEO, Patrick Byrne, was pro-cryptocurrency. In 2014, the company started accepting bitcoin payments, and in 2017 it started accepting payments in all cryptocurrencies.

Featured image via Unsplash.