Google Kicks Cryptocurrency Miners Off Chrome
Samuel Wan / 2 weeks ago
Google Bans New Mining Extensions From Chrome Web Store
Over the past year or so, the world has been in a bit of a cryptocurrency craze. So far, there has been cryptocurrency mining in apps, websites, ads and browsers. One notable source of cryptocurrency miners is from browser extensions. To crack down on these browser miners, Google has decided to ban them entirely from Chrome. This ban is effective immediately for the Google Chrome Web Store.
The move comes after too many mining extensions were breaking the rules. Google originally allowed extensions to mine but required clear and informed consent by users. The extension also had to be a pure mining app. This meant no sneaking the extension in to secretly mine in the background. Unfortunately, too many extensions were breaking the rules. Just like the wild west, only 10% of extensions complied. Furthermore, about 90% of mining extensions were breaking the rules in some way.
Google Aims to Protect User Experience and Resources
The main problem Google has is the lack of disclosure and the resources it takes up. Mining is inefficient using the CPU and takes up a lot of CPU time and electricity. As a result, Google is going to crack down on mining even further. Starting in June, all mining extensions will be removed. It is unclear if any mining apps will ever be let back in. Furthermore, Google will still let blockchain related extensions stay.
Finally, Google is acting to protect users and ensure that extensions are doing their intended job. There simply has been too much abuse at the expense of users. By removing them from the Web Store, it will cut down on malicious mining extensions. Given the restrictions on installing extensions on Chrome, this should effectively kill the market for mining extensions. It will be interesting to see what this will do to attempts to use mining as an alternative to ads.