As internet companies crack down on cryptocurrencies, Google has announced that it will not allow cryptocurrency mining extensions on the Chrome web store. In a blog post, a company representative said that there has been a rise in such malicious extensions that embed hidden cryptocurrency mining scripts that run in the background without the user’s consent. Mining scripts often consume significant CPU resources, and can severely impact system performance and power consumption.
Existing extensions that mine cryptocurrency will be delisted from the Chrome Web Store in late June. Extensions with blockchain-related purposes other than mining will continue to be permitted in the Web Store.
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. “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,” Extensions Platform Product Manager James Wagner said in a Google blog.
Crackdown on cryptocurrencies
In March, Google also announced a ban on ads that promote cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) starting from June. The company highlighted products that can no longer be advertised “including but not limited to initial coin offerings (ICO), cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice.”
Similar moves have been taken by other Big internet companies like Facebook and Twitter. On March 27, Twitter said that under its new policy, the advertisement of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and token sales will be prohibited globally. “We know that this type of content is often associated with deception and fraud, both organic and paid, and are proactively implementing a number of signals to prevent these types of accounts from engaging with others in a deceptive manner,” Twitter said.
Facebook, however, was the first one to do it. The company announced in January that it would ban financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, which included binary options, initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency. They were removed not only from the core app but on all platforms where Facebook sells ads.