Cryptocurrency mining applications for smartphones have dwindled significantly in numbers a month after Google banned the apps from its Play Store.
Cryptocurrency mining applications are now hard to come by one month after Google banned them from its Play Store.
In late July, the technology company has revised the Developer Content Policy of its Play Store, restricting the type of content apps can have. The revision explicitly stated that the Play Store does not allow applications that mine cryptos on smartphones and other devices.
“We don’t allow apps that mine cryptocurrency on devices. We permit apps that remotely manage the mining of cryptocurrency.”
The company has given developers 30 days to comply with the new rules. Before then, many news outlets reported the continued existence of some crypto mining applications with a significant number of downloads.
However, it looked like Google followed its deadline as most of the proven and well-known mining apps have disappeared from the Play Store.
Vanishing Smartphone Miners
One of the deleted applications was from British blockchain startup JSEcoin.
The startup allows users to manage their mining endeavors remotely through the app. In addition, the app can mine crypto using the customer’s phone.
For a while after the revision, JSEcoin’s app remained listed on the Play Store. However, that did not last long as Google suspended the app for violating the site’s revised rules.
John Sims, JSEcoin co-founder and chief technology officer, said:
“We have additionally reached out to the Google Support team to confirm if we are allowed to allow our users to mine our tokens via our official app – as we are aware of their restriction policy… Unfortunately even with low power [and] CPU consumption use, we are not allowed to enable mining.”
Since then, JSEcoin released another app—JSEcoin Wallet—and removed the smartphone mining capability.
Another mining app has adopted the same solution JSEcoin stumbled upon. Mining pool MinerGate has announced on its social media accounts that it has removed the mining option from the latest version of its application.
MinerGate, on Aug. 23, wrote:
“In order to comply with the updated [Google Play] requirements, we removed the mining option from the latest version of our application. The new v.2.4 is designed for monitoring and managing your mining process – both your own hardware and [cloud mining].”
However, a quick search on the Play Store revealed that Google has removed MinerGate’s updated app.
Many applications still exist claiming to be legitimate smartphone crypto miners. Some of them are questionable, with disappointing ratings and installs not reaching over five thousand.
However, most of them are for cloud mining, miner management, and calculation of mining profit—all of which are permitted by Google’s Terms and Conditions.
Made the Correct Call
Many technology experts support Google’s decision to ban mobile crypto mining apps. These techies believe that the tech company has protected its customers from a number of fraudulent and malicious developers.
Lukas Stefanko, malware researcher at security solution provider ESET, said:
“I think this is a good move. Banning mining apps makes sense because most of them were just adware, fake apps, or simply mining for the developer – not the user.”
Troy Mursch, security researcher from Bad Packets Report, added:
“I think it’s [a] fair ban given the surreptitious nature we’ve [seen] with crypto-jacking. Most users are unaware of the repercussions involved with mining cryptocurrency on a mobile device.”
He added that developers did not design mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to mine cryptos. He explained further that unthrottled mining while charging could damage the phone.