Google Bans Crypto-Mining Apps From Play Store

Google has updated its Play Store developer policies, and several app categories are newly banned.

Credit: Shutterstock

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

For starters, Google has booted out cryptocurrency miners. This wasn't surprising, as Google banned crypto mining extensions from the Chrome Web Store earlier this year.

"The key to maintaining a healthy extensions ecosystem is to keep the platform open and flexible...The vast majority of mining extensions submitted for review failed to comply with our single purpose policy or were malicious," Google product manager James Wagner told Wired in April.

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The same logic probably applies to Android apps -- shady software that force phones to mine cryptocurrency has permanently damaged Android devices in the past.

Apple was first to ban crypto-mining apps from the App Store back in June.

In addition, applications that "appeal to children but contain adult themes" are not allowed in Google's Play Store. For example, inappropriate apps featuring Disney characters are a no-no, following YouTube's infamous Elsagate

Anything resembling child pornography is, unsurprisingly, already banned. "Apps that include content that sexualizes minors are subject to immediate removal from the Store," the policy reads.

Next on the chopping block are apps that "facilitate the sale of explosives, firearms, ammunition, or certain firearms accessories." This includes any that instruct people on how to make restricted firearms, or how to convert a firearm to an automatic weapon.

Finally, Google has banned applications which primarily serve ads, or which attempt to impersonate a person or organization.

Monica Chin is a writer at The Verge, covering computers. Previously, she was a staff writer for Tom's Guide, where she wrote about everything from artificial intelligence to social media and the internet of things to. She had a particular focus on smart home, reviewing multiple devices. In her downtime, you can usually find her at poetry slams, attempting to exercise, or yelling at people on Twitter.