Google has updated their Chrome Web Store policy to stop accepting Cryptocurrency mining extensions and remove existing ones from the store. Google will no longer accept cryptocurrency extensions and will remove existing extensions from the store by end of June 2018.
Google allowed cryptocurrency extensions on the Chrome Web Store as long as it is the extension’s single purpose, and the user is adequately informed about the mining behavior. However, according to Google, 90% of the extensions submitted to the Web Store failed to comply with these norms. On top of that, all these extensions are resource intensive and ultimately end up slowing down Chrome and the users’ computer.
Starting today, Chrome Web Store will no longer accept extensions that mine cryptocurrency. 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.
Keeping the Chrome Web Store free of malicious extensions and maintaining a positive user experience while allowing extensions on Chrome has always been a challenge for Google. We regularly see the company updating policies and tweaking existing ones to stop bad actors from taking advantage of Chrome users. This, however, is a cat and mouse game. We will continue to see smart (!) folks sneaking in their shady extensions through new and innovative methods. We users should also do due diligence before installing anything new on our computers and also review installed extensions and apps periodically.