Google has updated the Play Store policy page this week to ban apps that mine cryptocurrencies on users’ devices.
“We don’t allow apps that mine cryptocurrency on devices,” the newly added policy entry reads.
This change means Google will start to remove any app from the official Play Store that uses a device’s CPU or GPU for cryptocurrency mining operations.
Google will still allow mining apps on the Play Store, but only those that are used to control cryptocurrency mining operations on remote devices —such as servers or desktops.
Untethered cryptocurrency mining can destroy devices
Preventing cryptocurrency mining on Android is crucial because untethered mining operations can easily overheat or destroy batteries —or even devices if the battery case deforms, leaks, or catches fire.
Google didn’t publicly announce the policy change, but developers who had apps removed complained on Reddit. Other policy changes were also made, such as the decision to ban apps with repetitive content. You can read the new “Restricted Content” section of the Play Store Policy Center here, and compare it to an earlier version here.
Apple banned mining apps last month
The company’s decision to ban cryptocurrency mining apps on the Play Store comes after Apple banned mining apps from the App Store at the start of June.
Google previously banned Chrome extensions that mine cryptocurrencies from the official Chrome Web Store back in April.