Ryan Van Wagenen on Cryptocurrency: Mining Extensions Are Now Banned From Chrome
New York, USA
Ryan Van Wagenen has been at Global Private Equity for nearly 10 years. Since 2011, when he was promoted Director within the firm he began focusing in the technology sector. With this in recent years has come a following of cryptocurrency as the firm has made purchases of companies with ties to the blockchain. Recently, it is interesting following regulations regarding cryptocurrency from governments and large technology companies like Google. Recently, Google made it official and clear that the search giant would be banning cryptocurrency mining extensions from their chrome store. The company made it clear in a post to the Chromium blog, Google’s own blog that they will not allow any crypto mining extensions in their web store anymore. In fact, the news is retroactive as well and it will not only allow new ones but also boot out those already on it.
The Chrome Web Store policy permits cryptocurrency mining extensions as long as crypto mining is its single purpose. Additionally, the user must have adequate information regarding the mining behavior of the app. However, this is only until now with Google has made it clear that they will cease allowing cryptocurrency mining extensions in their web store.
This is after almost all mining extensions that developers tried to upload to Chrome Web Store were unable to comply with their policies. As a result, the proposed new crypto mining extensions are rejected while others are removed. For the past weeks, many companies are adopting the ban for cryptocurrency ads.
Some of those who imposed the ban include Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Google, LinkedIn, and MailChimp. However, Google seems to leave alone blockchain extensions that do not relate to mining, at least for the time being. This fact is good news for other companies who use cryptocurrency mining for their services and applications.
Last month, Google stopped serving cryptocurrency ads including those related to initial coin offerings (ICOs), trading advice, and crypto wallets. This was a move following Facebook’s similar ban to cryptocurrency ads earlier this year. The ban means that even those that have legitimate crypto offerings can no longer serve ads through Google ad products.
This makes the advertising of cryptocurrency-related products placed on the company’s own site or on third-party sites. This policy update will take effect in June this year, according to Google’s post. Google said to have decided the ban upon seeing enough of crypto’s harm and potential harm to consumers. As such, the company decided to approach it with extreme caution by banning its ads.
The boom of cryptocurrency created a lot of excitement as well as unexpected wealth in many people. However, cryptocurrency is still a mainly unregulated space that over the last few years created countless prominent scams. Only last year, Google said it removed roughly 3.2 billion ads that violated its policies.
This number is about double of those the company removed the year before. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, makes about 84% of its total revenue from ads. As such, it makes it critically important that they can convince advertisers of the effectiveness and safety of their ecosystem. For that reason, they opted to remove billions worth of crypto ads from Google ad products.
Ryan Van Wagenen further explained that shortly after the ban on crypto ads, now Google bans all crypto mining extensions in their web store. However, Google has not been explicitly hacking mining-related extensions these days. Google found that SafeBrowse, an extension that “protects browsing”, is secretly mining Monero without the knowledge or consent of its users.
According to Google’s post, they will remove any mining extensions that are already in the Chrome Store in June. By this time, there will not be any crypto-related extensions in Google’s web store. However, this is not likely to eliminate the root of the problem on its own. This is because more people are developing ways of concealing an extension’s mining functionality.
Ryan Van Wagenen is a Westminster Alumnus that graduated with a bachelor in science in finance. Outside of business, he continues to stay involved in the outdoor community being an avid skier, hiker, and even rock climber. He also loves to travel and see new places, frequently travelling and immersing himself in different cultures.
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