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Google bans crypto-mining apps from Play Store, follows Apple’s lead

Google has updated its developer policy to ban cryptocurrency mining applications from the Play Store.

The move follows a similar decision from Apple last month and puts a halt to the practice of mining for virtual currencies Bitcoin on the devices themselves. Like Apple, Google is still allowing apps that enable users to store and monitor their crypto currency portfolios that are being mined elsewhere.

The updated Play Store developer guidelines (via BBC) read: “We don’t allow apps that mine cryptocurrency on devices. We permit apps that remotely manage the mining of cryptocurrency.”

At the time of writing, a number of mining apps are listed on the Play Store. It’s unclear whether they’ll be allowed to continue operating or whether the policy applies to new apps.

Until Apple and Google threw down the ban hammer, developers were only obligated to abide by all federal and state laws when building their apps.

Related: Bitcoin price latest

In June Apple updated the App Store language to reflect the shift in policy. Unlike Google, the guidelines got really specific about it too.

They read: “Apps may facilitate virtual currency storage, provided they are offered by developers enrolled as an organisation. In addition, apps may not mine directly for cryptocurrencies, unless the mining is performed in the cloud or otherwise off-device.

“Apps may “facilitate transactions or transmissions of cryptocurrency on an approved exchange, provided they are offered by the exchange itself,” although apps facilitating Initial Coin Offerings (“ICOs”) must originate from “established banks, securities firms, futures commission merchants (“FCM”), or other approved financial institutions.” And finally, cryptocurrency-related apps “may not offer currency for completing tasks, such as downloading other apps, encouraging other users to download, posting to social networks.”

The move comes as banks and governments around the world adjust to the recent explosion and volatility of cryptocurrencies.

Will the ban on crypto-mining apps affect the way you use your iOS or Android smartphone? Share your thoughts with us @TrustedReviews on Twitter.