A recent update to the Google Play Developer Policy shows that Google has banned apps that mine cryptocurrencies on devices. The update makes clear that apps that enable remote mining will continue to be allowed. The new language reads:
"We don't allow apps that mine cryptocurrency on devices. We permit apps that remotely manage the mining of cryptocurrency."
This isn't the first time Google has taken action against cryptocurrency mining. In April of this year, Google announced that it would no longer accept extensions for Chrome that mine cryptocurrencies. Those extensions that remained in the store were delisted in June of this year.
Google's decision against cryptocurrency appears multi-faceted. The Chrome extension decision was based on most extensions hiding their intention from users. But, cryptocurrency mining is especially resource intensive, which also threatens Google's add and app programs.
Beyond Google's business concerns, cryptocrime is increasing across platforms, and mining functions are a target for initiating such crimes. Accordingly, Google's decision should not be surprising. Apple updated its guidelines last month to include similar prohibitions against on-device cryptocurrency mining.