Google announced this week that they will be banning Google Chrome extensions that engage in cryptocurrency mining.
Google product manager James Wagner announced in a blog post on Monday that Google Chrome would no longer support extensions that mine cryptocurrency.
“Until now, Chrome Web Store policy has permitted cryptocurrency mining in extensions as long as it is the extension’s single purpose, and the user is adequately informed about the mining behavior,” Wagner wrote. “Unfortunately, approximately 90% of all extensions with mining scripts that developers have attempted to upload to Chrome Web Store have failed to comply with these policies, and have been either rejected or removed from the store.”
Despite popular assumption, most browser-based cryptocurrency mining software mines Monero rather than Bitcoin. Monero, unlike Bitcoin, was designed to be mined using minimal computing power, making it ideal for a browser extension.
Some analysts that argue that cryptocurrency mining extensions overwhelm a computer’s computing power, rendering it useless when trying to run applications other than the browser.
According to Wagner, active Google Chrome extensions that mine cryptocurrency will be taken off of the Chrome Web Store in June.
“Starting today, Chrome Web Store will no longer accept extensions that mine cryptocurrency,” Wagner continued. “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.”
In February, Breitbart News covered Salon’s practice of using their reader’s spare computing power to mine Monero. The changes to Google Chrome extensions won’t affect Salon’s practice, which doesn’t take place in the form of a browser extension. Additionally, Salon asks users before using their computer to mine Monero.