In an effort to curb the spread of crypto-jacking software, Google updated its terms of service in July to ban on-device cryptocurrency mining apps from the Play Store. Unfortunately, it appears that (in addition to a slew of mining apps) the internet giant has erroneously banned some legitimate apps – including one with over a million installs.
The removed app – MinerGate – originally offered both on-device mining and a remote cloud mining management functionality. To comply with the updated terms of service from the Big G, MinerGate removed the on-device mining feature from its app.
“Mining on your phone directly was among the core features of the MinerGate app before the last changes in Google Play Development policies,” a MinerGate spokesperson told Hard Fork. “With the last update, we are removing this functionality to meet the updated requirements.” Despite that, Google proceeded to purge the app from the Play Store.
At the time of writing, MinerGate is still unavailable
MinerGate was part of the minority to actually update its app to comply with the new terms. Understandably MinerGate is bemused to say the least at the news of the apps removal.
In an email to Hard Fork, MinerGate simply stated, “MinerGate mobile app was improperly banned by Google Play.”
It would seem that while Google has intentions to protect both developers and users of the Play Store, it is inconsistent with the enforcement of its terms of service. As it stands today, mining apps on the Play Store are much less visible, so we sort of get a fresh start, if nothing more.
We reached out to Google for comment on this matter and will update the article accordingly if and when we hear back.