Google bans crypto-mining browser extensions

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Google have added more salt to the cryptocurrency wounds as the US tech giant moved to ban cryptocurrency mining browser extensions from its Chrome store.

The decision, made in early April, will mean that as of July, it will begin to remove existing browser extensions that facilitate mining. Other blockchain-related extensions are still allowed.

According to Wired, Google decided to implement Monday’s ban because the majority of mining extensions submitted to the Chrome Web Store failed to comply with its sole-usage policy.

“The key to maintaining a healthy extensions ecosystem is to keep the platform open and flexible,” said James Wagner, Google’s extensions platform product manager.

“This empowers our developers to build creative and innovative customisations for Chrome browser users.

“This is why we chose to defer banning extensions with crypto-mining scripts until it became clear that the vast majority of mining extensions submitted for review failed to comply with our single purpose policy or were malicious.”

Amid increasing regulatory scrutiny and an advertising crackdown, it has been a taxing year for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which have lost nearly half of their market capitalisation since their apotheosis over Christmas. Concurrent with regulatory crackdowns, tech giants including Google, Facebook and Twitter have all banned crypto-currency adverts.

Bitcoin and Ethereum both experienced their worst quarter in history, losing $119 billion in value. Ripple has been the worst performer out of the top three crypto-currencies, losing 77% of its value.

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