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Google Bans Chrome Cryptocurrency Mining Extensions
Quote:Google has banned all cryptocurrency mining extensions from Google Chrome. In a blog post, the developers explained that crypto-mining extensions that made their purpose adequately clear to prospective downloaders had been allowed until now. Any extension created for crypto-mining was also barred from having any other function. These two restrictions were meant to prevent the creation of stealth mining extensions. Some websites implement a simple form of cryptojacking by trying to trick visitors into installing such extensions.

Google has found that over 90% of crypto-mining extensions have failed to follow these policies, however, so it’s banning all crypto-mining extensions from Chrome. Mining extensions already on the Chrome Web Store will be removed in June.
Quote:Google, it seems, is a bit unhappy with how this experiment in permissiveness turned out. That might have something to do with news that surfaced some months ago, about popular extensions being sold to individuals who then updated them with cryptocurrency miners, hoping that end users would never be the wiser. That kind of end run around user intent is about as hostile as you can get.

It was never clear if there was a realistic path to cryptocurrency mining as a way to funnel cash to legitimate websites. Fundamental issues, like the impact on system power consumption, battery life, and the very real difficulty of trying to create some kind of equitable framework for assigning mining work across multiple browsers and sites hadn’t been solved. The best-case might have been a third-party tool that would distribute mining earnings to a site or series of sites, but this would’ve also made it trickier for sites to know which users and donators were associated with which accounts.

None of these problems were insurmountable. But with Google bringing down the banhammer — and to be clear, we agree with its decision, given the user-hostile nature of cryptojacking — we won’t be finding out anytime soon.

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