Google is making several changes to its Play Store policies, one of which includes the ban of apps that mine cryptocurrencies on Android devices. The policy update is similar to one that exists in the iOS App Store. In both cases, apps that mine in the cloud are still permitted, but not ones that mine locally on the actual phone or tablet.
"We don't allow apps that mine cryptocurrency on devices. We permit apps that remotely manage the mining of cryptocurrency," Google states in its Developer Policy Center.
Google's ban comes on the heels of blocking cryptocurrency mining extensions in the Chrome Web Store. The updated polices are presumably in response to the rise of sneaky mining instances, such as those that utilize CoinHive and ones that effectively turn Android handsets into mining zombies. Users can unwittingly fork over system resources to remote miners, which in turn can lead to reduced battery life and other issues.
Cryptocurrency mining is not the the area that Google is cracking down on. The updated Play Store policies also include a ban on applications that "facilitate the same of explosives, firearms, ammunition, or certain firearms accessories." That includes instructional apps that teach users how to make their own guns and ammo.
Other bans include apps that "appeal to children but contain adult themes," ones that primarily exist to serve ads, and repetitive content such as "multiple apps with highly similar content and user experiences" or those created with automated tools.