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It has turned out that Google had mistakenly considered MetaMask as a crypto mining mobile application, however, it has restored the MetaMask services “upon careful consideration”.
Popular Ethereum browser extension and wallet service MetaMask is back on the Google Play Store after going through a weeklong ban. On January 1, 2020, MetaMask shared this good news on Twitter by thanking the entire community.
MetaMask is a very popular Google Chrome browser extension that hosts a built-in crypto wallet running Ethereum-based decentralized applications (DApps). Moreover, its unique feature is that it allows Ethereum DApps to run without requiring a full Ethereum node.
MetaMask noted that Google has decided to put back its mobile application back on the Play Store “upon careful consideration”.
Happy New Year! Upon careful consideration, Google has permitted The MetaMask mobile app back on the Google Play (Android) store! Thanks to all the believers in an open web for speaking out in our support! https://t.co/Z8KOCtvHq0
— MetaMask 🦊💙 (@MetaMask) January 1, 2020
Just before the end of 2019, Google blocked MetaMask’s Android iteration from appearing on the Google Play Store. Google said that it had suspended the MetaMask Android client for violating its financial services policy. The tech giant further added that it will block all applications which enable cryptocurrency mining on mobile devices.
However, MetaMask defended its position saying that it has not indulged in any activity which goes against Google’s policies.
In the last week, the MetaMask Android client was suspended by the Google Play App Store @googleplaydev. They cited their policy that bans mining on mobile, which we don't. Appeal rejected. #ProtectWeb3.https://t.co/rfP4EbOAqv!?zippy_activeEl=cryptocurrencies%23cryptocurrencies
— MetaMask 🦊💙 (@MetaMask) December 26, 2019
Taking some potshots at Google, the MetaMask team wrote: “It’s unclear whether the reviewer doesn’t understand the policy, or whether they are enforcing an unwritten policy”.
This is not for the first time that Google removed the MetaMask application without informing its team. In July 2019, Google delisted the MetaMask service from the Chrome Web Store.
Finally, in this case, as well, Google has decided to rectify its mistake and restore the MetaMask services on its platforms.
Malicious Ethereum Wallet On The Google Play Store
⚠️ A browser crypto wallet is injecting malicious JS to steal secrets from @myetherwallet @idexio @binance @neotrackerio @SwitcheoNetwork
Extension-native wallet create also sends secrets to their backend!
Bad guys: erc20wallet[.]tk
ExtensionID: ckkgmccefffnbbalkmbbgebbojjogffn pic.twitter.com/TE2iw5d8Md
— harry.eth 🦊💙 (whg.eth) (@sniko_) December 31, 2019
Denley also added that the malicious crypto wallet has also infected services like NEO site NEOTracker, Ethereum interface MyEtherWallet, crypto giant Binance, decentralized platform IDEX, and the SwitchNeoNetwork. It looks like Google has acted upon this and removed the wallet from the Chrome web store.
Google Banning Crypto-Related YouTube Channels
Just before the ending of 2019, Google started removing several crypto-related popular YouTube channels from the video streaming platform. This move drew a lot of criticism from popular YouTubers who were operating their channels under the Google policies. It happened so that Google even banned Vitalik Buterin’s channel which explained the roadmap for the Ethereum network.
However, Google has accepted its mistake of banning crypto-related YouTube channels. Speaking to Decrypt, a Google spokesperson said:
“These removals were made in error. The team is in the process of reinstating all videos that erroneously had videos affected by the same root cause.”
Just slippages on part of Google raise doubts of the tech giant selectively targetting the crypto industry.