Google has blocked Chrome browser extensions that include cryptocurrency mining scripts.
The internet giant had already announced extensions in the Chrome Web Store would be deleted in June.
But the ban on new scripts came as a shock to cryptocurrency miners.
Google had allowed the scripts if the sole purpose of the extension was cryptocurrency mining and users were properly told about the intention.
However, Google explained that the number of malicious extensions hiding cryptocurrency mining scripts had increased in recent months.
“We chose to defer banning extensions with cryptomining scripts until it became clear that most mining extensions submitted for review failed to comply with our single purpose policy or were malicious,” said Google’s extensions platform product manager James Wagner.
“The extensions platform provides powerful capabilities that have enabled our developer community to build a vibrant catalogue of extensions that help users get the most out of Chrome. Unfortunately, these same capabilities have attracted malicious software developers who attempt to abuse the platform at the expense of users.”
In common with other big data organisations, such as Facebook, Google has also announced a blanket ban on cryptocurrency advertising for wallets and exchanges.
Aussie exchanges regulated
Financial regulators in Australia have told cryptocurrency exchanges in the country that they must apply mandatory anti-money laundering rules.
The rules insist that the exchanges must verify the identities of their customers.
In other countries, customer identification has been the first step towards taxing the gains of cryptocurrency traders.
The new rules start immediately, and exchanges must sign up to the Australian Transactions and Reporting Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) digital currency exchange register by May 14.
Failure to abide by the rules could lead to fines and exchange closures.
Antigua sets up crypto exchange
The government of the Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda is planning to launch a state-backed cryptocurrency exchange.
Ministers hope the exchange will generate much-needed income for the tiny country.
Melford Nicholas, the country’s information technology minister, said the exchange will act as a facilitator to bring together cryptocurrency buyers and sellers for a fee.
“We’re thinking that we can leverage both those relationships. By establishing an exchange here it will bring Antigua into the game as it were should there be any potential economic spinoffs we should be in the front seat,” he said.
The government hopes to take advantage of cryptocurrency, online gaming and development of blockchain technologies.