In recent weeks, crypto-currency miners and speculators have been reeling as various forms of digital cash have lost upwards of 35% of their value. Miners got another, smaller bit of bad news when Apple banned mining applications from its app store a couple of months back. Now Google has taken a similar step in its Play Store, among other changes sure to impact developers of apps operating in the gray area of morality.
More specifically, Google's Financial Instruments policy states that the company doesn't allow applications “that expose users to deceptive or harmful financial instruments.” So far this policy has been limited to a ban on binary options that was put in place last April. The policy has now expanded to include crypto-currency. We have a feeling crypto forums are probably ablaze with miners complaining that brokerage houses are allowed to have their apps. Gerbils bored on this Friday afternoon might find some entertainment there.
The policy update also includes fairly vaguely-worded bans on apps with repetitive content and apps whose primary purpose is to serve ads. The wording of that second note is probably going to drive online pedants bananas. The last change is the addition of a policy banning apps and developer accounts that impersonate some other party or conceal or misrepresent their country of origin.
Finally, the company has updated its Child Endangerment policy. The previous prohibition against content that sexualizes minors is now joined by a clause that bans apps that contain adult themes but contain elements that appeal to children. Another update to the company's Dangerous Products policy bans apps that provide data for the production of firearms, explosives, ammunition or other weapons. The ban also includes apps that include instructions for the addition of automatic or simulated automatic discharge to firearms.