MetaMask is a "crypto wallet & gateway to blockchain apps. Start exploring blockchain applications in seconds. Trusted by over 21 million users worldwide." "Available as a browser extension and as a mobile app, MetaMask equips you with a key vault, secure login, token wallet, and token exchange—everything you need to manage your digital assets."


"Since the introduction of the Chrome Web Store in 2011, it has become the largest catalog of browser extensions with over 200,000 available to all of our users. This has helped millions of users to customize their browsing experience on Chrome in ways we could have never imagined, from niche utilities to companies building businesses around the platform’s capabilities."


"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."


"Google claimed in late December that MetaMask had violated its terms of service for financial apps; it linked MetaMask to mobile mining." "Google Play, the official app store for the Android operating system which is used by billions of mobile devices around the world and operated by Google, has banned the crypto app Metamask. The company pointed its restricted content policy on apps that expose users to deceptive or harmful financial products and services as a reason for the ban."


"The move to ban Metamask from the Play Store comes at an especially tense time between Google and the crypto community. This is because only recently the google-owned video sharing website Youtube has removed content and banned channels that promote or otherwise analyze the digital asset markets. The company has since claimed this was done by mistake and reinstated some channels but the risk it poses to the ability to spread news ideas have already become clear."


"MetaMask says that they do not perform mining operations on the device, and that this is simply an attempt on Google’s part to inhibit the adoption of Web3 standards, citing a previous incident where their Chrome browser extension was also temporarily delisted."


"The company had appealed Google’s decision to no avail." "Google told MetaMask at the time of the ban that it forbids mining on mobile platforms; a service MetaMask says it doesn’t offer."


"The appeal rejection cited the same policy: No mining on @Android. We don't. It's unclear whether the reviewer doesn't understand the policy, or whether they are enforcing an unwritten policy. Either way, it's time to #ProtectWeb3."


"[P]lease, speak out, and show Google that you will not support a platform that censors disintermediation. Plenty of other great browsers out there with @Firefox and @brave. Some nice YouTube alternatives are coming around, too."


"MetaMask co-lead developer Dan Findlay told Cointelegraph:"


“I very much hope that this was an honest mistake on the part of Google's reviewers, but in combination with all the crypto YouTube bans, it definitely puts me at disease about how Google is engaging with decentralizing technologies. If people accept this behavior from a mobile monopoly like Google, we may not deserve something better.”


“If left banned, we will be working on other ways of bringing our services to users still stranded on the Android platform while they migrate to something more free,” the Metamask team stated on Twitter. “The story will not stop here, and it certainly won’t stop with the Goliath winning.”


"MetaMask’s Twitter outrage caught the eyes of the Google Play development team which promised to intervene and escalate the issue."


"Hi , thanks for reaching out. We have escalated your issue to the relevant team for further investigation. We appreciate your patience while we are looking into this."


"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!"

The MetaMask wallet application was again banned on Google Play at the end of December 2019. There were no reports of phishing versions of the application appearing in it's place this time, and no funds appear to have been taken from users. The application was reinstated around a week later.

Sources And Further Reading

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