Some mobile apps allow their users to mine bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies directly from their phones. The computing power of cell phones can help validate transactions. However, this type of device is not necessarily suited for this task. And, the enthusiasm of users for this form of mining has not been slow to be used by unscrupulous developers. In total, more than 100 “mining apps” would offer completely non-existent services.
8 applications already eradicated from the Play store
Based on a report by Trend Micro, a major player in the field of software security, Google would have decided to ban 8 cryptocurrency mining apps from its Play store. These apps with a realistic interface were actually just scams that charged their users for non-existent services.
Indeed, users of these applications had to watch video ads and pay a monthly payment of 15 dollars to validly proceed, according to the applications, to the mining of cryptocurrencies. Nevertheless, only 2 of the 8 banned applications were paid applications on the Play store.
One of the banned apps, BitFunds Crypto Cloud Mining, had already been downloaded more than 100,000 times even though it was only in its first version. Unsuspecting users were lured by cryptocurrency mining simulations and built-in buying proposals. They were also enticed to increase their “package” by promises of better returns. From a technical point of view, these promises of course had no basis or content.
Other applications also implicated
According to the same Trend Micro report, these 8 apps would only be the tip of the iceberg. In fact, more than 120 mobile mining apps would be scams. In reality, these apps would not have the ability to mine cryptocurrencies. According to the same report, in just one year, more than 4,000 users have suffered financial consequences as a result of using these fake apps.
To avoid these unfortunate consequences, Trend Micro encourages mining app users to check reviews. As such, it is better to focus on bad reviews (1 or 2 stars), rather than very good reviews (5 stars). These may indeed have been purchased by the developer and published as soon as the application was released.
Fake bitcoin mining apps swarm the Google Play Store
The Trend Micro study also highlighted the lack of verification of crypto wallet addresses. As a result, these applications accept all addresses, even if they are wrong. This last point is also a way for the user to make sure that the mining application they are about to use is working properly.
Google, which decided to lift the restrictions on Google Ads about US exchanges and crypto wallets last June, remains attentive to the drifts of the cryptosphere. If you use this type of application, you should be wary and vigilant.