In an apparent change in its Play Store policy, Google removed the popular crypto browser MetaMask from the Android store this week. The deplatforming came to light yesterday on the heels of the Internet giant unilaterally removing hundreds of crypto video sites from YouTube.
Though the video deletions appear to be in the process of being reversed—the company told Decrypt yesterday that the Christmas Eve Purge was done in error—as of 10 a.m. California time, MetaMask was still unavailable on the Android store, days after being excommunicated.
"We have not yet been reinstated, but we have been told our issue has been escalated by both a public Google Twitter account and a private contact we were introduced to, so things may be moving," said Dan Finlay, of MetaMask.
MetaMask, the most popular Ethereum-based browser, has over 260,000 monthly users. On December 20, it received an email from Google saying that it's app violated the Play Store's "financial services" rules. The email referred to a page that said, "We don't allow apps that expose users to deceptive or harmful financial products and services. For the purposes of this policy, we consider financial products and services to be those related to the management or investment of money and cryptocurrencies, including personalized advice."
Though Google provides 24-hour media support, it has not responded to a request for comment.
In June, during a periodic "core upgrade" to its search algorithm, the search engine monopoly dramatically decreased its flow of traffic to many crypto news sites, with many reporting double-digit declines.