The Defiant

Google Embraces Digital Assets With Updated Play Store Policy

Tech Giant Aims To Foster Innovation While Protecting Users From Scams

By: Samuel Haig Loading...

Google Embraces Digital Assets With Updated Play Store Policy

Google has given the green light to mobile app developers embracing digital assets and NFTs, with the Google Play Store updating its policies to welcome blockchain-based content within supported applications.

On July 12, Joseph Mills, Google Play’s group product manager, announced the policy change in a blog post. Google said the policy changes followed close consultation with Play’s developer community.

“We’re pleased to share that we’re updating our policy to open new ways to transact blockchain-based digital content within apps and games on Google Play,” Mills said.

“From reimagining traditional games with user-owned content to boosting user loyalty through unique NFT rewards, we’re excited to see creative in-app experiences flourish and help developers expand their businesses.”

Mills added that Google Play will soon talk to “industry partners” regarding improving its support for “blockchain-based app experiences, including in areas such as secondary markets.”

The news comes as Google appears to be expanding its presence in the web3 industry. Over the past year, Google Cloud has inked partnerships with Polygon, Solana, Near Protocol, and Hedera.

Google Cloud also launched node management services for Ethereum validators in October 2022 and expanded the service to support other Proof of Stake blockchains in March 2023.

Digital Asset Restrictions

The move marks a change in direction from Google, which banned crypto mining apps back in July 2018 and struggled to fight fraudulent crypto applications in the following years.

Indeed, Mills emphasized Google’s desire to balance fostering innovation in digital assets with protecting Play Store users from associated risks.

Apps must declare when one of their apps sells or allows users to earn tokenized digital assets, and must not “promote or glamorize” any earning opportunities related to digital assets.

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Google also warned that apps must pass Play’s gambling eligibility requirements to accept money in exchange for the opportunity to win assets with unknown monetary value, such as NFTs, including “loot box” mechanisms offering randomized items to purchasers.

While Google Play already hosts blockchain-related applications, the company hopes to foster new “immersive digital experiences with tokenized digital assets” on the platform.

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