Today Google removed MetaMask from the Chrome Extension store and the Google Play Store without any explanation. The tech giant did not give any notice nor has it given any indication as to when it will be restored, or if it will be restored.
This news came to light when MetaMask announced on its Twitter handle about what happened and that they will keep everyone updated as the situation develops. The other browsers are unaffected for now but we will have to wait and see if others follow Chrome’s lead.
MetaMask is an extremely important browser extension because it provides the users to access the decentralized networks by providing them an interface. With MetaMask, the users can access Ethereum DApps in their browsers without having to run a full blockchain node.
Before Ethereum was widespread, this was the primary way the users would access DApps. And since then, it has become a vital part of the Ethereum experience. And with Google Chrome delisting MetaMask from the Chrome and Android marketplaces, it will make it difficult for people to access Ethereum Dapps and it will also hinder the ongoing adoption of the Ethereum experience.
All the other major browsers like Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and Brave can still run MetaMask and haven’t joined in the purge of this extension.
So will users be able to still use MetaMask on Chrome or will they have to download it on an alternative browser?
MetaMask clarified that doubt in their tweet saying that for now, all the users that already had the MetaMask extension in Chrome should still be able to use it. But the new users would have to directly download the extension and install it in Chrome. They wouldn’t be able to find it in the Chrome Web Store.
Here’s the guide that they provided. It takes you through the process of where you can download it and install it in your Chrome browser manually.
MetaMask is hoping that they can reach out to Google and resolve this issue quickly before they push an update. But even for that to happen, they would need an active listing on the web store.
In the meantime, MetaMask supporters have taken to Twitter to show their support and the displeasure that they are experiencing with Google’s move. Some have taken a moderate stance saying that this might just be a mistake by one of Google’s overzealous keyword filters. While others have gone extreme by saying that this is the perfect opportunity to move to other browsers such as Firefox and Brave.
But you should keep your eyes peeled if you are a new user trying to use MetaMask, because as Augur reported, fraudsters are trying to take advantage of this situation and placing their phishing apps on the Android store that impersonate MetaMask.
For now, if you really want to use MetaMask, we would suggest downloading Brave browser because it is one of the fastest and the lightest browsers we have ever used. Not to mention they have a built-in ad blocking feature. Given how much RAM Chrome has been using lately, it does make sense to go with Brave.
As for MetaMask’s situation, nobody knows if this is just a mistake, or if this is a total overhaul of the Chrome Web store and if MetaMask is a victim of that overhaul. We will just have to wait and see.