In what was titled an emergency post on the bitcoin page at Reddit.com, programmer Vitalik Buterin announced to users that Google had suddenly (and without explanation) removed the KryptoKit Wallet from the Chrome store.
And while we can’t say it started a panic in the bitcoin community, the tone of the post signaled distress — and for a good reason.
What followed was a detailed step-by-step instruction on how users could gain access to their private keys. Most users didn’t end up needing it, however.
Approximately thirty minutes following the post, KryptoKit co-founder Steve Dakh returned with an update:
Hey Guys, Google has finally responded after multiple appeals and they have reinstated our account. The link for the extension seems to be working now: [link]
Please let me know if it is loading up for you guys. I’m sorry for all of you that faced this issue. This happened without ANY warning.
Much Love -Steve Dakh
While the community appreciates the speedy resolution on the part of Google, there are more questions than answers.
Why did Google remove the KryptoKit Chrome extension? Further, why did they remove it without so much as a warning to the developer?
Not even Dakh himself seems to know. In a response to a question asked from a community member, he says he asked Google repeatedly but received no reply.
Software developer (and former Google employee) Mike Hearn published an educated guess as to why this may have happened over at CoinDesk.
In this case, the Chrome Store is probably programmed to remotely uninstall extensions created by terminated accounts, because the usual assumption is it’s better to remove users from harms way and let the manual investigations mop up the occasional false positive.
(We recommend readying Hearn’s opinion in its entirety here)
What do you make of the situation?