The MetaMask crew initially learned of the delisting when a team member noticed the extension's absence from the web store. Upon further investigation, the team found that there were a few lookalikes available to download. Despite emailing Google about the problem, the organization did not receive a response (although, apparently, the email bounced).
Serrano said that all this presented "a few immediate concerns":
- Phishing (people could be misled by the lookalikes).
- Updates (the team had to delay a product update because of the situation).
- New installs (source code is not the most user-friendly way to install the extension).
According to Serrano, "the removal was done in error," and the team was able to resolve the issue a little before 1 p.m. PDT on Wednesday. MetaMask praised the crypto community for its help, giving shoutouts to Brave, Augur, and MyCrypto, among others.
Because of these concerns and apparently no word from Google, MetaMask "prepared for the worst possible scenario" and spread the news over multiple communication channels, such as Twitter, and updated knowledge base articles.
As of now, "operations are back to normal within MetaMask," and the team hopes to release an update soon. Chrome users should have no problems. Additionally, "the most egregious lookalike on the Chrome Web Store" was taken down.
Serrano concluded the retrospective with some food for thought:
"1. Although several users used the opportunity to urge their fellow MetaMaskers to jump ship to another browser, this problem persists so long as the browser has the power to curate extensions at-will. …
2. How do we continue to combat phishing and in turn, increase confidence that the installed product is the correct one? …
3. For a product that enables decentralized technology, it has centralized points of failure. Our distribution models are one of them, placing our trust in browsers, GitHub, and the people deploying in order to keep the system working."
It seems clear from the organization's reflection that it cares about the crypto community and the people involved. What remains to be seen is how it will address the aforementioned issues.