You may have stumbled upon a new extension called Google Cast API¹ in chrome://extensions and think: "What is it? I didn't install anything Chromecast related".
This extension is actually a Shared Module - a new kind of chrome extension - that can be used by other extensions and apps. On my Chromebook for instance, the Google Play Movies App and the Video Player App depend on it.

The only purpose of the Google Cast API is to indicate to the caller the most stable Google Cast Extension installed on the system since there may be² several³.

¹ https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/mafeflapfdfljijmlienjedomfjfmhpd ² https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/boadgeojelhgndaghljhdicfkmllpafd ³ https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/dliochdbjfkdbacpmhlcpmleaejidimm

Source: https://codereview.chromium.org/214693007
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20 comments
 
Why are people unable to remove it though?  It seems to be getting some very negative feedback from users on the CWS...
 
It would be automatically removed if you were to remove all the extensions that would depend on it.
Problem is that the Video Player is bundled into Chrome OS and that it depends on it ;( cc +Josh Woodward 
 
This extension should be a plugin instead, not a suspicious extension that users can't remove, which makes them think it's a virus or something else bad.
 
Agreed with Rafael, a bit confusing in nomenclature. Are there dev docs on this?

Maybe another category of "shared extensions" with visibility as to which extensions are dependent?
 
+Rafael Alves, I like the idea of allowing extensions to depend on other extensions, but it sounds like the UI needs to make that more apparent.
 
^ That is certainly an improvement, but it would probably help to list the names of the dependent extensions in addition to their ids.
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Why are normal extension authors not allowed to create shared modules? I'm working on a shared module but the CWS won't let me upload it.

Shared modules come with zero permissions. There is no reason to limit them to Google-blessed extensions.
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