Millions of people will soon be able to mine cryptocurrencies without installing additional programs after antivirus company Norton announced plans to add the feature to its LifeLock security software.
The company says the new feature, Norton Crypto, is intended to allow users to put their computers to work to mine cryptocurrency – and possibly earn real money – without having to risk using software. not verified.
“We are proud to be the first consumer cybersecurity company to offer coin miners the ability to easily and securely turn their PC’s idle time into an opportunity to earn digital currency,” said Gagan Singh, Product Manager at Norton. “With Norton Crypto, our customers can mine cryptocurrency with just a few clicks, avoiding many barriers to entry into the cryptocurrency ecosystem.”
Norton Crypto is expected to be available to all Norton 360 customers in the coming weeks. The company says it improves the existing experience. “For years, many coin miners have had to take risks in their quest for cryptocurrency, disabling their security in order to perform coin mining and allowing unverified code on their machines that could skim their income. or even crash ransomware, ”Norton said. “The winnings are usually stored directly on miners’ hard drives, where their digital wallet could be lost in the event of a failure. “
Norton’s argument is that because it is a trusted security company, its users can be confident that their computer and cryptocurrency are in good hands.
Norton has not specified how it intends to monetize the feature, but screenshots of the running software suggest it will function as a “pool,” with all users sharing the rewards. In addition to making payments more predictable, a pool approach would allow the company to charge membership fees. Competitors charge around 1% of the winnings.
The news was greeted with suspicion by many players in the cryptocurrency industry. Mining cryptocurrency uses a lot of energy, and for most normal computers it is difficult, if not impossible, to make more money running mining software than what would be spent on utility bills. While users could still make a profit if they used electricity that they didn’t pay for, like that in offices or student accommodation, it would come with potential legal risks.
Likewise, in many countries, income generated from the operation of cryptominers is taxable. A potential profit of pennies a day might not be worth the resulting paperwork.