Norton 360 now offers crypto mining — users can mine Ethereum using its antivirus software

Norton 360 now offers crypto mining — users can mine Ethereum using its antivirus software
  • Norton is monetising the cryptocurrency boom by letting users mine Ethereum via its antivirus software
  • The new feature, called Norton Crypto, will be available only to a small group of customers initially.
  • It’ll leverage a pool of many miners who contribute whatever computing power they can offer.
  • All accumulated coins will be stored in a cloud-based wallet called Norton Crypto Wallet until you transfer them out.
On an average day, antivirus companies want you to stay away from services or products that are too complex, decentralised, or untraceable. Antivirus software is a defence mechanism that protects users from surreptitious viruses, malware, phishing links, and attacks. So, it's natural to assume that cybersecurity companies are now focused on tackling a fresh wave of mining programs that discreetly try to mine coins on a gullible users' machine.

However, Norton has a better idea. Instead of constantly fighting off lurking harmful programs, why not create an exceptional application to make it easier and safer for the average Joe to mine cryptocurrencies? One of the world's best-known antivirus software makers is adding cryptocurrency mining to its products in a surprise move.
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Norton 360 antivirus will let users mine Ethereum, the world's second most valuable cryptocurrency, on laptops or computers. The new feature, called Norton Crypto, will be available only to a small group of customers starting today, gradually expanding it to all Norton 360 users in the coming months.

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Although mining Ethereum isn't a simple task and requires high-end computing hardware to increase the chances of receiving a coin, Norton is confident pooling will help improve the odds. Screenshots of the software reveal a system that'll leverage a pool of many miners who contribute whatever computing power they can offer. All users will share the reward based on their contribution.

Norton 360 now offers crypto mining — users can mine Ethereum using its antivirus software

A Norton spokesperson told The Verge that once cryptocurrency has been earned, it will be possible to "pull money into Coinbase," a crypto exchange based out of the US. All accumulated coins will be stored in a cloud-based wallet called Norton Crypto Wallet until you make the transfer.

"For years, many coin miners have had to take risks in their quest for cryptocurrency, disabling their security to run coin mining and allowing unvetted code on their machines that could be skimming from their earnings or even planting ransomware," Norton said in a statement.
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However, experts aren't entirely convinced with Norton's grand plans. It's already tough to mine Ethereum, and despite best-in-class GPUs, the returns aren't as attractive as they used to be. The industry is also experiencing a rough patch as countries like China’s clamp down on crypto mining. The energy requirement for mining is also a concern, as most of it is generated by harmful fossil fuels.

According to TRG Datacenters, Ethereum is the second most energy-intensive blockchain that requires 62.56 Kilowatt-hour (kWh) power per transaction. In comparison, Ripple (XRP) requires just 0.0079 kWh. Norton did not comment about worries regarding crypto mining and the environment.

It's also worth noting that cryptocurrency earnings are taxable in many countries, including the US. The additional income generated by the easy-to-use software could give you some paperwork nightmares later on.
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