The California-based cybersecurity company NortonLifeLock, has announced last week that it will be adding a cryptocurrency mining function to its already existing Norton 360 antivirus software.
Norton Crypto, as it has been named, will be an additional feature added to Norton 360 Antivirus, and will allow its users to mine cryptocurrencies while their computers are idle.
Norton announced that from Thursday, 3rd of June “Select Norton 360 customers in Norton’s early adopter program will be invited to mine for Ethereum,” adding “Norton Crypto is expected to become available to all Norton 360 customers in the coming weeks.”
It makes perfect sense for a company like this to add a mining feature, as one of the biggest challenges for miners is preventing protected systems from being hijacked. Miners, wallets, and crypto utilities are frequently flagged as malicious by antivirus software. Norton has identified this issue and the new function will provide a safer alternative that allows users to stay protected while mining cryptocurrency.
The company explained, “Norton Crypto delivers a secure, reliable way for consumers to mine for Ethereum … Once cryptocurrency has been earned, customers can track and transfer earnings into their Norton Crypto Wallet, which is stored in the cloud so it cannot be lost due to hard drive failure.”
“For years, many coinminers have had to take risks in their quest for cryptocurrency, disabling their security in order to run coinmining and allowing unvetted code on their machines that could be skimming from their earnings or even planting ransomware,” Norton said. “Earnings are commonly stored directly on miners’ hard drives, where their digital wallet could be lost should it fail.”
Major concerns about the energy efficiency of mining cryptocurrencies have come to light in recent months. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has voiced his opinion on the matter and has recently met with top North American Bitcoin miners to establish a mining committee in order to initiate reporting methods on energy consumption and mining activities.
However, Ethereum is in the process of transitioning to a proof of stake model, which is more energy-efficient and could put graphics card mining to an end. But this could also have an effect on the use of software like Norton Crypto.
Norton Crypto “allows you to use your personal computer’s computation power for low-volume cryptocurrency mining while maintaining the high level of protection provided by your subscription.” according to the terms and conditions.
Some users are also concerned that the mining of said cryptocurrencies may not be profitable when using this method, as Ethereum mining’s profitability was cut in half earlier this year. But this function will certainly see new users jumping at the opportunity to mine Ethereum, and only time will tell how profitable this option can be.
To make use of the Norton Crypto feature, users must be from an English-speaking country, have a GPU with a minimum of 3GB memory, an NVIDIA 1050 3GB or above, and a Windows PC.
Norton Crypto’s Terms of Service explains further by saying “Rewards of crypto earned by the pool, if any, are allocated to you based on the timing of your participation, the number of shares you are credited through your contributions, and how much Ether is generated based on those shares,”.
“We will periodically transfer your allocation of crypto, if any, to a digital wallet that We create for you. Each of these transfers (commonly known as “payouts”) is subject to our fee for providing the Norton Crypto mining software.”
So it seems that Norton has everything worked out. It will be interesting to see how this function takes to the market and Norton’s 50 million users. Being a Norton subscriber, I might just get in on the action when the function becomes widely available – just to see what all the fuss is about!