In some surprising news, antivirus software company NortonLifeLock (also known as ‘Norton’) is getting into crypto mining.
Norton is probably best known for its pop-ups saying your antivirus software is about to expire. So it seems a tad odd that it’s getting in on the crypto mining game.
But according to the company, its Norton 360 software is actually a perfect fit. Its argument is that it will protect users from dodgy mining software, as well as enable them to keep their antivirus on while mining.
Norton Crypto will mine Ethereum from your device
Beginning this week, Norton Crypto will roll out to customers in the Norton early adopter program, allowing them to mine Ethereum — the second biggest cryptocurrency in the world.
The company has also said that it will look into offering other reputable cryptos in the future.
Norton Crypto will supposedly use a device’s GPU to mine Ethereum. It will then be stored in a cloud-based Norton wallet.
Norton told The Verge that users will be able to send mined Ethereum from this wallet over to Coinbase.
“Norton Crypto is yet another innovative example of how we are expanding our Cyber Safety platform to protect our customers’ ever-evolving digital lives.”
As pointed out by Bleeping Computer, Ethereum is difficult to mine independently. So while it’s currently unclear exactly how Norton’s crypto mining will work, it’s theorised that every device will be part of a larger pool.
If this is the case, it will be interesting to see whether Norton takes a cut of the mined Ethereum using this as a new revenue stream for the company.
It would also be worth considering that crypto mining uses a lot of power. This has resulted in China cracking down on the practice. Until now, large-scale miners have been able to take advantage of the country’s comparatively cheap electricity prices by developing power-sucking crypto farms.
“We are proud to be the first consumer Cyber Safety company to offer coinminers the ability to safely and easily turn the idle time on their PCs into an opportunity to earn digital currency,” Gagan Singh, chief product officer at NortonLifeLock, said in a press release.
“With Norton Crypto, our customers can mine for cryptocurrency with just a few clicks, avoiding many barriers to entry in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.”