Norton rolls out crypto mining service
NortonLifeLock Inc (NASDAQ:NLOK), the owner of the Norton Anti-Virus software, unveiled a new service that allows its users to mine cryptocurrency through its Norton 360 platform.
In an announcement on Wednesday, the company said select Norton 360 customers in its early adopter programme will be invited to mine for Ethereum at low volumes by contributing their computing power.
Any Ethereum mined will be stored in a Norton wallet in the cloud and can be tracked and extracted through crypto exchange Coinbase Global Inc (NASDAQ:COIN).
“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. Earnings are commonly stored directly on miners’ hard drives, where their digital wallet could be lost should it fail. Norton Crypto delivers a secure, reliable way for consumers to mine for Ethereum without opening themselves and their devices up to these pitfalls”, the company said in a statement.
“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. With Norton Crypto, our customers can mine for cryptocurrency with just a few clicks, avoiding many barriers to entry in the cryptocurrency ecosystem”, added NortonLifeLock’s chief product officer Gagan Singh.
Despite the relatively simple process, miners will need to pay Norton a 15% fee of the total amount of crypto sent to their wallet for use of the service, as well as exposing themselves to several pitfalls of crypto mining, namely electricity costs and the degradation of computer parts if used frequently.
The move may also open the company up to criticism amid growing concern over the energy used to mine cryptocurrencies and the resulting impact on carbon emissions.
In early deals in London on Friday, Ethereum was down 6.8% in the last 24 hours at US$2,628.