Popular ‘cryptojacking’ service Coinhive will shut down next week

Coinhive, a service that allows websites to use their visitor’s computers to mine cryptocurrencies, is shutting down, ZDNet reports. All of the service’s in-browser mining scripts will stop working on March 8th, and users will have until April 30th to withdraw any remaining Monero — the anonymity-focused cryptocurrency mined by the software — from their accounts.

Coinhive’s service launched in 2017 as a way to mine cryptocurrency in the background of a website, turning visitors’ processing power directly into cash. Some sites were upfront with visitors about their use of the software, most notably the news website Salon and UNICEF, but countless others either didn’t disclose the fact they were using it, or saw the Javascript code added without their knowledge as part of a “cryptojacking” malware attack. Eventually ad-blockers and anti-virus software learned to identify and block such code, so that users could avoid having their CPUs used and their batteries drained by the software.

Coinhive isn’t the only cryptojacking service, but it’s historically been the biggest

In its blog post announcing the closure, Coinhive gave a couple of reasons for the decision. First is the decline in value of Monero, whose value has fallen by as much as 85 percent over the past year. Second is the fact that the currency has become much harder to mine. A recent fork in the currency’s underlying software reduced Coinhive’s hash rate by over a half, and another fork is planned for March 9th — hence the decision to cease operations on the 8th. The rising cost of mining, combined with a decline in the value of the cryptocurrency awarded, has had a serious impact on Coinhive’s profitability.

Coinhive is not the only piece of cryptojacking software out there, but it has historically been one of the most popular. Back in August 2018 PublicWWW analysis by Troy Mursch estimated that the service controlled around 62 percent of the total cryptojacking market.

source : http://www.theverge.com

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