Business 28 February 2019Steve Kaaru
In-browser Monero mining service Coinhive to shut down operations
It has been loved and loathed in equal measure, but finally, Coinhive is calling it quits. The Monero in-browser mining service announced that it will shut down operations on March 8. It named several factors for the shutdown, including the 85 percent decline in the price of Monero.
In-browser mining is no longer economically viable, Coinhive wrote. It further explained:
“The drop in hash rate (over 50%) after the last Monero hard fork hit us hard. So did the “crash” of the cryptocurrency market with the value of XMR depreciating over 85% within a year. This and the announced hard fork and algorithm update of the Monero network on March 9 has led us to the conclusion that we need to discontinue Coinhive.”
Mining will shut down on March 8; however, Coinhive users will have a grace period that will last until April 30 to ensure they withdraw their payments, provided the balance is above the minimum payment threshold.
And it worked. Coinhive became wildly popular with many websites. Being one of the first services to offer such a product, it controlled over 70 percent of the in-browser mining market.
Unfortunately, criminals quickly got wind and adapted it for malicious use. They would plant it on websites without their knowledge or consent and mine the Monero for themselves. In no time, even government websites fell prey to the service. The U.S, the U.K and Australian government websites were some of the 4,000 affected websites.
— Scott Helme (@Scott_Helme) February 11, 2018
Even with its illicit use, Coinhive was quite profitable. During its peak, it facilitated the mining of $150,000 worth of Monero every month according to one academic research. It was also responsible for 1.2 percent of the mining power of the Monero network.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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