Antivirus apps are best known for running in the background and annoying people with all sorts of pop-ups. But with a new update to Norton 360, Norton’s antivirus app will now let you mine Ethereum, too.
First spotted by BleepingComputer, the new Norton Crypto feature is being added to the Norton 360 antivirus app this week as an opt-in early adopter program designed to help people more easily get into crypto mining. And with the world of crypto mining littered with traps and scams, Norton Crypto does seem to offer a few advantages compared to a more DIY approach.
Because many antivirus apps flag crypto-mining apps as malware, Norton claims that by building Norton Crypto into Norton 360, users can enjoy increased safety by being able to mine Ethereum without having to disable their antivirus software.
Additionally, because any Ethereum rewarded as part of the mining process can be sent to a crypto wallet created by Norton that’s stored in the cloud, Norton says users will enjoy greater safety and security without needing to worry about their crypto being lost or destroyed in the event of a dead hard drive. That said, anyone that’s serious about crypto will point out that any crypto that’s not located in a wallet (or ideally cold storage) that you control is always subject to some kind of risk.
Finally, because Norton Crypto is being built into an app that people may already be familiar with, the learning curve when it comes to crypto mining is far less steep than trying to do everything on your own.
Unfortunately, while Norton Crypto relies on your computer’s GPU to mine Ethereum, it’s unclear if each computer will be mining on its own (which is somewhat unlikely given the difficult of solving a hash with a single PC), or potentially joining a shared mining pool made up of other Norton Crypto users (in which Norton may or may not be taking a cut).
And with Ethereum set to switch from a proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake validation method in the not-too-distant future, it’s hard to say how Norton Crypto will be affected.
But for those who’ve been considering dipping their toes into the crypto world and don’t mind installing a potentially intrusive antivirus app, Norton Crypto could be an interesting way to learn.