NortonLifeLock Inc., the provider of Norton 360 antivirus software, announced Wednesday the launch of a new feature for the software called Norton Crypto, which is designed to allow users to obtain cryptocurrency safely through a process called mining.
Beginning today, select customers of Norton 360 in Norton’s early adopter program will be invited to mine Ethereum on their machines, with plans to open up to more in the coming weeks.
The process of mining Ethereum uses the graphics processing unit on the machine of the user to secure the network on which the cryptocurrency exists. This process also awards Ether, the currency that exists on the Ethereum blockchain.
The purpose for adding the mining capability to Norton’s antivirus software is to steer customers away from risky behaviors such as downloading unvetted mining software from unknown websites that might be dangerous to their computers.
Another equally important problem is that such software could be malware or ransomware that could steal important information from users for identity theft purposes or even turn their computer into part of a botnet – and skim or outright steal their crypto earnings.
“As the crypto economy continues to become a more important part of our customers’ lives, we want to empower them to mine cryptocurrency with Norton, a brand they trust,” said Vincent Pilette, chief executive of NortonLifeLock. “Norton Crypto is yet another innovative example of how we are expanding our Cyber Safety platform to protect our customers’ ever-evolving digital lives.”
Not only does Norton Crypto provide more mainstream customers a safer way to mine Ethereum, but it also provides a wallet to store mined cryptocurrency. This is a secure storage space to keep the currency rewarded from mining operations called Norton Crypto Wallet.
The company also said the Crypto Wallet is stored in the cloud. As a result, it’s protected against hard drive failures.
Although cryptocurrency mining might be interesting to some users it’s not always lucrative in the end. Ethereum mining uses the graphics card in the computer and puts extra strain on the computer and uses electricity, meaning a higher bill at the end of the month. That could take some of the profits away from mining given the volatility of crypto markets.
NortonLifeLock focused on Ethereum with its new product, but it told CNN that it might add other cryptocurrencies to its product in the future according to users’ ability to get the highest reward according to their computing capacity.
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