Market competition forces crypto miner Coinhive to shut down

February 28, 2019, | AtoZ MarketsThe Coinhive crypto mining service which was designed to offer web developers a JavaScript-based Monero miner has announced that it will discontinue its services on March 8, 2019.

Crypto miner Coinhive to shut down

For developers, Coinhive is a JavaScript library designed to be loaded within a web app and allowing the website owner to use the CPU resources available on visitors' computers to mine for Monero (XMR).

On a blog statement, the Coinhive Team on February 26, 2019, posted that:

“Some of you might have anticipated this, some of you will be surprised. The decision has been made. We will discontinue our service on March 8, 2019. It has been a blast working on this project over the past 18 months, but to be completely honest, it isn’t economically viable anymore.

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 to lead us to the conclusion that we need to discontinue Coinhive. Thus, mining will not be operable anymore after March 8, 2019. Your dashboards will still be accessible until April 30, 2019, so you will be able to initiate your payouts if your balance is above the minimum payout threshold.”

Coinhive’s crypto-jacking campaigns also shutting down

Cryptojacking campaigns hijack the CPU resources of visitors landing on legitimate websites that got compromised and had the Coinhive’s JavaScript miner embedded within by the cybercriminals behind the campaign.

The crypto-jacking technique is also extensively used in malware campaigns, which drop a Coinhive-based miner on compromised machines as part of a multi-stage infection.

As a witness to the scale of the crypto-jacking problem, researchers have found that Coinhive was making around $250,000 every month in Monero at one point in time, and had "a 62 percent share of all websites using a JavaScript cryptocurrency miner" according to the research by Troy Mursch.

Moreover, Coinhive-powered crypto-jacking campaigns expanded to the Android’s Google Play Store and also targeted vulnerable MikroTik routers and had successfully infecting 200,000 of them in multiple campaigns. In addition to that, Cryptojacking campaigns also led people getting arrested after deploying malicious Coinhive’s miners on thousands of Internet cafe computers from 30 Chinese cities and even sentenced for running illegal mining operations on other users' computers and making black money. The good news is that, with the shutdown of Coinhive mining company, crypto-jacking campaigns will have to stop. That is until the malicious drivers behind them switch to another JavaScript in-browser crypto mining library designed as a Coinhive’s alternative.

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