Cryptocurrency Miners Explained: Why You Don’t Want This on Your PC

Aug 12


Rossy Guide

Rossy Guide

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uTorrent recently made headlines for bundling cryptocurrency-mining junkware. Out of all the junkware programs bundled with installers, cryptocurrency-miners like Epic Scale are some of the worst.


Modern malware makes money by using this technique to mine Bitcoin,Cryptocurrency Miners Explained: Why You Don’t Want This on Your PC Articles too. Even if you don’t care about most junkware at all, cryptocurrency-mining software is something you really don’t want on your computer.

Cryptocurrency 101:

You’ve probably heard of Bitcoin, the most famous cryptocurrency. It’s a digital currency, and new units of currency are generated by “mining”. This is a computationally intensive task, and it requires a lot of processing power. Essentially, the computer is rewarded for solving difficult math problems. This processing power is used to verify transactions, so all that number-crunching is required for the cryptocurrency to work.

Bitcoin isn’t the only cryptocurrency. The Epic Scale junkware bundled with uTorrent’s installer doesn’t attempt to mine Bitcoin - it attempts to mine Litecoin, which was inspired by and is very similar to Bitcoin.

Mining Actually Costs You Money:

Mining programs tap into your computer’s hardware resources and put them to work mining Bitcoin, Litecoin, or another type of cryptocurrency. And no, even if your hardware is used to generate money for them, you don’t get any of it. They get all the money from putting your hardware to work.

Worse yet, your desktop computer or laptop at home just isn’t powerful enough to profitably mine Bitcoin, Litecoin, or other cryptocurrencies. Doing this profitably requires specialized mining rigs with specialized hardware and cheap electricity. So, even if you put your computer to work mining Bitcoin for your own profit, you’d actually lose money. You’d run up your power bill as your computer draws more power, and you’d make back less than it would cost you in power.

In other words, cryptocurrency miners like the Epic Scale crapware or other malware programs that work similarly just run up your electricity bill for a small little bit of profit. The only reason they can profit is because they’re not paying the electricity bill - you are. You pay more in electricity so the junkware or malware authors can make a fraction of that in profit. That’s ridiculous.

We won’t even talk about the impact on the environment from using all of that extra power. But that’s a factor that shouldn’t be ignored.

Heat and Performance Problems:

This is a bad deal so far. It would be better if you just paid a company like Epic Scale a few dollars and they avoided running up your electric bill - you’d save money.

But the problem isn’t just a financial one. These types of software kick in when your computer is at a low-power state, putting those idle resources to work. So, instead of using a small amount of power and running cool, your computer will run full-blast when you’re not using it, fans kicking into high gear to dissipate all that heat. If the software isn’t programmed properly - or if it’s just too greedy - it may continue running even while you’re using your computer, slowing tasks down and ensuring your computer is running at full tilt all the time. Too much heat can actually cause damage, especially if your hardware is already flaky or if your computer is packed with dust and isn’t properly ventilated.

Really, we can’t stress it enough - there is no advantage to you in running a program like Epic Scale. You get absolutely nothing from it. Epic Scale gets everything, and you have to deal with all the problems.