Coinhive to shut down, blames crypto crash and Moreno markdown for exit

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Coinhive, the cryptojacker’s choice, is set to be no longer. The service is set to close on March 8, the company has confirmed, blaming market conditions and depreciation for its shutdown.

The company started life as an alternative to banner advertising. Through a script, website owners could be paid through the Monero cryptocurrency being paid the longer users spent on that site.

That was the idea, anyway. Yet it was soon taken advantage of by malware proponents, who hacked sites and used the mining tool to line their own accounts. A report from Check Point Software back in July found the number of organisations who had been impacted by cryptomining malware had doubled compared with the second half of 2017.

The company added that the top three most common malware variants in the first half of 2018 were all cryptominers. Coinhive was the most ‘popular’, according to the report, having affected 12% of organisations worldwide.

“Some of you might have anticipated this, some of you will be surprised,” the company wrote in a short blog post. “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 (XMR) hard fork hit us hard. So did the ‘crash’ of the crypto currency market with the value of XMR depreciating over 85% within a year,” the company added. “This and the announced hard fork and algorithm update of the Monero network on March 9 has lead [sic] us to the conclusion that we need to discontinue Coinhive.”

The company added dashboards would still be accessible until the end of April.

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