Coinhive, the Cryptojacking Poster Child, Is Dying

Dancing on graves is usually frowned upon--especially when their occupants aren't technically deceased yet--but we'll make an exception for Coinhive. The cryptojacking tool announced will be shut down on March 8 because it's no longer economically viable.

(Image credit: Mahathir Mohd Yasin / Shutterstock)

Coinhive let(s) website operators use their visitors' CPUs to mine the Monero cryptocurrency. This arrangement often wasn't disclosed to visitors, which meant their hardware was being used to make someone else a bit of money without their knowledge or consent.

Tools like Coinhive weren't only used by smaller websites. They were also used by the likes of Showtime (which made things even worse by using Coinhive despite being a subscription-based service) and were also maliciously added to popular sites.

To be fair, Coinhive's developers released AuthedMine to make it so website visitors had to authorize this use of their hardware, but for obvious reasons, it wasn't as popular as the version that allowed site operators to monetize traffic in an underhanded way.

Now the whole thing is being shut down. Coinhive explained:

"The drop in hash rate (over 50%) after the last Monero 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. This and the announced hard fork and algorithm update of the Monero network on March 9 has led us to the conclusion that we need to discontinue Coinhive."

Site operators won't be able to use Coinhive to mine after March 8. The company will maintain its dashboard until April 30 to let users who've met the minimum payout threshold get the money they (haven't) earned. After that, off to the graveyard it goes.

That won't be the death of money-making schemes like this, of course. Even companies like Razer have turned to cryptocurrency mining--but at least that's an opt-in program with rewards. As for utilities like Coinhive? We'll dance when they're dead.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.