According to a December 12 tweet, gaming company Razer wants players to download software that uses the processing power of their idle computers to mine cryptocurrency.
Although it is left unstated on the Razer website, according to an article on Motherboard, the mining software, SoftMiner, will mine Ether and other coins. The proceeds will contribute to the gaming-centric platform GammaNow, which will be responsible for handling the "immediate sale" of the crypto mined.
Once downloaded, SoftMiner stays inactive until the user's computer becomes idle, at which point it begins to mine crypto. However, those using the software will not be rewarded in digital currency they can save or swap for fiat. Instead, customers will be rewarded with loyalty points called Razer Silver. These points are redeemable for rewards such as games and discount vouchers in the Razer Silver catalog.
But before gamers rush to their computers to download SoftMiner, they should stop and do some math to determine whether it is worth it. The answer will most likely be a resounding no.
The Twittersphere was quick to point out that the cost of electricity to mine the crypto far outweighs the rewards gained in Razer Silver – and that's without considering the toll crypto mining takes on one's computer equipment.
The Razer website claims that users can earn up to 500 Razer Silver per day depending on the amount of time the software is in use and the strength of a user's hardware or graphics card.
As shown in the Razer online catalog, a Razer laptop stand costs 140,000 Razer Silver. That means it would take an optimal system running nonstop 280 days to mine enough crypto to obtain that much Razer Silver. That does not include the cost of electricity. And what gamer do you know that sets down their controller for the better part of a year? The same stand is available in the Razer store for $100.
Although rewarding gamers in loyalty points for mining crypto is a fairly new concept, Razer is not the first to develop passive mining methods for this demographic. In November, Taiwan-based tech company ASUS announced that its graphics card, in conjunction with Quantum Cloud, could be used to mine crypto on an idle gaming rig.