Controversial cryptocurrency mining service Coinhive will be shutting down its operations on March 8 due to financial inviability, a blog post from the company announced on February 26.
The decision reportedly came as the result of the more than 50 percent drop in Monero’s hash rate following the cryptocurrency’s last hard fork (a kind of software update that results in the creation of a new cryptocurrency.)
Coinhive also mentioned that the fact that the price of Monero has dropped over 85 percent over the last year has had a crippling effect on the service’s business model.
“[These two factors] and the announced hard fork and algorithm update of the Monero network on March 9 has lead us to the conclusion that we need to discontinue Coinhive,” the blog post explained. “… 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.”
Cryptocurrency mining service Coinhive, which was hounded by abuse of its service on hacked Web sites, pulls the plug. A look back at the events that preceded its demise: https://t.co/B72GVqMmY8 pic.twitter.com/Aovoap7UE0
— briankrebs (@briankrebs) February 27, 2019
Therefore, although Coinhive is not a piece of malware in and of itself, it was the tool of choice for a number of hackers who used it for “crytpojacking”–unsuspecting visitors of a hacked website would unknowingly have their computing power hijacked to start mining crypto, which would then be sent into the hacker’s wallet.
— Coinhive (@coinhive_com) February 16, 2018
Coinhive’s presence has also been detected in a number of applications. In February 2018, Microsoft remove eight Windows 10 applications from its app store following the discovery of XMR-mining code within them. Symantec, the company that discovered the code, identified it as Coinhive’s.
The controversy surrounding Coinhive was not mentioned as a damaging factor in the company’s decision to shut down.