CoinHive is the popular crypto-miner originally designed to be used by website administrators to encourage users to mine cryptocurrencies using their computer while they visit their website. Sadly, in a blog post posted February 26th, CoinHive has announced they will be discontinuing their services on March 8th 2019, with dashboards being accessible until April 30th 2019. The blog reads:
Some of you might have anticipated this, some of you will be surprised. The decision has been made. We will discontinue our service on March 8, 2019. 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 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 lead us to the conclusion that we need to discontinue Coinhive.
Thus, mining will not be operable anymore after March 8, 2019. Your dashboards will still be accessible until April 30, 2019 so you will be able to initiate your payouts if your balance is above the minimum payout threshold.
Thank you all for the great time we had together.
CoinHive was met with criticism after it became wildly used by cyber-criminals and unethical practices. Some websites did not disclose they were using CoinHives mining service on their websites and were mining cryptocurrencies without the user’s knowledge while using their computer’s resources.
In another example, “crypto jacking” became a big problem for the company as cyber-criminals would hack websites and place a hidden miner on the compromised websites generating revenue for the hackers without the webpage visitors knowledge. In an effort to combat this, Google banned all cryptocurrency mining extensions from the Chrome Web Store.
In January 2019, security research team Check Point (the same team who found the 19-year-old WinRAR exploit), published findings that CoinHive was in the top spot for the 13th time in a row when it came to crypto jacking related attacks.
CoinHive was founded in September 2017 and picked up traction among websites like “The Pirate Bay” who trial ran the miner for a short period of time before backlash from users prompted its removal, it was said that “The Pirate Bay” could generate around $12,000USD a month using CoinHive.
CoinHive says that the drop in the cryptocurrency market and changes to the Monero algorithm led them to the conclusion that they had to discontinue CoinHive.