Fresh off a controversy over Norton 360, Norton subsidiary Avira is also adding a mining feature for Ether to its antivirus product. The company says the feature, which is opt-in (and disabled by default), is designed to “mine cryptocurrency more safely and easily” by turning over idle processing power. Of course, the safety and ease comes with considerable fees, cutting into already-slim profits.
The basic premise is that your PC – and specifically its GPU – could be put to better use when you’re doing something else, like mining for Ethereum’s Ether coin.
But there’s a catch
The unfortunate thing about Norton’s plans for crypto mining is that Ethereum contains a structural weakness: gas fees (also known as transaction fees). According to Etherscan.io, you can expect to pay $33 to cover one single ETH transaction.
When combined with Norton’s 15% cut from mining, users are going to be left with basically nothing unless they fully commit their GPU to mining, incurring the relate energy consumption costs in the process.
While other coins, like Solana, seek to reduce these fees, they are a fact of the cryptocurrency world and, in some ways, a barrier to its wider adoption. Consumers hate credit card fees, which are significantly lower than many ETH transactions.
On top of this, you’re unlikely to even mine that much. The Verge found that a night of mining for ETH generated $0.66 in ETH and cost $0.66 in electricity, meaning they broke even.