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Razer’s Terrible New Rewards Program Mines Cryptocurrency on Your PC

The internet can be a dangerous place, and if you’re not careful, you could end up running crypto miner malware. Alternatively, you could voluntarily install crypto miner malware to earn fake coins and buy a new keyboard. Seriously, that is Razer’s new rewards program. It seems that Razer thinks its fans would like to donate their spare processing power to mine cryptocurrency for the company.

The massively ill-conceived endeavor is known as Razer SoftMiner, a Windows application you can download from Razer’s site. When you’re not using your PC, the software swings into action and uses your GPU to crunch numbers on the blockchain. Razer doesn’t say precisely what currency SoftMiner generates, but it’s probably Bitcoin.

You get rewarded for running SoftMiner but not with the cryptocurrency your machine generates. No, you get Razer Silver, imaginary internet points that you can spend on Razer products. Meanwhile, you’ve been paying for the electricity it takes to generate cryptocurrency for Razer, which doesn’t seem like a terrific deal.

The amount of Razer Silver your machine earns will vary based on the power of your GPU and how much time SoftMiner gets to run. So, the Silver rewards are tied to how much crypto Razer earns from your machine. According to Razer, an ideal gaming rig could net you about 500 Silver per day. Alright, what does that get you? Nothing—this is somehow an even worse deal than it first appears.

The rewards are… not great.

If you want the middle-of-the-road BlackWidow Ultimate keyboard (it doesn’t even have RGB), that costs a whopping 154,000 Silver. It would take you 308 days of optimal mining to get that much Silver, and the points expire after 12 months anyway. It’s actually impossible to earn larger rewards like the Razer Huntsman keyboard (210,000 Silver) even with the best GPUs. Razer will at least give you a $5 discount code for its online store for just 1,500 Silver. It’s better than nothing, but that means each unit of silver is worth about a third of a cent. That really puts things in perspective.

Maybe SoftMiner would be worth using for people who don’t care about cryptocurrency if Razer actually offered good rewards, but it does not. You’re going to spend more on the electricity than the value of any Razer Silver you may earn. Now seems like a weird time for Razer to start mining crypto anyway. A better time would have been last year when the value wasn’t dropping like a rock. This is one of those rare ideas that’s bad from top to bottom.

Razer's Terrible New Rewards Program Mines Cryptocurrency on Your PC - ExtremeTech

9 Replies

Funny too, the Razer Ornata Chroma, that junk membrane keyboard, costs $70 at Amazon. At 140,000 silver, and 500 silver per day, that's 280 days. If electricity costs of mining exceed 25¢ per day, which is between 1-2kWh depending on electricity costs in your area, you're actually paying more than if you would've just bought it outright, and would receive it 278 days sooner.

Once upon a time Razer was the go-to brand for top quality hardware that could take a beating (literally) and still function perfectly, that's why products like the original Razer Diamondback still go for upwards of $50 used. These days Razer has turned into a company driven almost on pure name recognition with shoddy quality (I know, I have the Razer BlackWidow X Ultimate and the Razer Naga Hex) and glitchy software...

Same with Crap Cleaner (CCleaner) when Avast bought it. The last version that was junk/spyware free was ver.5.40.6411...it works on Win7 and 8.1and 10, but if you put that version on Windows10 (which it supports) Microsoft will change it to the new spyware version on the next computer start. Could not find a way to stop it.

I thought 5.44 and above were clean?

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If it gives you the 'new' result page...it's Avast.

Old..pre-Avast results

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I only use it once in a blue moon myself, since my SSD space is finally plentiful.

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I always and have for years run an outgoing firewall. This is last line of defense in malware phoning home. This very much helps from keyloggers or botnets from doing their harm.

I found that blocking CCleaners ability to connect out. Does stop these pop ups. So anyone, wanting to stay current and not be bothered. Might try this. I use the free version of Windows Firewall Control. There are many decent other free firewalls out there.

This behavior is terrible though. I use a cleaner plugin in Chrome called Click&Clean and it started this behavior too. You can set it to not bother you but the next update it now unchecks your preference. I hate these tactics!

I did really like the Razer Turret.  It was by far the best solution for a mouse and keyboard in the living room, far better than the Corsair lapdog anyway.  Not sure if Razer still makes the Turret or if better solutions have surfaced in the interim.  You have to wonder about a company that will engage in practices like this though, doesn't really inspire brand loyalty.

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