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.
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.