NortonLifelock added the ability to mine Ethereum cryptocurrency directly in its Norton 360 antivirus program. In this way, the vendor decided to protect users from malware for mining.
A new feature called Norton Crypto will begin shipping to Norton 360 users who are members of the Norton Early Adopter Program (EAP), a special early access program for new functionality, starting June 3, 2021.
When Norton Crypto is activated, the antivirus program will use the power of the graphics card (GPU) of the device to mine Ethereum, the coins will be transferred to the Norton cloud wallet.
It is not yet clear how the process itself is organized: each device is mining independently or they are combined into pools, which increases the chances of receiving a reward in the form of Ethereum coins.
Most likely, the option with pools is used, because the difficulty of self-mining Ethereum is very high, and the probability of mining a block is small. If Norton manages the pool itself, then the company can charge a small fee for all Ethereum mined. This is a common practice among pool operators and makes this feature a source of additional revenue for the company.
Many cryptocurrency miners and related software can be malicious. According to Norton, the new feature allows users to mine Ethereum without sacrificing their security.
Norton 360 users who have turned on this feature may be faced with surprises when it comes time to file their tax returns. It all depends on the tax residence of the user and the legislation of a particular state. For example, in the United States, mined cryptocurrencies are subject to taxation and must be reported as income on tax returns.