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5% of All Monero Currently In Circulation Has Been Mined Using Malware (bleepingcomputer.com) 37

An anonymous reader writes: According to a report released yesterday, criminal groups have mined an approximate total of 798,613.33 Monero coins (XMR) using malware on infected devices. That's over $108 million in US currency, just from coin-mining operations alone. This sum also represents around 5% of all the Monero currently in circulation -- 15,962,350 XMR. Furthermore, during the past year, infected devices were responsible for 19,503,823.54 hashes/second, which is roughly 2% of the entire hashing power of the Monero network. The total hashrate of roughly 19MH/s would result in approximately $30,443 per day based on today's current exchange rates and network difficulty," researchers said. "Similarly, the top three hash-rates will mine approximately $2,737, $2,022 and $1,596 per day, respectively."

5% of All Monero Currently In Circulation Has Been Mined Using Malware

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  • Who would use such money?
    • If one uses the rule of thumb that the cost to hash for a cryptocurrency ought to be just below break-even with the reward then this is remarkable. I would assume these illegal miners are done without regard to such efficiency. If they are ten times less than an efficient miner then the cost in electricity would be $1 billion!!!. It's hard to beleive that much activity would go unnoticed. It's a bigger annual power bill than many countries.

      • If I divide that by 10 cents/KW-hour then: 1 Billion dollars/ 0.1 = 1E10 killowatt hours = 1E14 Watt-hours = 11 gigawatt-years

        that's the entire output of 11 gigawatt class power plants.

        • another way to look at this would be to suppose most people have a PC chugging along at 100 watts. so 11 giga-watt years would be 100 million PCs running full time for 1 year. I'd assume that these PCs can't possibly be running full time. they probably go to sleep. So if they are used only 6 hours per day then multiple that by 4.

          I note that all along here i've assumed a 10 fold inefficiency in the covert miners. but even if you dropped that factor it's still a lot. Moreover this is only 5% of the Mone

    • by jythie ( 914043 )
      People who dream of being currency traders? As far as I can tell that is all the various alt-coins are good for.
      • by xQx ( 5744 )

        Obviously you haven't done much research into the space.

        Bitcoin has 10 minute confirmation times, non-trivial transaction fees, is 100% public and traceable and can only be effectively mined using ASICs - which are suspected to be less efficient than those used internally by the Chinese ASIC manufacturer, Bitmain.

        These aren't crippling problems for Bitcoin, but they are areas in which the currency can be improved.

        The very few altcoins that aren't outright scams (of which Monero is one) solve at least one of

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Any real currency can be used for crime. It is one of the defining characteristics. Like in any free society, crime is possible. Also one of the defining characteristics.

  • Monero is one of the few cryptocurrencies out there that can still be mined reasonably well with the CPU instead of a GPU or an ASIC. That makes it a good profit center for malware authors, since almost any PC out there can mine it reasonably well.

  • by ffkom ( 3519199 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2018 @05:37PM (#56773956)
    ... at some point in time? How much of the money in bank accounts or 10-USD-bills was payment for some illegal activity at some point in time?

    Definitely all interesting questions, but like the article headline, the answers would not really tell us much about the nature or usability of the respective currency.
  • With some cyber efforts to mine now needing ASIC just to get started people are looking for new ways in with the CPU and GPU they have.
    Something to start for the consumer who wants to mine that still is open and has room to grow.
    No halls filled with ASIC, in a nation with "free" power due to their failed developing nation exchange rate and math that can only still be done for profit on ASIC.

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