Coinhive said in a blog post that the shutdown is the result of economic inviability.

Controversial cryptocurrency mining service Coinhive will be shutting down its operations on March 8th due to financial inviability, a blog post from the company announced on February 26th.

The decision reportedly came as the result of the more than 50 percent drop in Monero’s hash rate following the cryptocurrency’s last hard fork (a kind of software update that results in the creation of a new cryptocurrency.)

Coinhive also mentioned that the fact that the price of Monero has dropped over 85 percent over the last year has had a crippling effect on the service’s business model.

“[These two factors] and the announced hard fork and algorithm update of the Monero network on March 9 has lead us to the conclusion that we need to discontinue Coinhive,” the blog post explained. “… It has been a blast working on this project over the past 18 months, but to be completely honest, it isn’t economically viable anymore.”

Coinhive’s Controversy

The controversy surrounding Coinhive largely began last March when cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs posted an extensive analysis on Coinhive in his blog, Krebs on Security. Coinhive’s mining service is a JavaScript-based operation that can be installed into website. In the expose, Krebs pointed out that Coinhive was being widely used “on hacked Web sites to steal the processing power of its visitors’ devices.”

 

Therefore, although Coinhive is not a piece of malware in and of itself, it was the tool of choice for a number of hackers who used it for “crytpojacking”–unsuspecting visitors of a hacked website would unknowingly have their computing power hijacked to start mining crypto, which would then be sent into the hacker’s wallet.

 

 

Coinhive’s presence has also been detected in a number of applications. In February 2018, Microsoft remove eight Windows 10 applications from its app store following the discovery of XMR-mining code within them. Symantec, the company that discovered the code, identified it as Coinhive’s.

The controversy surrounding Coinhive was not mentioned as a damaging factor in the company’s decision to shut down.