Cryptocurrencies are fast becoming popular after the launch of the first of its kind in 2009. The new era mode of payment that is organized by a block chain has been embraced by a good number of countries all over the world. It is in this regards that coin-mining has become a frequent activity.
Coin miners comprises of hardware used by miners to track transactions, called blocks, of a blockchain.
What is coin-mining?
Coin-miners play the central role in the functioning of the cryptocurrencies. The blockchain, which is a peer-to-peer network that records transactions, is what coin-miners deal with. Adding new blocks to a blockchain is a tedious activity that requires many resources.
Coin-miners invest their time and resources to produce a block in exchange for a reward. A reward is usually a certain number of bitcoins that is fore-agreed and a sum of transaction fees.
Mining consumes a significant amount of electricity and processing power while producing a valid block. It is for this reason that mining has been regulated to a single block for ten minutes. The difficulty was an intentional design by so that the rate of blocks discovered daily remains steady.
Mining is vital not only because it maintains the transaction database but is also the way that the digital currencies come to existence and are passed along to users in the economy. Miners are entailed with the task of keeping the blockchain consistent, complete and unchangeable by verifying and collecting present transactions, blocks, into the chain.
Main features of coin-mining
It is a difficult process that requires high processing power and copious amounts of electricity.
- Coin-miners get a reward for each block they add to the blockchain
- It is a peer-to-peer process; meaning that mining is not dependent on a centralized administrative system.
- Miners select whichever transaction to process such as those with high transaction fees.
- The transaction fee is calculated by the storage size of the transaction processed and the magnitude of inputs that the miner has used to generate the transaction.
- A proof-of-work is presented to the rest of the network before they accept the new block.
- Modifications on the blockchain are made difficult by the proof-of-work. This is because the culprit has to modify all later blocks for one block to be finally accepted. This also becomes more difficult with time.
Dangers of the coin miners
With the increase in popularity of coin-mining comes the incidences of malware that attack our devices and systems. This happens as we are in oblivion, turning our devices into cryptocurrency-mining machines.
Devices that have internet connection may not have extensive number-crunching features, even though they may be fast in generating network information. Mining malware takes advantage of this and forces botnets of computers to perform these tasks.
The coin-mining malware takes away the abilities of infected machines making them perform poorly and a rise in wear and tear. The malware from coin-mining has led to a number of supercomputers to be used to mine cryptocurrencies illicitly. It is for these reasons that many may doubt the ability of cryptocurrencies as an alternative to the current payment methods.
How to know that you are infected?
- You see suspicious and unknown processes in your Task manager.
Every coin miner creates a process, that you may notice. Check your Task Manager on unknown files, if any file uses most of your CPU power than you are probably infected. The most popular miners are Vnlgp.exe, CPM.exe, VMProtectss.exe, novoone.exe, novoopt.exe, novoping.exe, npsvc.exe and windriver.exe.
- Your system became extremely slow
If you’ve noticed that your PC became slower than before and programs take much more time to load – there are big chances that you have coin miner.
- Your PC can make more noise than usual
With coin miner on the computer, you can notice, that PC works louder than before and heats up very quickly because almost all CPU power is in use.