CoinHive,
hackers’ favorite crypto-mining service, has announced it is shutting down
operations next month, saying it can no longer make a profit.

Extensively
used by bad actors to conduct cryptojacking campaigns, but also by legitimate
users to make a buck in the cryptocurrency market, CoinHive has garnered mixed
reviews, to say the least.

The
business model is simple: Coinhive offers a JavaScript miner for the Monero blockchain
that users can embed in in their website. Visitors to the website automatically
turn into miners (ideally with their consent, but not always) and the script
essentially hijacks their CPU to start mining Monero. The business model itself
is legitimate, as it swaps ads for crypto-mining. But because hackers
constantly find vulnerabilities in websites, they have used the tool to turn
websites into mining machines for their own crypto-wallets. That’s not why
CoinHive is shutting down though.

CoinHive
explains the reasons for the shutdown in a short notice on its blog:

“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 … The drop in hash rate
(over 50%) after the last Monero hard fork hit us hard,” the team writes. “So
did the ‘crash’ of the crypto currency market with the value of XMR
depreciating over 85% within a year. This and the announced hard fork and
algorithm update of the Monero network on March 9 has lead [sic] us to the
conclusion that we need to discontinue Coinhive.”

Mining
with CoinHive will remain operable until March 8, or just over a week from now.
Customers will be able to access their CoinHive dashboards and withdraw their
funds until April 30.