Gaming hardware manufacturing company Razer Inc. has released a new program called Razer SoftMiner. Customers can use this program to mine cryptocurrency on their computers and trade units in for digital goods.
Consumers extract new units of Razer Silver, the official digital asset of the company. They are then able to take those coins and exchange them for gaming products.
In the “Frequently Asked Questions” section of the Razer website, one will read:
“Razer Silver is not a cryptocurrency. It is a loyalty rewards program. We work with crypto mining technology to harness your computer’s GPU. In turn, we award you with Silver, giving you access to Razer’s ecosystem and suite of rewards.”
How the Process Works
By running the program, your computer will be working hard to solve mathematical equations. This is the basis for any mining operation, but there’s an extra step involved. Razer Silver does not exist via blockchain technology. Rather, it’s a gift certificate system completely operated by Razer. This allows the company to forgo any USD payments to its customers, and instead offer what the site calls a “full suite of Razer gear and digital rewards.” The extracted units instead go to Razer executives rather than the customers themselves.
While it may seem odd, one can only be pleased that this isn’t your standard crypto-jacking scheme. In the long run, users are still awarded for their time and efforts, even if it’s not cash (digital or otherwise) they’re receiving.
Can Crypto Lead to Liberty?
In a related story, digital venture Bail Bloc is also utilizing mining power for an entirely new purpose. The company is looking into mining new coins to bail out migrants held in detention camps operated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) body. Primarily, Bail Bloc has utilized its abilities and services as a bail system that allows imprisoned people to post their bail and live freely while awaiting trial, but as the migrant issue grows larger, Bail Bloc sees another purpose for cryptocurrency.
All funds extracted through the mining process will be donated to the Immigration Bail Fund. In addition, Bail Bloc’s parent company The New Inquiry took to social media to announce that it would be matching all funds generated by the program.
A company Tweet reads:
“We’re matching all funds raised for @migrantbailfund through Bail Bloc until December 14. Download today to volunteer your computing power and get people out of ICE detention.”
This leaves only a small window open for volunteers, giving them until this Friday to get involved if they want The New Inquiry to match whatever they mine. Those interested are advised to visit Bail Bloc’s website and download the appropriate mining software. Once this is done, volunteers can pledge anywhere between 10 and 50 percent of their computing power to mine the cryptocurrency Monero.
It’s Easier Than You Think
For the most part, users don’t need to close other programs on their computers while the mining software operates. They can go about their day-to-day business while the program runs in the background. Furthermore, some analysts claim that the 10 percent margin isn’t enough to have an impact on one’s computer.
Co-creator of Bail Bloc Grayson Earle commented:
“This is basically what poor people are offered as an alternative to justice. With the rise of cryptocurrencies, we wanted to take some of that speculative energy and make it do something actually useful.”
A report from the Daily Beast suggests that more than 44,000 migrants are held in ICE detention centers on any given day. Granted they are unable to pay their bail or prove legal status in the U.S., their imprisonment can last anywhere between several months to years at a time.