Update 7/20: Change.org reached out to CCN to clarify that the program was launched by an outside marketing agency -- not the Change.org Foundation -- and that the revenue will solely support the organization's work in Brazil. The article has been updated to reflect this.
Supporters of popular social petition platform Change.org can now install a screensaver that will mine monero on behalf of the for-profit organization's charitable foundation to contribute to its work in Brazil..
Dubbed "The Mining Screensaver," the tool -- which was created by Brazil-based marketing agency TracyLockeBrasil -- activates whenever a user steps away from his or her computer for a set period of time. As long as the device remains powered on, the tool will use the PC’s idle processing power to run software that mines monero, a privacy-centric cryptocurrency that cannot currently be mined using specialized mining hardware called “ASIC miners.”
Even so, it's still not very profitable for a user to mine monero on a single PC. However, if thousands of supporters pool their resources to mine on Change.org's behalf, the organization could net a significant windfall to help fund its charitable arm.
The screensaver is currently only available for Windows devices, and it is not clear from the announcement whether the project's backers will release it for other operating systems.
Change.org isn’t the only organization that has asked its supporters to mine cryptocurrency to contribute to social impact projects. As CCN reported, UNICEF Australia created a dedicated website called “The HopePage” that harnesses the processing power of visitors’ computers to mine monero for the organization while they have the page open in their browsers.
Nevertheless, the project's promoters want supporters to know that, despite some nefarious associations, the initiative is above board and otherwise safe for users.
“This is legal, safe, simple and has nothing to do with hacker activities, viruses or any other digital threats. It’s actually an alternative economic system that has the potential to revolutionize the way money circulate[s] in the society,” the organization said. “So why not using (sic) this system to create something good?”
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Last modified (UTC): July 20, 2018 6:04 PM