The popular BitTorrent client µTorrent includes a cryptocoin miner with the latest release. The software is said to ‘mine cryptocoins for a good cause’, but µTorrent also earns itself from it. Users who update report that the software installs silently, without warning.
If you install µTorrent new, you will receive a message asking whether the cryptocoin miner Epic Scale may be installed. Users of the official µTorrent forum report that when updating the torrent client, however, nothing is prompted. Then the miner is quietly installed: “I was not informed about this”, writes one of the users.
An employee writes on the forum that Epic Scale uses the revenue generated to help charities. “Part of the revenue goes to philanthropic initiatives,” he writes. However, how much of the revenue actually goes to charities is unknown. It is clear that µTorrent itself also has something to lose. According to the µTorrent employee, the partnership with Epic Scale “ensures that we can continue to generate revenue, while making money for charities.”
It is unknown which virtual currency, such as Bitcoin or Litecoin, exactly mines the included software. In any case, mining would only happen when the PC is idle. The Epic Scale miner could also be used in the future to harness computing power for other things, such as academic studies that rely on computing power.