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Razer asks gamers to mine cryptocurrency in exchange for store credit but is it worth it?

Although cryptocurrency is presumably dead with both Bitcoin and Ethereum losing its value over the last few months, Singaporean-founded gaming company, Razer is stepping up its game by introducing its latest pseudo crypto-mining software, dubbed SoftMiner. It intends for end users to run the software in return for the company’s Razer Silver digital currency.

As written in their FAQ section, Razer Silver is deemed as a ”loyalty reward program” where “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.” Basically, what this means is that you will be allowing Razer to use your computer to mine cryptocurrency, and they’ll provide you with Razer Silver in return.

The gaming hardware company claims that users can generate as much as 500 Silver per day or more without having to lift a finger.

Chris Jarrard on ShackNews, who condemned the mining app in his review, estimated an earning of USD$0.35 (S$0.48) return on an optimal day based on a trial he did. He wrote, "Having used PCs for years, I can assure you that making use of a GPU like the 1080 Ti (and the CPU and RAM needed to go along with it) eats up much more electricity than the $10.50 worth of Razer SIlver I could possibly earn a month by allowing the app to wear down my hardware indefinitely."

He goes on to state, "Admittedly, Razer is not forcing anyone to use the SoftMiner and it is not being delivered or installed by any nefarious means. The troubling part is that by tying the app to the promise of “free” games, discounts, or hardware, Razer is indirectly enticing underage or less-than-experienced PC gamers into a bad deal. The Huntsman keyboard will cost more in electricity to mine over 18 months than it would to buy outright, plus the user will have a worn-out GPU to go along with it. There are no warnings on the download page, FAQ, or installation process that warns the user about the drawbacks of using their PC for extended periods of crypto mining."

Currently, The Razer Silver store offers items like ThinkGeek gift card, RazerStore discounts and hardware like the Razer Huntsman Elite Keyboard. However, to gain a Razer Huntsman Elite Keyboard which costs 280, 000 Razer Silver or about a retail price of $339, you’ll need 560 days based on Razer's estimate of 500 Silver per day – more than a year and half of mining – just to own one. To make things worse, Razer Silver has one year expiration, which means you will never be able to collect enough Silver to get your hands on the Huntsman Elite Keyboard.

Besides this mining app, Razer is also all set to launch its e-payment platform called Razerpay for Singapore at the start of next year after its CEO Tan Min-Liang tweeted Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on starting this system in just 18 months. According to an article by Business Insider, the company is promising S$10 million seed funding to start up Razerpay, and has promised to hire Singaporeans to head it.

Despite pumping a high amount of money to this system, the company’s stock value is taking a deep dive in recent times as it dropped from HKD 3.55 (March 2018) to HKD 1.11 (November 2018) in just eight months.

Razer's Stock Price