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Old Nov 1, 2013, 01:30 PM   #1
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New Plugin Allows Developers to Turn iOS Devices Into Bitcoin Mining Bots




Unity plugin developer Icoplay has come up with a new way for developers to monetize free apps on the App Store while avoiding in-app purchases, through the use of bitcoin mining.

Bitcoin is a digital currency first developed in 2008 that has soared in value in recent years. While bitcoin value fluctuates wildly, a single bitcoin today is worth approximately $200, which makes Bitcoin mining a potentially lucrative endeavor.

Because new bitcoins are generated via complex math problems, Bitcoin mining requires an incredible amount of processing power. Icoplay is aiming to use mining software hidden within apps and games to take advantage of the latent processing power of mobile devices, rewarding the developer with bitcoin. Like distributed computing projects such as SETI@home, Bitcoin mining can be done in small chunks over hundreds or thousands of devices.

As described by Icoplay's Simon Hill on PocketGamer.biz, the company has developed the Icominer Unity plugin, which is designed to be built into an app or game, running in the background to mine for bitcoin while a player uses the application.
Quote:
The core concept we worked towards is this: A developer installs the software, and every instance of its game running at any time, anywhere mines Bitcoins using the latent power of the device it's being used on.

The developer then takes its Bitcoins to spend or invest.

At Icoplay, we've spent the last few months making this a reality. We've ended up with software that can just be dropped into a Unity project (on any platform at all) and make this distributed model of 'passive grinding' work.
According to Hill, Icoplay's plugin is dynamically designed not to interfere with apps that it is built into, so much so that users will never "even notice the plugin is humming along in the background."
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Regardless of the solution you choose, our bitcoin miner will seamlessly integrate into your game with no interference, earning you cash in perfect harmony with your existing app monetisation strategy. There's no catch - it's just awesome.
What Hill doesn't mention, however, is that an app or game continually drawing power for a background process would certainly be a drain on system resources, quickly exhausting battery life.

Icoplay's Icominer plugin is currently in the final stages of beta, and according to the company's website, it will be released in the near future. The plugin, priced at $80, is designed to integrated seamlessly into Unity-based apps.

Article Link: New Plugin Allows Developers to Turn iOS Devices Into Bitcoin Mining Bots
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Old Nov 1, 2013, 01:32 PM   #2
diddl14
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Yeah, your customers will love you when your app sucks up the battery power. Go for it!
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Old Nov 1, 2013, 01:33 PM   #3
Scorpion008
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Screw that ****! I love my battery life and no greedy dev is taking it away from me!

Last edited by Scorpion008; Nov 1, 2013 at 07:28 PM. Reason: fix
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Old Nov 1, 2013, 01:33 PM   #4
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Someone is going to be earning big on this if it gets put in some viral game and there are millions of iPhones bit coin mining at once...shiiiiit

That difficultly level will increase tenfold!
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Old Nov 1, 2013, 01:34 PM   #5
aristotle
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No way hose. This is tantamount to "malware" because it is using the battery and resources of any iOS device owned by one person to enrich another.

If you want money, make an app that is compelling enough to purchase.

I hate ads, in-app purchases and this idea.

It is "my" device so keep your grubby hands off it.

PS. Posted from 38,000 feet.
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Old Nov 1, 2013, 01:34 PM   #6
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Apple will cut this **** out of any app that even attempts to sneak it past.

Deplorable practice.
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Old Nov 1, 2013, 01:35 PM   #7
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This is an extremely interesting idea as an alternative to ad support, but I don't think it's a good idea.

Ad support compromises your user interface.

Bitcoin mining might compromise battery life but preserve your interface experience.

Which will be used?

IMO, this is probably overall a terrible idea that will cause most users to reject the app as the app takes up an inordinate amount of resources and drains battery life. Keep in mind that iOS's multitasking is based on application demand...if this makes the game take up more resources, it's more likely to kill background applications too. In other words, it makes users not want to fire up the app.
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Old Nov 1, 2013, 01:37 PM   #8
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Hopefully, Apple will put a stop to this.

Surely, the developer will at least have to notify the purchaser that the app will be doing this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GFLPraxis View Post
IMO, this is probably overall a terrible idea that will cause most users to reject the app as the app takes up an inordinate amount of resources and drains battery life. Keep in mind that iOS's multitasking is based on application demand...if this makes the game take up more resources, it's more likely to kill background applications too. In other words, it makes users not want to fire up the app.
Most regular users woudl have no idea what is going on. Most people woudl just think their iPhone gets terrible battery life and not associate it the specific apps they use.
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Old Nov 1, 2013, 01:37 PM   #9
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To all devs - I will not use your product if you implement this crap.

- Paying customer
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Old Nov 1, 2013, 01:37 PM   #10
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Interesting idea, if the cons can be worked out.

I love bitcoin
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Old Nov 1, 2013, 01:38 PM   #11
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I don't see why Apple would pull the plug on such a game, provided the developer was open about it being the way the game is supported, especially if it was ad-free.

I doubt that mining would continue as background processing, as the iOS only provides multitasking support in limited circumstances, and background 'game play' is almost certainly not one of them.
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Old Nov 1, 2013, 01:39 PM   #12
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What would you guys say if this was made very obvious?

Like say they have two free game modes:

1. Ad version

2. Ad free bitcoin mining version.

And it tells you specifically that one will annoy you with ads while the next will drain your battery.

Would it be that bad then?
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Old Nov 1, 2013, 01:40 PM   #13
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Worst idea ever. I hope Apple blocks any apps from the store that add this battery draining ********.
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Old Nov 1, 2013, 01:42 PM   #14
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To all devs contemplating using this, do so at your own peril. Your customers will sue and/or file charges against you for computer fraud/hacking.
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Old Nov 1, 2013, 01:42 PM   #15
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As a user I wouldn't mind it as an option but that's as far as it goes. Give me a choice and I might choose it. Try to hide it from me and I will delete your app.
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Old Nov 1, 2013, 01:42 PM   #16
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I still have absolutely no idea what a bitcoin really is. I hear about them all the time, but articles like this always just gloss over the actual explanation. Yet any minor mention of skewmorphism* is ALWAYS followed by its definition, as if the 5,000 other articles that have mentioned it in the past year didn't also include an explanation. So if anyone would like to give me a semi-intelligent explanation of bitcoin, I'd love to hear it.

* the use of visual indicators that simulate the real world use of a digital function, commonly used to make a user interface more familiar. (I couldn't break the chain of needless explanation)
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Old Nov 1, 2013, 01:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unplugme71 View Post
To all devs - I will not use your product if you implement this crap.

- Paying customer
I'm not sure you get the point. The idea behind this is that you wouldn't be a paying customer.
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Old Nov 1, 2013, 01:43 PM   #18
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Don't call it a pyramid - it's really a mine...
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Old Nov 1, 2013, 01:43 PM   #19
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I mined with BTCminter with my GT 650m, and was earning .002 bitcoins per day. That's only $.40 a day, or about $160 a year.

So I'm expecting this to earn a lot less. Like $20 a year tops.
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Old Nov 1, 2013, 01:44 PM   #20
Hes Nikke
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****** returns for the developer!

For reference my 120 gigahash mining rig took a week to make 1btc at current difficulty rates. This rig consists of 32 ASICs each pumping out ~3-4 gigahashes per second. Mining rigs built with multiple high end desktop GPUs get at best 500 megahashes per second. I would estimate that each phone 5s can only at best reach 20 megahashes/second. It will take ages for developers to reach 0.4btc and make back the $80 for the privilege of draining end users batteries. Each phone added to the network will be a rounding error against the current 3 petahashes of the bitcoin mining network.
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Old Nov 1, 2013, 01:46 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zellio View Post
What would you guys say if this was made very obvious?

Like say they have two free game modes:

1. Ad version

2. Ad free bitcoin mining version.

And it tells you specifically that one will annoy you with ads while the next will drain your battery.

Would it be that bad then?
It would be bad - but not necessarily for Icoplay, or for the developer that includes the plugin.

However - it will be bad for the users of the games, who either don't realize that this Bitcoin plugin is coming along with the game, or don't know/care what Bitcoin is. Which will be just about everyone.

And who looks bad when playing a game for an hour or so drains your battery to near-death? Not the app developer. Apple does.

Users won't understand why their phone is only lasting an hour or two all of a sudden, because they don't realize, remember, or care that the game they're playing is killing their battery by mining Bitcoins for the developer.

Apple will not let this happen, I assure you.
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Old Nov 1, 2013, 01:47 PM   #22
aristotle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darwen View Post
I'm not sure you get the point. The idea behind this is that you wouldn't be a paying customer.
I'm not sure you get the point. That person wants to "pay" directly. They do not want to have a scatter stealing battery life and wear on the CPU in exchange for "free" apps from their device.

Not only will that person like not want to use app that use a miner but they would probably be inclined to sue the developer to death if they were tricked into downloading it by not having explicit notice of the "feature" in the summary description of the app.

This is malware plain and simple.
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Old Nov 1, 2013, 01:48 PM   #23
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I have a couple apps with no ads I wouldn't mind adding this to. Currently, I just give them away for free. If this isn't terribly invasive (meaning it doesn't suck up the entire CPU and battery) it isn't a bad idea. I wouldn't mind if I had it running on my phone.
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Old Nov 1, 2013, 01:51 PM   #24
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What is the hash rate for an iOS device???
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Old Nov 1, 2013, 01:51 PM   #25
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To bad bitcoin mining is a waste of time anyway.
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