How Companies Capitalize on Crypto Fever
Crypto for gamers and beyond…
Big companies start to see potential in cryptocurrency and decide to mobilize their customers to help them in their crypto race. In November 2018, for example, Taiwan-based tech company ASUS announced that its graphics card, in combination with Quantum Cloud, could be used to mine crypto on an idle gaming rig. ASUS’s announcement was soon followed by an introduction of a crypto mining app by a billion-dollar American global gaming hardware manufacturing company Razer.
Razer’s new initiative called ‘Razer Softminer’ captured attention and criticism of the crypto community and gamers in particular. The program offers customers to harness idle time of PCs into crypto mining. To do so, a user needs to download Razer software, and it will use the computer’s graphics processing unit (GPU) to mine cryptocurrency when the PC isn’t running other applications. All the crypto profits go to the company itself, and ‘softminers’ will get rewarded in Razer Silver.
Razer Silver is not a cryptocurrency, but a loyalty program that pays rewards that can be exchanged for select items, like Razer mouse or a keyboard, depending on the points you have gathered. Razer has an active community of over 3.7 million gamers who not only buy its gaming laptops and accessories but use its voice-over IP services and purchase Razer-branded clothing.
To put things in perspective, if you keep the software running for 24 hours straight you can earn up to 500 Silver per day. The most expensive reward is the Huntsman Elite keyboard, which costs 280,000 Silver. And here is the real kicker, Razer Silver expires one year after it’s earned. So, to earn good products, you will need to let the computer run the software for a good period of time, and you need to have enough rewards to spend before the expiry day. The criticism mainly voiced is that the money spent on the electricity will exceed the value of any Razer Silver they might earn, as well as it is impossible to earn enough rewards to get really good prizes.
Another way that companies capitalize on crypto and reap benefits for themselves is by offering tokens in exchange for users’ data. One journalistdecided to sell his data to different companies rather than to give it up freely to Facebook and its affiliates. After signing up for apps, such as Datum, Doc.ai, Wibson, and selling his GPS location, health information, and Facebook data respectively, he earned some tokens. When he calculated, his earnings were worth approximately 0.3 cents. In the end, it was not worth the hassle.
Currently, crypto is being used as a reward by companies to incentivise their customers to bring financial or social utility to the companies themselves. The longer the crypto hype endures, the more possibilities it offers to companies, who are quick to jump the boat. This should be one of the laws of crypto: the first ones are always winners, in one way or another.
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