uTorrent, a popular BitTorrent client, is facing criticism after reportedly trying to make money through mining cryptocurrency.
It was recently reported that uTorrent had installed cryptocurrency from Epic Scale as part of an update to the uTorrent software. After the software is installed, Epic Scale reportedly uses much more processing power to generate cryptocurrency like Bitcoin.
Despite the claims, uTorrent denies that Epic Scale was installed without the permission of the user, suggesting that uTorrent was unable to replicate the issue.
Users who find that Epic Scale has been installed on their computers are able to partially uninstall the software through the control panel in Windows. After removing the program, a registry folder will still remain, however users can delete that folder once they have successfully uninstalled Epic Scale.
uTorrent is known for offering users third-party software, although it is unusual for software to be installed without the consent of the user. Offering third-party software through advertising within uTorrent is one of the ways that uTorrent makes money.
Epic Scale itself claims that it wants to “harness unused processing power to change the world.” Essentially, it uses processing power that users are not using in order to solve Z “math problems for weather prediction, physics simulations, cryptography (including cryptocurrency mining) and more.” Of course, this process is monetized, and it seems as though the software is currently mining the Litecoin cryptocurrency.
While it may be revealed at some point in the future that Epic Scale was installed without users’ permission, currently the most likely scenario is that users did in fact give permission for the software to be installed, likely without knowing it.
The inclusion of third-party software can put developers in a difficult situation. On one hand, they are sure to make money from software companies by including their software within apps. On the other, if this affects sales of the app, developers will end up cutting the third-party software from their offerings.