I keep one eye on what’s going on in crypto-land (oh, wait - someone wants to make that into a real place) because I feel like I should have at least a broad understanding of what it’s about, but man, it’s all just so.. awful.

Occasionally, I wonder whether I’ve got it all wrong. Is my age, my technical unsophistication, or my fond remembrance of an internet unencumbered by commerce blinding me to the opportunities that crypto offers me? But then I read something terrible and I recant my doubts, meditate for a while and get on with my life. This time the reminder comes from Norton, maker of a popular suite of security products, who shipped an Ethereum miner to consumers.

Why would Norton include a crypto miner in a security product? The why is easy. Norton will take a 15% commission (or pool fee) for the privilege. That’s about 12% higher than the standard pool fee, so Norton is really gouging its customers here, and by the time you’ve considered gas fees (ethereum transaction fees) and increased electricity consumption, it’s hard to see how anyone other than Norton can turn a profit.