In your WTF news for the day, it has been discovered that UFC’s subscription streaming service, Fight Pass, recently ran a cryptocurrency mining code during one of its events.
The code – which mines the privacy cryptocurrency Monero – was located by several UFC fans, who reported their findings on social media.
Redditor gambledub stated:
People were annoyed that they weren’t asked for consent and had already paid to use the streaming service. Users contacted the UFC to demand an explanation and were told that the company “takes these matters very seriously and will review this.”
Users responded by posting various screenshots to show that the code was indeed there.
In all likelihood, the UFC’s website was hacked: the company pulls in so much money from subscription fees and pay-per-view events that it wouldn’t need to utilise its users CPUs in order to mine cryptocurrency.
Coinhive revealed that none of the screenshots included the site key so they didn’t know how much had actually been mined. They also said that they have a strict policy of terminating accounts that violate their terms of service.
Fight Pass isn’t the first popular website to run the Monero mining code: earlier this year, torrenting site The Pirate Bay ran a one-day trial to see if it would be a viable alternative to running ads. The Coinhive script was so effective that they decided to run it again later on.
The bold move led to a Monero mining craze with even the likes of CBS-owned Showtime websites – Showtime.com and Showtimeanytime.com – running it at one point before quickly removing it due to a public backlash.
Monero is an open-source cryptocurrency created in April 2014. It runs on Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, and FreeBSD and focuses on privacy, decentralisation, and scalability.
It has enjoyed a stellar 2017: at the start of the year, one Monero coin cost just under $14 USD and at present, they are currently going for more than $120 USD.
Cryptocurrency mining is the process by which transactions are verified and added to a public ledger (often referred to as a ‘blockchain’), and also the means through which new coins are released. Anyone with access to the internet and suitable hardware can participate in mining.