Mining for cryptocurrency using a desktop app may seem like the antithesis of network security: a locally installed, third party software that accesses the internet to exchange data back and forth with... the internet.
However, when you consider what's actually involved in mining, it's perfectly safe for both charities and supporters alike.
A desktop mining application like Cudo Donate does nothing more than handle packets of numbers – that contain nothing confidential whatsoever – comparing them against another set of numbers then swapping them out if they don’t get a match. All the while protected by SSL encryption.
Rinse and repeat.
Your web browser works in essentially the same way, only in a far less secure way, handling a lot more than just numbers.
If there’s a match then you (or more likely your mining pool) win the crypto coin. Although it’s not as simple as that, it is as simple as that.
The mining platforms available – including ours – are all open source so the code is in the wild and verifiable should it need to be. Even the interface we designed to wrap around the miner is built using the same code that drives platforms like Slack and Spotify.
There are no hidden nasties, just a piece of technology that generates revenue for your organisation.
Although there are some common concerns about cryptocurrency, the safety of your charity's network security and IT infrastructure really shouldn't be one of them.
How does Cudo Donate store data?
Your desktop miners are exactly that - a new revenue generator for your charity. They are installed locally and are linked to your crypto wallet.
Any crypto you receive through your mining efforts is yours. It goes into your wallet, stored on whichever computer you have set it up on.
It is our intention, should you choose to work with us, to downline your share of mined coins to your wallet each night. We don’t want to hold onto it a moment longer than we have to. We don’t see you being able to make crypto work any other way.
Of course, effectively having money sat on a local hard drive is a risk in the same way as a desk draw stuffed with cash.
We recommend that wherever your crypto is saved it should be backed up and/or stored in a secure location. Some print out all the QR codes for their coin and store them in a safe each night. Identify a way that works for you and stick to it.
Bear in mind that choosing to mine cryptocurrency doesn’t suddenly make your internal network less secure. The mining itself is entirely benign and goes on in the background of most desktop or laptop computers. The miner doesn’t handle anything sensitive or compromising, nor can it receive anything that could cripple your system because it simply doesn’t work that way.
However, it’s worth taking steps to shore up your network security so if you do store you crypto on a local drive you are able to protect it from any internal attack.
Does mining cryptocurrency make your computer vulnerable to hacks?
In short, no.
A miner works in a very similar way to a web browser insofar as it exchanges packets of information with a server. Except whereas a browser can handle any kind of information – sometimes unwittingly downloading harmful files on to a computer – a miner can only handle packets of encrypted numbers.
Those numbers don’t contain any confidential information and in isolation are more or less meaningless.
So the only risk from hacks will come from elsewhere, however, misappropriation of crypto is all but impossible electronically speaking.
The blockchain verification method means, assuming anyone could access your currency and attempt to tamper with it, every other computer in the mining network would reject that change. Assuming they could identify it as yours in the first place.
Does mining cryptocurrency carry a risk of system failure?
System failures are always a risk, there’s no point in pretending otherwise. Servers fail. Working with an organisation like ours means that those failures are kept to a minimum as there are backups to prevent critical loss of data.
We also leverage Google Compute Engine so in the highly unlikely event of complete system failure the most we’d lose is a single day of mining.
But that kind of failure would mean Google itself had gone down which means we’ve all got bigger problems.
Should you choose to mine or accept crypto then it’s important to have processes in place to back up and protect your crypto wallet – and anything in it – from system failure.
Although our systems are robust, we can’t do anything about your own.
Backup drives or servers ensure that in the unlikely event of a crash your crypto or cash or fiat currency raised through mining isn’t lost. Or, at least, as little is lost as possible.
Cudo Donate is dedicated to supporting charities transform their organisations through the power of crypto mining.
If you are interested in finding out how you could benefit contact us today to speak to one of our experts.