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Would you hand over your CPU power in exchange for some loot boxes?

Published: 15:42, 16 February 2018
The standard loot box in Overwatch
Overwatch - Loot Box

GammaNow is an app that uses your computer's CPU and GPU to mine cryptocurrency. Aurora, the company that developed the app gives you 'Gamma points' as rewards.

In a world populated by an abundance of loot boxes and other mechanics made to mess with your brain, the publishers aren't the only ones who manage to squeeze out a nice profit. A company called Aura has come up with a way to coax millions of PC players into volunteering their computing power in exchange for in-game items.

They have developed an app called GammaNow that uses your own computer's processing muscle to power a new blockchain network called Gamma. The network was described by its devs as a cheaper and faster alternative to Ethereum. Gamma was built on protocols like Plasma, and leverages Swarm for scalability and lower transaction costs. 

Aura GammaNow's login webpage GammaNow

Now in English: mining uses your PC's computing power to verify transactions on a network. You get a reward for letting the app use your PC. That reward is usually some form of cryptocurrency, but Aura's GammaNow takes that for itself leaving you with in-game goods. 

The entire process starts 20 to 30 seconds after your PC becomes idle. GammaNow instantly (after 20 to 30 seconds) starts tapping your CPU and GPU's computing power, accumulating Gamma points as it does so. Just downloading the app grants you 5000 Gamma points.

Be warned, the value of these points is completely arbitrary. Besides, 35,003 Venezuelan Bolivars sounds like a ton of money before you realise it translates into £1.

Aura GammaNow's webpage text GammaNow

If you still want those sweet sweet loot boxes, you can download the app and tell it to either start with Windows or when the system is idle. Set it and forget it. 

Here's what you can get for your Gamma points right now:

  • 24 Overwatch Loot Boxes: 30000 GP
  • 51 Overwatch Loot Boxes: 60000 GP
  • 3500 Riot Points: 30000 GP
  • 15 Hearthstone Card Packs: 30000 GP
  • 40 Hearthstone Card Packs: 60000 GP

Aura says that rewards for Counterstrike and DOTA are on their way, but no details have been given. As of right now, the app is only mining one algorithm, but its devs say they are looking to take the NiceHash approach by auto-switching to whatever the most profitable coin is at the moment.

Riot Games Pink Hulk, a ninja and a hamster fighting an overgrown worm. League of Legends

The feature that will let you use your main GPU for gaming and dedicate your second one to GammaNow is in the works. You can grab the GammaNow app now right here. They also have an active and supportive Discord chat.

Thanks, Forbes.

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