Increasingly unfocused once-and-former gaming peripherals specialist Razer has announced it is extending its efforts in the cryptocurrency market, launching its own mining software - but rewarding its users in store credit, rather than real currencies crypto or otherwise.

While still best known for its gaming keyboards, mice, headsets, and associated accessories, Razer has in recent years become increasingly diversified: The company has launched own-brand laptops, a game-key resale service, a smartphone, virtual reality hardware, and a music platform. One of its more controversial creations, though, was an in-house cryptocurrency split into two coins: Razer zGold and Razer zSilver. The zGold represented value spendable at the company's storefront and selected third-party retailers; zSilver, meanwhile, acted as an equivalent to reward points and could be earned by playing games or spending zGold.

Now, the company is going deeper into cryptocurrencies, launching its own mining software dubbed SoftMiner - but rewarding its users in what is now called Razer Silver, rather than in whatever cryptocurrency the software is actually mining.

'No other gaming company or brand today has such an extensive system for enabling gamers get the most out of their games and gaming lifestyle,' claims company co-founder and chief executive officer Min-Liang Tan. 'Razer Gold remains one of the most rewarding ways you can buy games and make in-app purchases, and combined with the return of Paid to Play on Razer Cortex and the new SoftMiner app, Razer is truly the only gamer-centric ecosystem that gives accelerated rewards to gamers for simply doing what they love – playing games.'

The new Razer SoftMiner will use the GPU to mine cryptocurrencies, with the user being rewarded Razer Silver according to the performance of their GPU and how long they leave the software running. Quite how this is a better proposition than using third-party mining software to mine cryptocurrencies directly isn't specified, and while the Razer Silver can be spent in the Razer Store, quick back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that it could take over a year of GPU-driven mining to earn enough for a single keyboard. Razer Silver can also be earned through playing games supported by Razer software.

Razer has confirmed SoftMiner comes courtesy of a partnership with GammaNow, whose eponymous software works in the same way: Cryptocurrency mining calculations are carried out on the system's GPU in exchange for Gamma Points, which can be exchanged for coupons redeemable for in-game credits. The company is opening the platform up to just 5,000 users a week, with more information available on the official website.

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