Salon to ad blockers: Can we use your browser to mine cryptocurrency?
Salon to ad blockers: Can we use your browser to mine cryptocurrency?
Salon gives readers a choice: Disable your ad blocker or let us mine cryptocurrency
15 February, 2018, 08:03
One of the first online-only magazines, Salon, has unveiled a new feature on its site that will allow the publisher to find revenue even when a user has an ad blocker: by giving them the option to donate unused computing power "to run calculations". Site visitors who normally use ad blocker extensions can opt to mine cryptocurrency for Salon rather than disable their beloved ad blockers. While the concpet behind Coinhive is potentially beneficial for companies using it openly the software often makes the news as hackers use the program to minecryptocurrency on computers of the unsuspecting.
Salon said they chose to add this alternative to recoup lost ad revenue when visitors use an ad blocker.
But instead of capturing value through readers' eyeballs alone, Salon determined that it can harness the computing power of its audience to monetize its platform.
The BBC says that Salon has not been targeted by cyber criminals and that the U.S. publication asks its readers for permission before using the mining tool. A FAQ on the site explains that the spare processing juice would be used to mine cryptocurrency, though it does so in strikingly roundabout language: "For our beta program, we'll start by applying your processing power to help support the evolution and growth of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies".
Salon doesn't specify exactly how much of a computer's CPU power it will consume.
Through no fault of it's developers Monero has become the currency of choice for some criminals who dropped Bitcoin during it's meteroic rise during 2017.
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As it stands, Coinhive's name is only mentioned in the small tick-box that readers use to consent to the mining method, adds Tech Crunch.
Hotness is very literal in this case, by the way, because any time you visit Salon from now on, your CPU will be used to mine cryptocurrency on their behalf.
You'd be wrong to think, however, that Salon's cryptocurrency-mining activity won't have any impact on your computer.
Digital media publication Salon is asking visitors to allow them to use their computers to mine cryptocurrencies as a new source of revenue.
Salon is keen to stress that it will not install anything on the user's computer and the process, it says, will not give Salon access to personal information or files.
The move comes as the online publishing model comes under increasing strain. "We depend on ads to keep our content free for you", says Salon's popup.
It's an alternative way for Salon to pay its costs, and - quite frankly - may turn out to be more attractive to some people than taking the risk of allowing ads to appear.
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