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Coinhive: The Advertisement Killer?

Blockchain

Ad-blockers used to be the nemesis of most websites, which depend on advertisements to generate revenue. In fact, ad-blockers like AdBlock Plus had generated so much contempt from major websites that they were forced to come up with the “Acceptable Ads program”, where they allow users to support their favorite websites by showing “non-annoying ads” by default.

However, with the increasing ease and accessibility of cryptocurrency mining in the recent years, websites now have an alternative to accrue revenue without having to show any form of advertisements on their site.

Exchanging CPU Power for an Ad-Free Experience

With the help of blockchain technology, websites can now utilize their readers’ CPU power to mine cryptocurrencies – with their consent, of course. This is good news for digital journalism, as many online news outlets have been struggling to find ways to supplement the revenue that they have traditionally earned from advertisements.

Salon.com is one of the pioneers in this field – starting Sunday, the website began providing readers with the option to remove all advertisements by simply leasing out their “unused computer power” for the website to mine cryptocurrencies.

Source: Salon.com

By harnessing their readers’ CPU power to mine Monero – a privacy coin that is currently worth $247, based on data from CoinMarketCap – Salon is hoping to encourage readers to support the news website without having to sieve through throngs of annoying advertisements.

In an FAQ that says, “How does Salon make money by using my processing power?”, Salon gives a detailed but sort of esoteric answer:

“We intend to use a small percentage of your spare processing power to contribute to the advancement of technological discovery, evolution, and innovation. For our beta program, we’ll start by applying your processing power to help support the evolution and growth of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.”

In simpler terms, Salon is essentially using the Monero mining plugin called Coinhive to make use of the spare processing power of their readers’ devices to create a virtual server farm to mine digital currencies. In an interview with Slate, Jordan Hoffner, CEO of the Salon Media Group, predicts that this method will increase the quality of modern journalism, as users will be more likely to spend more time on the website if the articles are interesting.

“Ad blocking is here, and isn’t going to get any better. Right now there are a couple models out there to deal with it, and we wanted to see if there was another,” Hoffner added.

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