Salon Cryptocurrency Miner Offers Users Alternative To Web Advertisements

15 February, 2018, 08:02 | Author: Barbara Daniel
  • Salon wants use visitors' CPU power to mine crypto in exchange for an ad-free visit

Users that visit the website with an ad blocker enabled are now met with a pop-up notification that asks them to disable the software or "block ads by allowing Salon to use your unused computing power".

Monero recently made headlines when Coinhive malware schemes hit thousands of websites, including government addresses.

However, visitors and users have gradually started to use ad-blockers to suppress unwanted ads - this trend has trickle down effects on the pockets of the website owners. Your processor will heat up as more than half of your CPU power is dedicated to the task while the computer's fans fire up to keep the temperature under control.

The miner employed by Salon is developed by software firm Coinhive and it's directed to mine Monero for the media company. Mooching off unused CPU is a novel approach-one that could either have huge financial benefits or do damage to Salon's reputation. Lately, Monero has attracted a lot of criticism as it became the currency of choice for illicit activities in cyberspace. "This includes forums, small community sites where users happily give something back and, of course, porn sites", a Coinhive representative said in an email. There after we will ask you again to opt-in. But in other cases, users have been unaware that Coinhive was being used on their systems. A link with more info about that latter option takes visitors to this page, where they find out that this option allows the site to use "your processing power to mine cryptocurrencies to recoup lost ad revenue when you use an ad blocker".

Coin-mining software isn't an immediate threat to the security of a computer, but it does crank up the CPU, make your computer run hotter, add to your electricity bill, and slow down whatever else you're doing.
"Nothing is ever installed on your computer and Salon never has access to your personal information or files".

ONLINE MAGAZINE Salon is jumping onboard the cryptocurrency bandwagon by offering its readers the option to allow it to run a crypto miner in exchange for an ad-free experience.

We realize that specific technological developments [adblock and cryptocurrency mining] now mean that it is not merely the reader's eyeballs that have value to our site - it's also your computer's ability to make calculations, too.

"Like most media sites, ad-blockers cut deeply into our revenue and create a more one-sided relationship between reader and publisher", Salon's team wrote in a note addressing the new program.

Salon CEO Jordan Hoffner told Fortune that the new plan has several users already and the mining option is just one aspect of the company's monetisation strategies; another of which is a paid tablet and mobile app to come later in 2018.

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