Cryptomining In Your Browser – Salon Magazine Offers an Alternative to Paywalls
Newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post make their paywall simple; you get a limited number of free articles with constant offers to sign up for a monthly subscription. The Guardian has taken a softer approach by appealing to mankind’s generous nature by asking for far cheaper and totally voluntary donations. Now cryptomining in your browser can allow you to read articles you might not otherwise see.
Salon Magazine really thought outside the box; You can read all of their articles with ZERO advertising and at no cost if you give them permission to perform cryptomining in your browser as you consume their content.
Long story short; If a reader chooses to block its advertising using an ad blocker (editorial note: ad blockers are becoming increasingly popular across the world), Salon Magazine asks readers to allow Salon to use that person’s computer to mine for Monero, a cryptocurrency on the rise.
Mining cryptocurrency in your browser – or any other way – consumes much of a computer’s processing power due to the complex calculations necessary to mine any given cryptocoin.
Salon told readers: “We intend to use a small percentage of your spare processing power to contribute to the advancement of technological discovery, evolution and innovation.” Small is a relative term; some surfers have complained of their browsing slowing down to a crawl as laptop fans spun up to top speed to cool down the computer as it was suddenly challenged with daunting computational tasks as the reader browsed Salon articles.
Salon has deployed CoinHive, a controversial mining tool that can easily be exploited for illicit gain by hackers. Let’s be clear; Salon is upfront with their approach and nothing they are doing is illicit. At the worst, it could be considered annoying as some computers are slowed down to a crawl.
Cryptomining in your web browser, or on any normal PC in general, has become largely impractical due to the very low returns realized for expenditures in terms of electricity and computing power. Salon’s approach leverages the proven concept of distributed computing which, as the name implies, distributes a complex computing task among numerous computers.
Salon Magazine is trialing cryptomining in your web browser as an alternative income stream. We’re watching this experiment with keen interest and will share any updates as we have them.