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Ads or Slower Computer? The Website Offers Crypto Alternative to Ads

Sead Fadilpašić
Last updated: | 1 min read

Salon, an American news and opinion website, now offers their readers a choice: disable your adblock or allow them to use your computer’s processing power to mine crypto.

In a blog post, they explain that ad-generated revenue is simply not enough anymore: the site notes that between 1999 and 2010, newspaper ad revenue fell by USD 40 billion. Although Salon has always been online-only, they have felt this drop as well – hence the decision to find new ways to generate revenue.

In this blog post, they also state they will be mining Monero, at least during this beta phase. According to The Verge, the script used is Coinhive. The FAQ details the process: “Salon’s opt-in program uses the unused portion of your computer’s processing power for as long as you are on the site. Your fan may turn on for the same reason that your computer’s fans turn on when doing any other intensive task, like playing a computer game or watching a full-screen video that makes your computer work harder and use more electricity to process.”

They are also very open about power consumption: “This process will use more of your computer power and electricity than if you were browsing the site without an ad blocker.”

However, they promise to give back to the blockchain and crypto industry, at least in the matter of knowledge: “We plan to further use any learnings from this to help support the evolution and growth of blockchain technology, digital currencies and other ways to better service the value exchange between content and user contribution.”

To those who do not want to do either, a third option will soon present itself: a paid app, soon to be available on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon Fire.

While Salon is transparent about its policy, there are many other websites wich are covertly mining Monero using the computer power of its users. Here is the way how to protect yourself against this type of malware.