The Salon digital media publication offers its visitors an alternative to traditional online ads: allow the site to use their computer processing power to extract cryptocurrency.
In order to provide free content, Salon mainly depended on advertisements to run its servers, the company said in a blog post published Monday. However, digital ads are insufficient to pay for most media – the site noted that ad revenue has dropped $ 40 billion from 1999 to 2010 – and Salon, in particular, has decided to offer users a new option to pay for the content.
Salon will benefit by selling "a small percentage of [users’] alternate processing power to contribute to the advancement of technological discovery, evolution and innovation," explained the company . Although they do not declare it directly, the site, according to The Verge uses the open source software CoinHive to exploit the cryptocurrency monero.
"The demand for computational power in many industries and applications is potentially very high and we intend to use a small percentage of your spare processing power to contribute to the demand. technological advancement, evolution and innovation.we will start by applying your processing power to help support the evolution and growth of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, "wrote the company on the blog.
Unlike the malware approach, which aims to use as much as possible the processing power of a computer to maximize the yield from mining, Salon says it will avoid by actively adjusting the amount of processing power used by their crypto-miner, explaining:
"We automatically detect your current processing usage and assign some of what you do not use to this process If you start a process that requires more resources from your computer, we automatically reduce the amount used calculations. "
However, developers did not expect malicious actors to benefit as much from the platform. The developers preferred that the websites be honest about their use of the minor, according to a history of the motherboard.
Mineral data images via Shutterstock