Funding Open-Source Development with Cryptocurrency Mining
The Pirate Bay recently made the news by mining the cryptocurrency Monero in users’ browsers without their knowledge or consent. They did this in an effort to reduce their reliance on advertising, whose utility as a revenue-generator is increasingly being undermined by ad-blocking software.
Around the same time, CBS Showtime was maliciously compromised to likewise mine cryptocurrency in users’ browsers, stoking fears that “cryptojacking” attacks will become commonplace in the future. Moreover, a new company called Coinhive began offering in-browser mining as a service, possibly furthering the likelihood of “legitimate” in-browser mining becoming mainstream.
In this article, I will discuss the pros and cons of these mining trends, and propose what I consider to be a superior alternative to this style of ad-hoc, in-browser mining.