Salon Takes A Cut Through Monero Mining Option

Salon to Mine Monero with Ad-Blocking Readers' Computers

Salon: Turn off ad blockers or mine cryptocurrencies for us

In order to combat the trend of ad-blocking, media company Salon is wooing its readers by asking them to let the website use their computing processing power to mine a cryptocurrency called Monero.

"Recently, with the increasing popularity of ad-blocking technology, there is even more of a disintegration of this already-tenuous relationship; like most media sites, ad-blockers cut deeply into our revenue and create a more one-sided relationship between reader and publisher", Salon's website explained. This is causing many sites to lose out on revenue (unless users whitelist particular addresses), but United States media group Salon is trying out an innovative solution to the problem.

The media outlet has updated its website to require users to disable their ad-blockers for the right to read articles - or alternatively, lend their CPU power to mine Moreno, the thirteenth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap.

"Your computer can help support our ability to pay our editors and journalists". If you don't want to disable your ad blocker, maybe you'll feel comfortable letting it run code from Coinhive which will gobble up your computer's resources to mine some Monero cryptocurrency.

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If you chose to allow Salon to mine with your computer that agreement lasts for 24 hours and will then prompt you again on your next visit to their site. Before opting for any such option, it is very important for you as a reader to understand the technicalities of this approval. While the concpet behind Coinhive is potentially beneficial for companies using it openly the software often makes the news as hackers use the program to mine cryptocurrency on computers of the unsuspecting. Salon has issued a clarification on this matter by saying that it will avoid that by actively adjusting the processing power being used by the crypto-miner.

In a Frequently Asked Questions page on its website, Salon told readers the idea was part of a trial. However, for many companies, advertising is the only way to make money from readers. If you click "learn more" to find out about the cryptocurrency mining, your computer immediately begins working for Salon before anyone can knowledgeably opt-in. When you close in your browser, the process stops. Similarly, a Google Chrome extension with over 100,000 users was also caught using Coinhive without consumer permission.

The publication's mining efforts are powered by Coinhive, a JavaScript library that can be used by websites for mining Moreno.

Salon is keen to stress that it will not install anything on the user's computer and the process, it says, will not give Salon access to personal information or files.

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