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Web-based Cryptocoin Mining: The replacement for Online Advertising?

In this short blog post I will introduce the concept of web-based cryptocoin mining and explain why it becomes so popular under websites just recently (October 2017).

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Introduction

Next to spyware and adware, there is a new security threat for visitors of webpages. This new threat is called cryptojacking. In cryptojacking, an attacker places a piece of JavaScript code that mines cryptocoins using the hardware (CPU) of the visitor. A website named CoinHive introduced this concept for good guys. If you implement the code and ask to your visitors whether they would like to mine cryptocoins, then this would be profitable and your visitors are acknowledges. However, bad guys implement this snippet on many other websites and “steal” CPU from the visitors of these websites. In that way, they can earn a lot of money.


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Good or Bad?

So far, cryptocoin mining can be seen as a good and a bad thing. It depends whether the owner of the website is aware of the snippet and whether the visitors of a website are aware of it. However, CoinHive is trying to get rid of websites that implement the code snippet without informing the visitors of the website.

Replacement for Online Advertising?

In my opinion, cryptocoin mining can be seen as an extension of online advertising. It is independent of the advertising, since only the owner of a website belongs to the stakeholders. Unlike advertising, there is no additional party involved. Besides that, it will get harder and harder to coin a given cryptocoin, so the earnings will decay over time. Therefore, I think that it is not as stable as online advertising.

Conclusion (TL;DR)

There are several things to mention here. Cryptocoin mining is a good thing and can be seen as an extension of online advertising. Cryptojacking is implemented by hackers on several websites and is seen as a new security threat.

If you are interested in more information on blockchain, definitely read this guest blog post on Data Blogger.

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Kevin Jacobs

I'm Kevin, a Data Scientist, PhD student in NLP and Law and blog writer for Data Blogger. You can reach me via Twitter (@kmjjacobs) or LinkedIn.