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CPU mining at scale to pay web hosting bill?

     
10:18 pm on Sep 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Looks like the Pirate Bay is experimenting with JavaScript miner called coin-hive as a replacement to ads. Google AdWords already does not allow ads on torrent sites. Now that Google is going after third-party obnoxious ads, torrent sites need another way to generate revenue.

Is this something you might consider for your web site instead of ads? There is an option to throttle CPU mining, so you can set it to something gentler like only using 50% of cpu time.

There seems to be a compelling psychology where certain users are willing to part with CPU time, but not payment of any sort.

What are your thoughts on this?

[torrentfreak.com...]
11:57 pm on Sept 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Mind blowing! This will definitely be disruptive. In a good or bad way?

The most worrying comment in piece:
Whether the miner is a new and permanent tool, or perhaps triggered by an advertiser, is unknown at the point. When we hear more this article will be updated accordingly.


Get ready for new ad-spam, where ads appearing on your site are going to mine your user's computers. I can't wait!
12:22 am on Sept 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It's an interesting idea replacing ad revenue, though eating CPU cycles as a form of payment is going to vary in throughput depending on the device that's doing it. I doubt people on phones with precious battery life would generally prefer it over ads.

I'd considered trying a proof-of-work on contact forms and other spammable submissions using something like hashcash, but the variability in CPU power of the client + spoofability doesn't make it feasible.

WebGL support is improving, a lot of proof-of-work performs better on GPUs... and it's a lot more power friendly.

It's an interesting concept of payment, a bit like using your power supplier as a credit card.
12:26 am on Sept 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Another reason to use NoScript browser extension.
2:01 am on Sept 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Looking at some maths on reddit, it's very uneconomical wrt power and efficiency. They'd be better off asking 1 or 2 people to mine on their GPU for a couple of minutes, and that'd surpass all the hashing the JS version would do over a month using millions of clients.
9:46 pm on Sept 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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> very uneconomical wrt power and efficiency
@boL - The difficulty went up on Monero (XMR) a long time ago, so CPU mining doesn't provide much return even at scale. I think a better approach is to mine the most profitable coins (server determines which coin). You can hope those altcoin(s) will rise in value over time. Seems unlikely you can sell coins to pay web hosting bills immediately unless you can retain visitors for a long time (image galleries, video sites, or casual games) for extra hashes.

> Another reason to use NoScript browser extension.

@ keyplyr - by giving webmasters option to run cpu miner in stealth mode means coin-hive will be forced on some sites. this will ruin coin-hive reputation and give javascript cpu mining a bad name overall. I hope coin-hive removes the ability to run stealth mode. Seems a little late though as the genie is out of the bottle...
10:49 pm on Sept 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@sun818 - and NoScrtipt blocks it for users who do not wish to run their scripts on our machine.
1:17 am on Sept 20, 2017 (gmt 0)

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a better approach is to mine the most profitable coins (server determines which coin)


Would that mean going for the newer currencies and speculating that they'll be worth more?

Haven't looked at the actual implementation, but no doubt they'll improve the efficiencies of it by orders of magnitude since the concept is more widely known.