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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.
11:48 pm on Mar 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Permissions best be obtained FIRST else, particularly in USA, computer crimes will have been committed (use of a third party computer without authorization).

JS already has a blackeye for some users, this will only enhance that reputation.

I run as close to JS free as possible as a user.
9:28 pm on Mar 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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JS already has a blackeye for some users, this will only enhance that reputation.

Yes, this will not be surprising that as there was a surge of ad blockers, one day, more people will disable Javascript, which would mean the ends of Ad networks like Adsense ...

Abuses of any kind are always having impact on everybody at the end ... If publishers didn't abuse of ads, and intrusive ads, there will not be ad blockers today ...
5:39 pm on Mar 19, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@brotherhood Any Cryptonight based altcoin can be used with coinhive's javascript. I know several webmasters using cazala's coin-hive stratum and xmr-node-proxy (to funnel all the low hash rate into a single connection) to a pool of their choice. In return, visitors may get access to premium content (private section of web site), no ads, etc. It ends up being an alternative to serving ads. With Google Chrome banning ads on the edge (annoying, aggressive type), there needs to be other ways for web sites to monetize. I think there is potential here... you just have to be smart about how to utilize other people's CPU and to generate the most income from it.

@travis For me, I don't disable JavaScript. Most general people don't do this because disable JavaScript breaks too many web sites. An adblock or malware detector is likely the first line before someone disables JavaScript. Disabling JavaScript is an advanced user behavior not applicable to 98% of browser users. Perhaps in the webmaster or security sector, the percentage is higher. Since JavaScript is enabled, opt-in crypto mining is still a viable option for many webmasters looking for alternative ways to pay their hosting bills.
6:46 pm on Mar 19, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@sun818 indeed, it's another avenue of revenue, albeit the cryptocurrency space has its own monetary pressures at the moment, and the power consumption required by some coins calls into question the energy efficiency of it all.

I question the implementation though, due to its inefficiency. I'd like to see a site say "run this plugin/program for X seconds to support this site" (either/or GPU/CPU) rather than the poor man's JS implementation. If It became the norm across a number of sites we'd perhaps have a true economy of energy/content/income. Interesting situation.
7:18 pm on Mar 19, 2018 (gmt 0)

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JavaScript gets you about 70% efficiency versus native app. Maybe if OpenCL (not sure if WebGL is possible?) comes online, there may be possibility to use GPU. If you have a site with hundreds of concurrent visitors and they stay for a reasonable amount of time, you can make money from it. I've seen with webmasters that have built their web site.
7:38 pm on Mar 19, 2018 (gmt 0)

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CPU mining at scale to pay web hosting bill?

And don't forget to declare this in your incomes, because you have to pay taxes, even on virtual money...
8:08 pm on Mar 19, 2018 (gmt 0)

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not sure if WebGL is possible


I believe coin hive uses WebGL where it's available, but it's nowhere near as performant as a program specifically compiled for the GPU. WebGL implementations are basically hacks using what's currently available via the WebGL interface, using shader buffers and the like rather than native gpgpu.
 

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