ONLINE MAGAZINE Salon is jumping onboard the cryptocurrency bandwagon by offering its readers the option to allow it to run a crypto miner in exchange for an ad-free experience.
Users with ad blockers enabled will be greeted with a pop-up when they visit the site asking them to either disable it or allow Salon to syphon their "unused computing power".
Click on the 'learn more' link in the message and Salon will inform its visitors that said unused power will be put to the task of crunching equations to generate or 'mine' cryptocurrency, bolstering the site's revenue.
"For our beta program, we'll start by applying your processing power to mine cryptocurrencies to recoup lost ad revenue when you use an ad blocker," Salon said, noting it has other supposedly well-meaning plans for the syphoned compute power.
"We plan to further use any learnings from this to help support the evolution and growth of blockchain technology, digital currencies and other ways to better service the value exchange between content and user contribution."
There's no word on exactly how much spare computing power will be sucked up. But some miners are known to easily max out a CPUs performance causing slowdown for the user, having the chip run at higher temperatures than normal, and consume more electricity.
As such, avid fans of Salon who also hate online adverts could find the life of their computer's processor gets shortened and their electricity bill increases, unless Salon carefully manages how it puts its cryptocurrency miner to use.
Making money out of online publishing can be a tricky process. There's so much free information on the internet that not everyone wants to pay to subscribe to a news site, yet at the same time, many folks find online adverts a pain and use an ad-blocker to sweep them out of view, making it difficult for a site to generate ad revenue.
So it's not a massive surprise to see the likes of Salon jump onboard the cryptocurrency trend and try and use it to keep in the black.
Depending on your reception to online adverts and the concept of sharing CPU power, the crypto mining option will either seem fair or repulsive to you.
But at least Salon is being straight with its visitors rather than secretly running a mining tool on the background like The Pirate Bay did before it got rumbled by disgruntled users. µ
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