Research conducted by RWTH Aachen University has found that CoinHive, the in-browser Monero miner, generates around $250,000 worth of XMR per month. This is mostly done through the process of latching onto people’s computers and siphoning people’s processing power without their consent. It is possible due to the fact that in-browser miners do not need to tell the user that the process of mining is happening, they can simply begin without any permission. This leads to programmers and developers adding the software onto their websites as a means of gaining a small profit.
While CoinHive is not the only in-browser miner, it was found to have “the largest share“, with over 75% of in-browser mining being attributed to it.
CoinHive is damaging the industry
The fact that CoinHive is being used so widely among website owners reflects poorly on the cryptocurrency industry as a whole. While CoinHive’s methods are not indicative of the intentions of Monero or crypto, the fact that it is so common and so dangerous means that it leaves a stain on the community. CoinHive’s website argues that they allow people to “Run [their] site without ads”, suggesting that their methods are friendlier when this is not the case. The act of seeing ads is much less intrusive and harmful (in the long run) than being subject to a crypto miner. Anybody who voluntarily takes part in mining knows that it will damage and degrade the hardware it runs on given enough time.
Besides, there are other options available for web developers who want to avoid ads. For instance, Basic Attention Token is working on a tool which allows content creators to monetize their work in a more relaxed setting.
How to avoid CoinHive and other in-browser miners
The process of staying away from in-browser miners is relatively simple. It requires users to install an ad-blocker. Adblock, Adblock Plus, and uBlock Origin all work perfectly fine. You then need to install a Nocoin list. Here is the most popular one. After installation, your adblocker will also block in-browser miners by default.
Kai is a cryptocurrency copywriter and professional trader. He can often be found investigating various cryptocurrencies, whitepapers, and blockchain technologies. Kai has been a professional writer for 5+ years, and has invested in 50+ different coins and tokens. He also currently studies Law and Philosophy at university.