Disable your ad blocker or let us mine cryptocurrency

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Salon will be asking users that are using ad blockers if they wouldn't mind disabling their ad blocker so Salon can make money from the on-screen ads, or they can "suppress ads" by allowing your ad blocker, but mining cryptocurrency on unused computing power.

Later it says that, "We intend to use a small percentage of your spare processing power to contribute to the advancement of technological discovery, evolution and innovation", and "we'll start by applying your processing power to mine cryptocurrencies to recoup lost ad revenue when you use an ad blocker". This is causing many sites to lose out on revenue (unless users whitelist particular addresses), but U.S. media group Salon is trying out an innovative solution to the problem.

By choosing the latter option viewers won't be bothered by ads but will hand over part of their computers processing power so that Salon can mine the cryptocurrency Monero using the program Coinhive. Indeed, your computer itself can help support our ability to pay our editors and journalists. If you don't want to disable your ad blocker, maybe you'll feel comfortable letting it run code from Coinhive which will gobble up your computer's resources to mine some Monero cryptocurrency. It mines for digital currencies by using the computer power of unsuspecting web users, reports BBC News. There after we will ask you again to opt-in.

I enabled the mining on Salon.com today in order to see how much computing power it used. "The principle behind this is that your readership has value both to us and to our advertisers", Salon said in a FAQ on the test program. Of course, Salon is up front with its consent, but this is still a big step that no other major media company has taken so far.

Recently we've seen a new potential revenue source for sites, something even more controversial with Internet users: mining cryptocurrency with visitors' computers. Like Salon's proposition, some other projects, including Siacoin and MaidSafeCoin, seek to pay people for spare computing cycles or hard drive space. When you close Salon.com in your browser, the process stops.

Recently, visitors to some government websites in countries including the US and United Kingdom fell victim to a Coinhive scheme.

Salon is also being called out by David Gerard, author of the cryptocurrency book Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain: Bitcoin, Blockchain, Ethereum & Smart Contracts. Some websites that use Coinhive software don't disclose that they're using it.

Salon is keen to stress that it will not install anything on the user's computer and the process, it says, will not give Salon access to personal information or files.