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Salon to Mine Monero with Ad-Blocking Readers' Computers

Salon: Turn off ad blockers or mine cryptocurrencies for us

Starting Sunday, Salon began asking its readers that use ad-blockers to turn over spare computing power in a bid to mine a cryptocurrency known as Monero.

Like many sites that depend on add revenue, Salon has felt the pinch of ad-blocking software in their money bag.

Readers using software to avoid seeing adverts are presented with a pop-up window, says the Financial Times, which asks them if they would like to use their computers' processing power for "calculations".

To solve this problem, the publisher is using the reader's PC for lost ad revenue.

Starting Tuesday, people who are using ad blockers will see a message on Salon.

Instead of displaying advertisements, a popular online magazine is planning on using its audience's "unused computing power" to mine cryptocurrency. There after we will ask you again to opt-in. But Salon said they will adjust how much processing power is being used by their crypto-miner.

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The BBC says that Salon has not been targeted by cyber criminals and that the United States publication asks its readers for permission before using the mining tool. It added that they 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. While the concpet behind Coinhive is potentially beneficial for companies using it openly the software often makes the news as hackers use the program to mine cryptocurrency on computers of the unsuspecting. Most computers have fans that automatically turn on to dissipate heat when more processing power is used - regardless of the cause.

Salon CEO Jordan Hoffner told Fortune that the new plan has several users already and the mining option is just one aspect of the company's monetisation strategies; another of which is a paid tablet and mobile app to come later in 2018. The mining process will continue as long as the user is accessing Salon's content.

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

The Chrome helper's CPU use shot up to 499 on my 2016 MacBook Pro, a highly unusual total on my computer even for the Chrome browser.

The cryptocurrency it is mining is called Monero, which unlike Bitcoin-based systems does not publicly track who is sending and receiving the cash, making it preferable for those who want to put extra resources into maintaining their anonymity.

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.

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