According to a company that developed an ad blocking app, Adguard, approximately half a billion people are unaware that they are mining cryptocurrencies for some of the websites they visit. This is based on Adguard's analysis of the top 100,000 websites in the world as ranked by Alexa.
According to Adguard's research, of the 100,000 websites, 220 launch crypto mining scripts when a visitor opens their main page.
Cryptocurrency Mining Fever | Adguard
"How much money have these websites made? We estimate their joint profit at over US $43,000. Again, right now it’s not millions, but this money has been made in three weeks at almost zero cost," writes Andrey Meshkov, Co-founder at Adguard.
What makes the numbers fascinating is that Coin Hive was only launched in mid-September 2017 and has gained such notoriety in just over four weeks.
“We looked for the codes for Coinhive and JSEcoin, the most popular solutions for browser mining in use now,” added Meshkov.
As Adguard states, it is possible that each website running a crypto mining script made approximately $43,000 in a three-week period of their research. One needs to note, as Meshkov highlights, that this money is earned at zero-cost because the cryptocurrency mining happens on a visitors computer. What makes it frowned upon is not that websites are using visitors computers to mine cryptocurrencies, but that they are not asking for their permission.
We have reported on two notable cases involving Coin Hive, namely, South African online publisher, Memeburn, running the script without asking for visitors' permission to use their computers to mine Monero, a cryptocurrency. Another similar case involves Showtime which ran the script on some of its websites but without notifying visitors' that it was, or asking for their permission.
Thus far the only serious action taken against a website running Coin Hive or JSEcoin has been by Cloudflare which dropped (and later reinstated) one of its customers, ProxyBunker.online because it runs the Coin Hive crypto mining script on some of its websites.
Cover image credit: Flickr.