Opera has just become the first major web browser to officially add protection against cryptocurrency mining scripts to both its mobile and desktop browsers. In 2017 we saw the rise of in-browser cryptocurrency mining scripts with Coin Hive leading the pack and being used by some well-known websites without alerting visitors.
The Opera 50 web browser also comes with extended VR360 support for Oculus, Chromecast and a bunch of other features.
"After we recently updated the rules of our built-in ad blocker mechanism, we eliminated cryptocurrency mining scripts that overuse your device’s computing ability," wrote Krystian Kolondra, Executive Vice President of Desktop at Opera.
The new anti-cryptocurrency mining feature is now part of the Opera browser's ad blocker. To get it to work, all a user has to do is enable Opera’s ad blocker. It can also be found by going to Settings (Preferences on macOS) > Basic > Block ads, under the Recommended lists of ad filters and change the NoCoin setting.
"If you like ads but still want to be protected from Bitcoin-mining, you can simply uncheck EasyList and leave the NoCoin box checked. Voilà – you’re protected," added Kolondra.
Web browser based cryptocurrency mining has been reported to affect approximately 500 million Internet users who are not even aware it is taking place on their computers. This was revealed by Adguard's after an analysis of the top 100,000 websites in the world as ranked by Alexa.
The web browser based crytocurrency mining problem is so widespread that in 2017 a popular South African technology and startup news website, Memeburn, was discovered to be running the Coin Hive script and mining Monero off their visitors' computers. The publication later revealed that this was apparently unintentional but this was only after several visitors to Memeburn complained about high CPU usage when visiting the website.