Media company Salon is cashing in on the cryptocurrency business by using ad-blockers to mine cryptocurrency. Salon has asked readers who visit their site and utilize ad blockers to give over extra computing power in order for Salon to mine the Monero cryptocurrency. The process will require Salon’s site visitors to turn ad blockers off or suppress them. Though users will have the ability to block ads, Salon will then use their device’s processors to mine the digital currency called Monero using the Coinhive software. Mining will continue as long as the user is on the Salon site. The effort is an alternative way for sites, such as Salon, to generate revenue after the popularity of ad blocking software has halted them from doing so.
In a note published by Salon’s CEO Jordan Hoffner, he explained the company’s reason for its efforts in mining cryptocurrency: “Like most media sites, ad-blockers cut deeply into our revenue and create a more one-sided relationship between reader and publisher.” He added, “We saw a business problem, we saw a potential way out—potential being the key word—and we took it.” Essentially, the mining process is one of many ways Salon monetizes site views. Another plan is to offer paid tablet and mobile application.
Eventually, Salon plans to similarly mine other types of cryptocurrencies. Hoffner explains, “The coins will change over time as the demand for whatever currency changes.” He declared, “We’ll end up building a portfolio of [cryptocurrencies].” However, skeptics doubt Salon’s move as Monero has been connected with illicit activities. When Hoffner was asked if Coinhive’s association with criminal activities will be a cause for concern, Hoffner optimistically replied, “These things will straighten themselves out over time. I was there at the time of online video and online piracy. They straightened themselves out over time. That’s what history has suggested.”