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JavaScript based webminers are used to mine cryoto currencies by using visitors computing power on several sites. Is that illegal? Do they violate adsense policies ? As of now according to adsense Terms and conditions I couldn't find anything specially pointing out cryoto mining. Anyone got further info?

  • As in: "Can you use both AdSense and a crypto currency miner script on the same site?" I'm not sure about AdSense, but users don't appreciate sites that spike their CPU usage. – Stephen Ostermiller Dec 17 '17 at 19:25
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Google's Adsense policy does not touch upon Crypto Currency Browser miners directly but it is clear that either malware or anything else that interferes with site navigation is considered a breach of their terms of use, therefore webminer scripts are likely to breach their terms of use policy.

Site behaviour

Sites showing Google ads should be easy for users to navigate. Sites may not change user preferences, redirect users to unwanted websites, initiate downloads, include malware or contain pop-ups or pop-unders that interfere with site navigation.

Crypto Currency Browser miners are not Malware nor do they interfere with navigation...

At this point I would expect you to immediately stand up straight in your chair and want to throw out justifications that its neither malware nor will it interfere with site navigation but hear me out first!

  • Site Navigation
    • While its true that you could set the CPU time of the web miner to low so that users won't even notice a performance drop it should be dearly noted that a slow computer or one that becomes stressed becomes even more stressed and therefore site navigation could be affected due to the performance of the computer. Google could use this as a justification to terminate or suspend your account.
  • Malware
    • AVAST! has already classified Coin Hive webminer as Malware and as a result they have blocked the script running, a discussion about this can be found on Reddit. More will likely follow suit.
    • Malwarebytes has been blocking the original Coinhive API and related proxies an average of 8 million times per day, which added up to approximately 248 million blocks in a single month.
    • Google Chrome, the team at Google Chrome are already thinking of adding a block feature into their browser, you can find out more about this on bleepingcomputer.

Not Eco-friendly

While hardware manufacturers are constantly looking at ways of reducing energy consumption, web miners unnecessary directly increase the TDP of the CPU which in turn has a direct impact of power used and increases one's power unity bill, however this will likely run into a few pence depending on the settings of the web miner.

Stigma...

The problem that you face is the stigma of web miners, since they can set to aggressive they are unlikely never going to be accepted. The other issue is Google and Bing may see Web miners as direct competition vs their ad networks, because if websites can make money from Crypto, sites won't need ads.

Google and Bing alone can punish websites from using their adnetworks or worse, they can purposely apply a SEO penalty of those sites running them, ultimately the future of browser web mining is in the hands of Google, Bing and Anti Virus Software Applications.

My Opinion?

Not that it counts... any site that I visit that runs a crypto miner on my machine will join my ban list, hundreds of thousands of people and IT minded people are developing hardware and software solutions to block these scripts.

Most browser families already have dozens of add-ons that block them, sorry but there's a BIG difference than clicking an optional ad then a non-optional crypto miner.

I would however change my stance on this idea if webmasters had a 'opt in' option.

  • Ohkay. Thank you @simon , so basically its a bad idea to integrate a mining script to a website. I was just wondering if i could use a small percentage of clients cpu to get some hashes done. – Susmith Dec 17 '17 at 20:06

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