Recently, several popular websites such as The Pirate Bay, Showtime, AirAsia and others were found to be running the cryptocurrency mining software Coinhive on their websites, allowing them to utilize visitor’s CPU power to mine Monero (XMR). The controversial practice is an attempt seen by many businesses to monetize their websites using alternative methods due to the ubiquity of ad blockers.
In recent years, website operators have seen ad revenue plummet due to the advent and widespread use of ad blockers. Many websites rely on ad revenue to remain operational, as it pays for hosting and other costs associated with running the site. However due to ad blocking, it is estimated that publishers will lose over $27bn of revenue by 2020.
As a result, websites are starting to experiment with alternatives to the traditional web ad model, and are dipping their toes into the cryptocurrency space with web based crypto miners such as Coinhive.
The miner, at the time of writing, pays out 0.00015 XMR per 1M hashes.
In return for offering this mining API, Coinhive takes 30% of all earnings mined on your website, leaving you with the remaining 70%.
One popular website to test out Coinhive recently is the notorious torrent site, The Pirate Bay. The Pirate Bay has been looking for alternative methods of revenue as copyright holders are actively going after ad revenue sources pirate sites often use.
According to Coinhive, the estimated hashrate that a user with a mid-range laptop would provide is 30 h/s. While that doesn’t sound like very much, if you run a popular website, that can quickly add up!
The Pirate Bay currently receives roughly 315M visitors per month, with each visitor on average spending approximately five minutes per visit. We think this data may actually be on the low side, but we like to be conservative here at CryptoReporting anyway.
So let’s get down to some basic math…
30 hashes / sec * 300 seconds * 315M visitors = 2,835,000 hashes per month. Coinhive currently pays .00015 XMR per million hashes.
This would result in The Pirate Bay bringing in a cool 425.25 XMR or $38,638.22 per month at Monero’s (XMR) current price of $90.86!
Not too shabby!
We could be in the midst of a switch in methodology of how to monetize websites, with cryptomining leading the charge!