Hackers are now injecting cryptocurrency mining scripts on to high traffic websites to secretly drain people’s CPU power and mine various cryptocurrencies, most notably Monero (XMR), which is open source. As I write this, the value of Monero is worth $355.26 USD with a market cap of $5B and a circulating supply of 15,748,316 XMR. I think it’s safe to say that the currency has definitely surpassed it’s humble beginning.
Though the power of these browser based mining scripts pale in comparison to the scripts running on GPU, added up long term they could possibly be a legitimate and viable revenue model for the private market, so long as consent is given by the user and the scripts are throttled well enough to allow users to continue using their devices in all capacities.
The most popular web based mining script out there right now is powered by an organization called Coinhive, who have opened their Monero pool to what so far seems to be a very well executed REST API. They provide SDKs in various languages and make getting started very easy. In fact, I’ve implemented it myself, because why not?
Cryptocurrencies are thriving these days but will they continue to thrive? No one really knows. They seem to be quite unreliable, but we’re still very much in the early stages of them. It’s fascinating to see them extend to the web, albeit under shady circumstances. In any case, with this kind of growth, I’d hedge my bet that cryptocurrencies on the web are here to stay.