Site Mining Monero

If you’re a regular reader here you may have noticed a little widget in the sidebar to your right, it looks something like this:

and explains what it is.  Basically, it’s a simple and safe way to help show support and cover hosting costs.  It’s also a little experiment I wanted to get in on.

I’m sure by now most people have heard of Bitcoin, they have probably heard of some of the alternative crypto currencies like Litecoin or Dogecoin.  I’ve been involved in cryptocurrency since 2013 ( I sold my 3 bitcoins just before the huge rise though, that hurt) and this is a new and innovative way to use it.

Basically, my website will use some of your computing power to “mine” for Monero, a newer cryptocurrency.  Once you close my site (or click “stop mining”) it will stop, nothing is hidden and I promise that it will only mine if you tell it to.  Some more nefarious people (or hacked websites) are doing this mining behind the scenes, I wanted to be up front about it.

I also want to let you know that I’m not earning billions from this kind of set up.  Realistically, if you left a high-end computer on my site mining at 100% over night I would probably only see a few cents from that.  It’s not supposed to make me rich, it really just helps offset the costs of hosting.

With online ad revenue dropping it is harder and harder for websites to support themselves, I think this kind of cryptocurrency mining set up is a good way to move away from ads and into a new paradigm.   I would much rather have something like this than be bombarded by ads when I visit a website (even with sites I want to support, turning off adblock is not an option because the site becomes nearly unusable with all the ads).  The main thing is I think hosts need to be up front about it, let people know you’re doing this and even better, give them the option to opt in (or out) because it does use the user’s hardware.

If you extend this to platforms with long form content or that retain users for long periods of time there is a real potential to replace ads with this kind of set up.  The downside is that it’s not great with smartphones (lower processing power and burns up battery) or laptops, which is where most users are now.  I really just look at it as a way to donate that is simple and quick.

If you’re wondering why I’m choosing to mine Monero it’s because it is still minable on home hardware.  Bitcoin is not, you need special computers (ASIC’s) to mine bitcoin (and most of the other big currencies).  I also like Monero and the technology behind it, it’s a vast improvement on bitcoin as a currency.  It’s private, fungible, has fast transaction time and lower fees, and in short actually works as a digital currency (what bitcoin is supposed to be).

I’ve been a believer in cryptocurrency for a while, not in the get rich quick sense but in the taking power away from central banks sense.  Bitcoin was founded on that belief, founded on freedom and distributing power to the people.  Greed has turned it into something else, and sadly there is no coming back.  With Monero I see what bitcoin set out to be, a better way to use money, a way that is digital and private, a way that removes the ability of some central power to arbitrarily reduce your purchasing power.  A way to put financial control back into people’s hands.  Donating processing power is just a unique way to use the technology behind this currency.

If you own some Monero check out my little store where you can purchase my books (and other things) for Monero.

Anyway, that’s my rant on that.  Just wanted to be even more up front about that widget there.  Let me know what you think or if you have any concerns about it.

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