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Monero mining in the browser has been done by criminals without the consent of both hosts and visitors of hacked websites. The method of earning money via ads in the internet has severe downsides for both hosts and visitors: hosts can only earn significant money if they know their audience well, and if their visitors do not use ad blockers. Visitors have to fear data breaches of very personal data. Hosts have to make extra effort concerning data security and evaluation.

Why aren't many more websites using monero mining as a tool to earn money (legitimately by announcing it)? I'm thinking about newspapers, video streaming like youtube, social networks, even stackexchange etc. I would be perfectly willing to give computing power and the energy cost in exchange for those services. Are there any downsides of mining vs ads except for the energy cost the visitor has to pay?

Bonus imaginary internet points for answers that also provide information about the expected gain per visitor per minute for both monero mining and using ads.

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The short answer: Monero's RandomX PoW algorithm, is using low level functionality of your CPU, which can not be utilized from a web browser.

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  • I either misunderstand something, or this is simply not true. See e.g. this website for a proof of concept. Also, the Random X using CPU is the specific reason why mining monero with home computers generates a lot higher incomes than e.g. mining with bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency where farms are so much more profitable than home computers. – fruchti Mar 27 at 7:51
  • I'm not gonna try that minero.cc thingy. How many hashes per second do you get? Had it been possible to get anything meaningful out of a browser, the web would be riddled with web-sites mining in the background. – Mogens TrasherDK Mar 27 at 23:35
  • With 100% on 4 threads on my laptop with intel i5 7th generation I get about 2 hashes/s, while the fan runs audibly. This is probably not how much one wants to mine, however. It has been done a lot already, but mostly by cybercriminals and with lower %, so that people don't notice right away. That is exactly what I try to understand – fruchti Mar 29 at 13:36
  • Before RandomX PoW, there were a lot of sites stealing CPU. You know, those CN PoW's – Mogens TrasherDK Mar 30 at 16:35
  • actually I do not know what CN PoW means... therefore, I do not know why it changed with Random X, can you explain? – fruchti Apr 1 at 10:54
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The main reasons are likely:

  • nobody knows about monero
  • the blowback against ads isn't large enough yet
  • people need to learn about something new

I know of at least one project which makes it easier for a webmaster to add a Monero mining based paywall: https://repo.getmonero.org/selene/primo. However, this requires the web browsing user to install software separately, which adds a substantial friction effect compared to the "automatic" use of something like Coinhive. Note that the fact the user has to install something separately means it can't be used unbeknownst to the user, which is also a plus.

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  • can I deduce that "gaining much less money per visitor" is not true, as you did not list it? can you estimate how much one would gain in average per visitor per minute compared to using ads? – fruchti Apr 1 at 10:58
  • I have no idea about the economics, but clearly a webmaster can set the price they want to charge. There's no global "mining gets you that much per visitor". – user36303 Apr 1 at 13:35

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