FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mike Hardwicke Brown
Google Fires First Shot in The Mounting War on Browser Mining
Website owners and cryptocurrency enthusiasts should be aware of Google’s growing opposition toward browser mining.
December 2017—On a Wednesday morning at 6:00 AM, Google shut down the servers of SpareChange.io, a startup that offers browser mining tools for website owners to monetize their web traffic. Google cited a violation of terms of service, specifically that SpareChange’s servers were suspended for "violating our Free Terms of Service by mining cryptocurrency."
However, a brief search of Google’s terms of service didn't reveal any mention of "mining" or "cryptocurrency.” Further, the project itself was not mining cryptocurrency itself; rather, serving the program to websites that facilitated mining.
It's worth noting that Google did restore the SpareChange.io project late in the day, but it sends a clear signal of Google’s stance on the issue. Rumors abound that Google has also considered adding protections directly in its Chrome browser. Google and other powerful companies are likely to see browser mining as a threat to their revenue streams as it becomes more popular.
While browser mining does allow Internet users to easily “pay” content creators without handing over a dime, there are concerns about a more nefarious use: hackers inserting these mining scripts onto websites and using botnets to send unsuspecting users to websites that will drain processing power without the user’s knowledge.
However, responsible users of the technology keep everyone’s best interest in mind by only using a tiny amount of power and notifying website visitors of any browser mining that occurs. Sparechange.io is one of the largest promotors of responsible browser mining. Its tools are designed to empower website owners to gain compensation from traffic to their website without causing any negative effects to the individual end user. Since visitors are informed about browser mining, they aren’t forced to run the script or tricked into using it—they can decide whether they want to allow the script to run or not. It doesn’t make users any more vulnerable to viruses and it does not harm computers. It only causes the user’s computer to consume a slightly larger amount of electricity—on average, costing the user an additional $.0.03/hour while running a browser miner.
Website owners can benefit greatly from using responsible browser mining services like SpareChange. For more information about SpareChange’s tools, visit https://www.sparechange.io/?utm_campaign=prshots.