Salon, the news and opinion website decided to implement a new way against fighting visitors with adblock. If you happen to visit their site while using any kind of adblock you will see the notification above telling you to whitelist their magazine Or: you can allow them to mine cryptocurrency allowing them to take advantage of your CPU. Without doing one of the other, you won’t be able to access and browse their website at all. As you have probably already experienced over the last 3 years, most websites either notify you that you are using adblock or they don’t seem to care too much about it. However, some sites, like Forbes, and now Salon is essentially banning all of their traffic that uses adblock.
Having tried this feature for a short while, you can see that the CPU usage on my desktop PC has increased by at least 75% by allowing Salon to mine. We are talking about an i7 7700K CPU (at stock speeds) – a performance CPU, one of the best from the last generation of Intel processors. On high usage the CPU tends to get a little hot, on 100% utilization it reaches the high 80s (Celsius). While these temperatures are fine for desktop machines, for notebooks and mobile devices these temps can damage their internal components if you would allow Salon to mine for a prolonged period of time.
In terms of financial gains cryptocurrency mining with CPUs (which have a low core count – this mentioned CPU is a 4-core/quad-core one) is now considered by the mining community obsolete for most cryptos, most people recommending GPUs or ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits).
This new, probably pointless technique Salon implemented may possibly damage the devices of some of their visitors while, most likely, providing worse financial gains for them than regular website ads.