You are unconsciously mining Bitcoin!

You can become the Bitcoin owner in two ways. The simpler way is to buy it on one of the many cryptocurrencies exchanges for the US dollar, or exchange it for other cryptocurrencies. The more difficult way is to mine it. Many of you have probably heard about mining a bitcoin, in a nutshell, it is sharing the computing power of your laptop or PC, or other high-performance machines. Today, cryptocurrency mining on a laptop is unprofitable, and special mining machines are used for this purpose, that is computers consisting of a dozen or so graphics cards or more, as well as super-fast processors. The higher the equipment’s performance, the more dug-out bitcoins are.

“Computers” used for cryptocurrency mining.

The text above is an introduction to cryptocurrency mining. I just wanted to introduce you to the issue, because many people have heard about it, but no one knows how it works. Why am I focusing on this? Because probably many of you have already mined cryptocurrencies without even knowing about it. How is this possible? Thanks to the CoinHive plugin. This is a JavaScript code that website owners put on their websites. This code uses the computing power of the person’s laptop entering the site to dig cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Monero. As mentioned above, cryptocurrency mining on one laptop is unprofitable, but what if we use thousands of such laptops? Pockets of website owners will quickly fill up and we will not be aware of anything. The Pirate Bay has recently admitted such practices, and in December it was discovered that customers using WIFI in several Starbucks cafes in the US also unconsciously mined Bitcoins. Starbucks quickly solved the problem saying that it was the internet provider, who “hacked” café’s WIFI, and not the franchise owner.

Many website owners explain this with high server maintenance costs, or the desire to disable website ads in exchange for allowing them to mine cryptocurrency on your laptop while browsing their website. What do you think about such practices? If you have ever entered a simple website and your computer has started to reach high temperatures and the CPU fan has been running at full speed, you may have unconsciously been mining cryptocurrencies.




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Szymon Muzia

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3 thoughts on “You are unconsciously mining Bitcoin!

  1. Avatar Viktor Paulsson says:

    This indeed sounds very weird. I don’t really understand the mining process and how it works, however I don’t want anyone else to make profits on my computers behalf. Is it legal? Not very surprised that The Pirate Bay uses it..

    Nevertheless, shouldn’t firewalls and anti-virus systems be able to prevent this from happen? Especially since it feels like a break-in to ones computer. This blog-post kind of gives me more questions than answers. Will definitely have to read a bit more about this to gain a more comprehensive picture of the issue.

  2. Avatar Remigiusz Charlet says:

    I have already heard about mining, but I would never expect that some websites could use our machines to do so. The bitcoin is definitely going too far.
    But if it is on laptop, maybe they can also use our Smart TV, smartphone or tablet to do it. Moreover, another problem is growing with the mining process, the need of energy that have increased a lot due to those very hard processes.

  3. Avatar Szymon Muzia says:

    Viktor, you are right. A decent anti-virus software should prevent such practice, unfortunately not everyone uses it.

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