Coinhive, a well-known Monero mining service, is about to shut down due to declining profits. Coinhive’s distinctive feature was the fact that it could be embedded in a web page, where it would quietly run in the background. This versatility made Coinhive both popular and notorious—raising the question of whether the project will be missed.
A Divisive Miner
Although Coinhive was controversial, it had legitimate applications. UNICEF, for example, used the software for fundraising purposes. Coinhive basically worked by having web surfers mine cryptocurrency during their visit to a website that used the plugin; the mining profits would then be sent to the site owner. Compared to advertising, Coinhive provided an unintrusive source of revenue—assuming that the software was used within reason.
Unfortunately, bad actors also…