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Truth in Web Mining: Measuring the Profitability and Cost of Cryptominers as a Web Monetization Model

by   Panagiotis Papadopoulos, et al.
Foundation for Research & Technology-Hellas (FORTH)

The recent advances of web-based cryptomining libraries along with the whopping market value of cryptocoins have convinced an increasing number of publishers to switch to web mining as a source of monetization for their websites. The conditions could not be better nowadays: the inevitable arms race between adblockers and advertisers is at its peak with publishers caught in the crossfire. But, can cryptomining be the next primary monetization model in the post advertising era of free Internet? In this paper, we respond to this exact question. In particular, we compare the profitability of cryptomining and advertising to assess the most advantageous option for a content provider. In addition, we measure the costs imposed to the user in each case with regards to power consumption, resources utilization, network traffic, device temperature and user experience. Our results show that cryptomining can surpass the profitability of advertising under specific circumstances, however users need to sustain a significant cost on their devices.


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