Charity Mining to Mainstream. Is It Really Efficient?

July 23, 2018

While adopting methods of global charity organizations the leading online petition platform Change.org has launched its own initiative on crypto mining for charity.

According to the press release, “The Mining Screensaver” can change the world enabling computational capacities around the globe. Anyone who wishes to contribute to the initiative can start mining by downloading and installing a screensaver. All the mined Moneros will be instantly and fully transferred to Change.org Foundation.

Let us trust Change.org on bare word. Those who want to donate for the good may not have some spare funds for it. So simple screensaver like this may resolve the problem.

But can a mining botnet actually generate funds sufficiently enough for significant changes? The charity screensaver was claimed to make $100,000 for a month-long donations if 10,000 user start its for 12 hours a day.

Recently The Pirate Bay (TPB) got under the blow as it launched crypto mining on its website.  TorrentFreak analyzed the data of Coinhive, the browser used by TPB, and found out that if Coinhive generates 0,00015 XMR each million of hashes (with average laptop capacity being around 30 H/s), TPB is likely to generate about 130 XMR a month.

Today this equals to about $18,000. This proves the statements by Change.org at first glance, but TPB has over 300 million visits a month. Of course, the time spent on the site which is the key profitability factor is much less than the 12 hours expected by Change.org.

Change.org did not confirm their screensaver uses Coinhive but UNICEF’s mining application uses it. This is not a screensaver but just a web page you leave open for charity, for instance, to help refugee children. Currently, it involves over $19,000 users which is just twice more that the Change.org customer base.

Although Change.org and UNICEF employ these means for good, other websites used mining solutions with more selfish intentions. Thus, both Salon and CBS Showtime were caught using hidden mining partially to replace other revenue sources like ads.

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