The Pirate Bay is the king of the piracy world.
So it is quite logical that when The Pirate Bay decided to use cryptocurrency miners on its website, others followed suit.
The latest in the long line of services that have followed in The Pirate Bay’s footsteps is Alluc.
Alluc is a streaming link search engine and quite a popular one at that.
So it makes sense that it would want to generate some much-needed extra revenue via its visitors by using a cryptocurrency miner.
All of this raises an important question:
Will pirate sites increase their reliance on cryptocurrency miners in the future as well?
The Pirate Bay And Its New Cryptocurrency Miner
Of course, The Pirate Bay didn’t always use a cryptocurrency miner on its piracy site.
Media reports spotted the cryptocurrency miner on The Pirate Bay just last week.
The Pirate Bay has this habit of surprising everyone in the community every now and then.
And it did the same with by introducing a cryptocurrency miner on its website.
The only problem with that though is that the community hasn’t really responded in a consistent manner to the new “feature”.
What Does The CryptoCurrency Miner Do?
The miner basically makes use of the visitors CPU power.
Then it generates Monero coins for The Pirate Bay. and any other site which also uses cryptocurrency miner.
And any other site which also uses cryptocurrency miner.
This process basically earns an extra amount of money for the website the visitor is visiting.
The obvious problem with this setup is that whenever a visitor would log to The Pirate Bay, his/her CPU usage would skyrocket.
Of course, that isn’t ideal even if the website is providing you with free premium content that is probably worth thousands of dollars in actual amount.
But The Pirate Bay made a mistake in implementing the cryptocurrency miner on its site.
Because of a configuration error, the cryptocurrency miner on The Pirate Bay maxed out the CPU usage of the visitors to the site.
Later though, the staff working at The Pirate Bay rectified the fault. and adjusted the cryptocurrency miner to demand less from visitors to the site.
And adjusted the cryptocurrency miner to demand less from visitors to the site.
Even with the reduced CPU usage, the community did not hesitate to discuss the issue on various forums.
So how did those discussions go?
Well, to say the least, these discussions gave us some valid points to discuss since the community came up with a varying array of opinions with no consensus.
The Pirate Bay Cryptocurrency Miner And The Critics.
Some users in the community actually criticized The Pirate Bay for hijacking their visitor’s computer resources in order to gain personal profit.
Moreover, these critics said, The Pirate Bay made no arrangements to inform the user with a prior warning.
On the other side of the debate, some in the community said that they felt happy to give a little back to The Pirate Bay.
And perhaps that makes sense since the extra revenue really does help The Pirate Bay stay afloat with increasing server costs and whatnot.
In other words, according to some sections of the community, the cryptocurrency miner helps The Pirate Bay stay online.
The Community Did Agree On One Point Though
We have already mentioned that The Pirate Bay made a mistake in properly implementing the site’s cryptocurrency miner.
They did so via a configuration error.
But apart from that, The Pirate Bay made another mistake which the whole of the community agreed on.
The Pirate Bay did eventually inform all users that the site would make use of a cryptocurrency miner from now on but according to the community, the announcement came after the fact where it should have come beforehand.
After everything’s said and done, these are still only sensitivities.
Of course, that didn’t stop other similar sites from adopting The Pirate Bay approach to generating more revenue.
Actually, The Pirate Bay may have inspired other piracy sites to follow its lead into using cryptocurrency miners to generate more revenue too.
As alluded to in the beginning of this post, just like The Pirate Bay, Alluc.ee also implemented a cryptocurrency miner on its site.
Alluc.ee, a streaming link site, is a very popular destination among the pirates and the general piracy community.
And sure enough, Alluc.ee is now one of the first piracy sites after The Pirate Bay to make use of methods such as cryptocurrency miners to generate more revenue at the expense of their visitor’s CPU resources.
We just told you that Alluc has also implemented a cryptocurrency miner on its website.
But that’s where the similarities with The Pirate Bay end.
In other words, it is true that Alluc.ee uses the same mining service as The Pirate Bay.
But more importantly, the site’s implementation of the cryptocurrency miner is slightly more elegant when compared to The Pirate Bay.
Alluc actually displays how many hashes the site has managed to mine.
Moreover, it allows users to decrease or increase the CPU resources that the site’s cryptocurrency miner can eat up.
And that’s not all.
Alluc.ee also allows users to completely turn off the cryptocurrency miner.
In a conversation with TorrentFreak, Alluc representatives said that using a cryptocurrency miner helped the site get rid of ads for users who allowed the miner to consume some of their CPU resources.
The Alluc representative also TorrentFreak that Alluc disabled the ads on the site once the user had reached the mark of 600k on the cryptocurrency miner counter.
Moreover, the Alluc representative said, the site operators did not have a problem with the deal because just like regular users they also hated ads.
Alluc’s current cryptocurrency miner implementation allow visitors to start browsing without any ads on the site on a permanent basis after the cryptocurrency miner has generated a certain amount of hashes via the visitor’s CPU resources.
The Alluc representative also said that showing a great deal of transparency has helped the site.
In other words, Alluc clearly states that users have the facility to opt-out of the cryptocurrency miner program.
But if the users allowed the cryptocurrency miner to run then they have a chance of earning some rewards in the form of no ads.
Alluc representatives also told TorrentFreak that such an arrangement had the potential of producing great widgets for users along with webmasters.
But There Is Still A Little Controversy.
And we’re going to put that on a side for a minute or two.
There is no doubt about the fact that idea of allowing online visitors to min coins via a cryptocurrency miner is an ingenious one.
That is also the reason why the likes of The Pirate Bay wanted to test out the feature.
In fact, The Pirate Bay recently said that the site wanted to test the feature before it could use it as a replacement for all those annoying advertisements.
And since more and more online users have started to use ad-blockers, perhaps piracy sites needed this feature to secure their future.
Let’s not ignore the fact that some popular web browsers such as Opera come pre-installed with an ad-blocker.
Google Chrome too is likely to introduce a built-in ad-blocker for users to use and block ads.
In such a future, features such as cryptocurrency miners could potentially help piracy sites say online rather than go down because of financial issues.
Piracy Sites Aren’t Rich
That is true.
In fact, in recent years we have seen many pirate sites struggling to make anything close to a decent income.
And add to that the fact that more and more people are using ad-blockers in today’s online world.
Additionally, the quality of these ads on piracy sites is rapidly dropping since copyright holder groups actively hunt down piracy sites and their advertisement sponsors.
All of this is starting to lead to a future where piracy sites may not have a stable income to stay alive.
As mentioned before, Google Chrome has some concrete plans to introduce a default ad-blocker to its very popular web browser.
So it really doesn’t take a genius to notice piracy sites heading into a grim future.
But only if piracy sites don’t come up with newer ways of generating revenue.
And perhaps a cryptocurrency miner may help these piracy sites stay alive well into the future.
CryptoCurrency Miner To The Rescue
But no one can doubt the potential that cryptocurrency miners could have.
In theory, they could alleviate at least some of the problems that piracy sites face because of low revenues.
Of course, ad-block developers would want to introduce features which would block such revenue sources as well.
Moreover, such features would also counter some of the major anti-piracy discussions points.
Discussion points such as industry groups who use the argument of public safety as the greatest reason to hunt down piracy sites all over the globe.
These industry groups, mostly copyright holder groups, say point out malicious advertisements as the number one reason why piracy sites are actually dangerous.
Of course, copyright holder groups don’t really care about the end user.
No one does.
All they want is to strengthen their calls of a future with tougher laws and enforcement of those laws.
Can Cryptocurrency Miner like features Really Help Piracy Sites?
But piracy sites will have to make sure they implement it more fairly and make other important changes.
What other important changes?
Important changes like ditching advertisements when cryptocurrency miner features are generating revenue for them.
The final decision is with The Pirate Bay and other piracy sites like The Pirate Bay.
If they don’t get rid of the ads even with cryptocurrency miner features then that will cause problems.
First, users would not appreciate the fact that sites like The Pirate Bay are still showing them ads.
Second, piracy sites would still have a susceptibility to copyright holder groups and other anti-piracy measures.
Copyright holder groups aren’t dumb either.
We are sure of the fact that they would have started their discussions on how to go after these cryptocurrency miner features as well.
They will have to work hard though because stopping websites from generating revenue from cryptocurrency miner features isn’t an easy task.
In the conversation, it told TorrentFreak that the company didn’t like to jump into action without a legitimate court order.
A Coinhive representative told TorrentFreak that the company did not track where their users came from.
The representative also told TorrentFreak that they just provided servers to their clients.
Along with the servers, they also provided a script in order to submit hashes for the popular Monero blockchain.
Moreover, the company did not see as its responsibility to analyze if their client website passed the validity test.
The main reason for that is the company simply did not have the technical capability to carry out such a task.
This is what the Coinhive representative told TorrentFreak.
If we believe everything Coinhive told TorrentFreak then perhaps cryptocurrency miner features are here to stay.
Of course, all of this does not mean that every piracy site operator would want to implement such a feature.
TorrentFreak contacted multiple piracy site owners for a comment on cryptocurrency miner features.
And they found out that the community had mixed feelings about such features.
Some of the operators liked the new idea because it generated extra revenue.
Others said that they would add a cryptocurrency miner feature if it didn’t affect their visitors too much.
But some showed more skepticism regarding the cryptocurrency miner feature.
These piracy site operators did not believe that the extra revenue would benefit them a great deal.
And hence they wouldn’t like to eat up their visitors’ CPU resources to make money.
The Pirate Bay, Moving Forward
The Pirate Bay is set to keep its cryptocurrency miner at the moment.
We have just received news that The Pirate Bay has actually completed its online test run for its cryptocurrency miner feature.
And that means, The Pirate Bay has removed the cryptocurrency miner from its piracy site.
All that is left for them to do now is to analyze the results.
That makes sense too.
Because only after analyzing the results can they decide whether they should keep considering cryptocurrency miner features as the site’s future.
We have yet to deal with questions such as how much money can piracy sites expect to make with cryptocurrency miner features.
RIght now there aren’t many samples out there in the wild.
The only piracy site big enough to give some feedback is The Pirate Bay.
And it hasn’t implemented the cryptocurrency miner feature long enough to have concrete results.
Till then we will have to assume that more piracy sites would want to keep the new feature rather than abandon it.