So now I'm here to tell you the good news about how the combination of EME and the blockchain, today's sexiest technology, solves the most pressing issue for the Web, a sustainable business model. Innovators like the Pirate Bay and Showtime are already experimenting with it. They have yet to combine it with EME and gain the full benefit. Below the fold, I explain the details of this amazing new business opportunity. Be one of the first to effortlessly profit from the latest technology!
The Web has two traditional business models. As I wrote back in March, both are struggling:
The innovative third business model that sites are starting to use is to mine cryptocurrency in the reader's browser, using technology from Coinhive. TorrentFreak estimated that The Pirate Bay could make $12K/month in this way.
- Paywalled content. It turns out that, apart from movies and academic publishing, only a very few premium brands such as The Economist, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times have viable subscription business models based on (mostly) paywalled content. Even excellent journalism such as The Guardian is reduced to free access, advertising and voluntary donations. ...
- Advertising-supported content. The market for Web advertising is so competitive and fraud-ridden that Web sites have been forced into letting advertisers run ads that are so obnoxious and indeed riddled with malware, and to load up their sites with trackers, that many users have rebelled and use ad-blockers. ...
The problem with this approach is twofold. First, it annoys the readers by consuming CPU:
Needless to say, the reaction has not been good -- even from the Pirate Bay's own moderators. Over on Reddit, there are complaints about "100% CPU on all 8 threads while visiting TPB," and there are also threads on the PirateBay Forum.BleepingComputer tested a Chrome extension that used Coinhive and reported:
The impact on our test computer was felt immediately. Task Manager itself froze and entered a Not Responding state seconds after installing the extension. The computer became sluggish, and the SafeBrowse Chrome extension continued to mine Monero at all times when the Chrome browser was up and running.Second, it is easy for annoyed readers to see the cause of their problems:
It is no wonder that users reacted with vitriol on the extension's review section. A Reddit user is currently trying to convince other users to report SafeBrowse as malware to the Chrome Web Store admins
The code in question is tucked away in the site’s footer and uses a miner provided by Coinhive. This service offers site owners the option to convert the CPU power of users into Monero coins.Then it is easy for them to disable the cryptocurrency miner:
The miner does indeed appear to increase CPU usage quite a bit. It is throttled at different rates (we’ve seen both 0.6 and 0.8) but the increase in resources is immediately noticeable.
At least two ad blockers have added support for blocking Coinhive's JS library — AdBlock Plus and AdGuard — and developers have also put together Chrome extensions that terminate anything that looks like Coinhive's mining script — AntiMiner, No Coin, and minerBlock.So, is this new business model doomed to failure? No! This is where EME comes in. The whole goal of EME is to ensure that the reader and their browser neither know what encrypted content is doing, nor can do anything about it. All that is needed for robust profitability is for the site to use EME to encrypt the payload with the cryptocurrency miner. The reader and their browser may see their CPU cycles vanishing, but they can't know why nor be able to stop it. Is this brilliant, or what?