Why We’re Mining Cryptocurrency

The code we use to keep iTag Live onlinePhoto By unsplash-logoMarkus Spiske

Cryptocurrency Mining.

Those of you who frequent iTag Live may have noticed a change in the last few hours: Cryptocurrency Mining. When you first arrive on our site now, you will see a banner letting you know we are now mining cryptocurrency in the background of our site while you read our articles. This can sound strange or scary, so we wanted to take this opportunity to explain exactly what is happening, and alleviate any concerns you may have.

What is NOT happening?

To start, we are not installing anything on your computer. We are not accessing any kind of private information. We are not “hacking money out of you”. Cryptocurrency often gets a bad rap as a volatile currency that is used by criminals and wall street investors (I know, redundant). But cryptocurrency in itself is not “bad”, it is just another thing which holds value. We are not taking anything away from you when we mine cryptocurrency. Our miner is designed to run on a small enough scale that you won’t even notice it while reading an article. Our site will not get slower because of the miner, and it will not be any harder for you to read articles.

What actually IS happening?

The banner you are seeing when you arrive at our site gives you some idea of what is going on, “We mine cryptocurrency to help pay for our services”. Mining for cryptocurrency is a simple mathematical process (maybe “simple” is a stretch) that takes a very large amount of simple calculations and uses them to complete a much larger more complicated equation. When one of these larger equations is solved, a small amount of cryptocurrency is awarded to the miners that worked to solve it. When we mine in the background of our site, we are basically giving your browser some of these smaller mathematical problems to solve for us. Nothing is installed on your computer, and none of your information is accessed in any way. We simply ask your browser to solve some math problems and then we use the answers that it sends back to solve the larger equations we are trying to solve.

Why is this being done?

As most of you may realize, running a website comes with costs. We have to pay for the server that hosts our site, we have to pay for the domain that we use for our site, and maybe most importantly, we have to pay our writers every now and then so that they keep writing things. In the past we have leveraged ads on the page to try and earn the money needed to do all of these things, which has “worked” (but not really).

Ads have a number of problems associated with them. First, ads clutter up the pages, and make things harder to navigate. No one likes to see ads, which is why AdBlockers are so popular these days. This is our second problem, AdBlockers actually prevent us from getting paid for the ads they are removing. Lastly, not all ads are savory. We can’t guarantee that our ad server will always give us ads that we find to be fitting for our platform.

So we decided to go outside the box and start looking into new ways to help pay our bills without cluttering our site or bombarding you with ads (that you potentially block). One possible option was paywalls, but yeah, that’s not gonna work. So we thought to ourselves, what do all our readers have besides money (you rich hooligans), and the answer was simple: computers! That’s when we found cryptocurrency mining.

So what does this mean for me?

In the past, several companies have gotten in trouble for mining without the consent of their users. We always want to be upfront with you about what we are doing, even behind the scenes. Going forward you will continue to see a banner informing future readers about our process of mining to support our site. One major benefit for you as a reader is that we will begin phasing out ads on our site, and restructuring it to best highlight the content you come here for. We hope that as we make this transition you will find that for the most part, nothing will change for you at all.

 

As always, we hope you enjoy your time on iTag Live and look forward to filling your head with the most ludicrously untrue news articles for a long time to come. #fakeNewsForever