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What is browser-based cryptocurrency mining, and how does it work?

Once assumed to be extinct until its unlikely return in the latter part of 2017, browser-based cryptocurrency mining dates back to 2011 when BitcoinPlus.com launched its then-innovative service.

Of course, back when Bitcoin was fairly new and mining was cheap, the idea of using a website to do the work for miners was quite popular. Thanks to a surge in the cryptocurrency market circa 2017, browser-based cryptocurrency mining has made a resurgence in certain circles today.

The technology’s evolution is also due in part to the advent of blockchain-based coins that are mineable with easy-to-use JavaScript application programming interfaces (APIs) and home hardware. However, the accessibility has also ushered in a slew of malicious browser-based mining services into the fold.

The foundation of cryptocurrencies, built on blockchain technology, is to safeguard financial transactions by embedding them in a public and immutable chain of blocks. To advance and maintain the system, new blocks must continually be attached to store all pending transactions, commonly known as mining.

Miners compete in solving a cryptographic puzzle, referred to as proof-of-work (PoW). The difficulty of this PoW adjusts continually to create new blocks at a consistent rate. This ensures that the process remains predictable and secure by ensuring tamper resistance. As more miners join in on the hunt to find blocks, the complexity increases, and the steady block creation stays intact.

What is browser-based cryptocurrency mining?

Browser-based mining is a method of cryptocurrency mining that happens inside a browser and uses scripting language. This method differs from the more commonly known file-based cryptocurrency mining approach, which requires downloading and running a dedicated executable file.

During the inception of browser-based mining in 2011, mining cryptocurrency was cheap and relatively easy. It used JavaScript code for pooled mining, and users could sign up and embed scripts in their websites to provide a way for page visitors to mine for them. Browser-based cryptocurrency miners…

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