The habit of looking at cryptocurrency as a means of funding various social causes is increasing steadily. The latest to join the list is UNICEF Australia. The organization has turned towards in-browser digital currency mining. That is because it is looking for alternative means of funding its causes. Funds crunch is one of the biggest issues that haunt most of the social organizations. Most recently, there was news about the cryptocurrency launch to preserve oceans.
UNICEF Australia has launched the HopePage for its charity. This will enable Australian citizens to offer help, as well as, support vulnerable children. This could be done by just opening the page and when they are online. However, this is nothing new to browser-powered digital currency mining since its origin dated back to the year of 2011 at the least. AuthedMine has powered the page’s source code. It is an opt-in type of Coinhive API that is normally used for MoneroCryptocurrency mining within a browser. Though Coinhive has been around since September 2017, its service was blocked by advertising and anti-malware tools.
The primary reasons behind it were that the original type of the API could be stitched secretly into hacked websites during an attack that will come to the knowledge as crypto jacking. Security journalist, Brian Krebs, has reportedly commented, “Much like a malware infection by a malicious bot or Trojan, Coinhive’s code frequently locks up a user’s browser and drains the device’s battery as it continues to mine Monero for as long a visitor is browsing the site.”
According to itnews.com, AuthedMine is a new type of the API that was unveiled with a purpose of openly asking users to opt using the software of Coinhive. Incidentally, this is the type of API that the Australia-based charity is using. Malwarebytes researchers indicated a few months ago that the objective behind it was that owners of the website could use this ‘ethical’ API. That will enable visitors either knowing opt-in or opt-out before involving themselves in any digital currency mining. Coinhive used this argument to defend itself against antivirus products, as well as, ad blockers.
However, Australia UNICEF has advised its users that if they have to participate, then they might have to disable ad blocker. Tony Andres Tang, the organization’s digital engagement and content manager in Australia, pointed out that some ad blockers resort to disabling the script. However, his advice to users, who wants to donate funds, was to disable the feature for its site.
Not An Unfamiliar One
The official also thinks that this is not an unfamiliar one to any news outlets or media that sought users to disable ad blockers so that their content could be viewed. Though he agreed that there is a threat of limiting some users, he pointed out that new audiences were captured, which would have otherwise been not possible. The organization’s page indicated about 1,500 users are donating compute power.
UNICEF’s Australia wing indicated that it is the users’ prerogative to select the amount of compute power that they are ready to donate for mining. As a result, it encourages them to keep the page open for an additional period.