Online advertisements are meant to be seen, and engaged with in order to convert. That was before. With cryptocurrency having a popularity increase, there is another way to make money from websites.
It's called 'cryptojacking', and more and more websites are monetizing their users' using this strategy.
Instead of showing advertisements to visitors, the websites take advantage of visitors' CPU power to solve mathematical problems, which are then used to create digital coins.
The strategy works behind the background, mostly without the users' knowledge or approval, and this is worrying.
There are already numerous browser extensions and add-ons that exist to block those miners. But although extensions are certainly better than nothing, Opera thinks that an official support is certainly a lot better.
Seeing the trend as an advantage, it releases Opera 50 which comes with built-in protections against cryptojacking.
Starting Opera 50, the web browser uses the 'No Coin' list, which is updated regularly as new Mining Scripts emerge.
To activate this feature, users are required to turn on the browser’s built-in adblocker in preferences.
If they still want to see some advertisements, but want to protect themselves from cryptojacking, they can simply tick on the 'No Coin' box.
Krystian Kolondra, head of Desktop Browser at Opera, said:
Opera introduces this feature when cryptojacking becomes a worrying trend.
A study from AdGuard found that 33,000 websites used crypto-coin mining scripts as a monetization tactic. AdGuard estimated these sites reach as many as one billion people each month, and it's only getting worse as the number of sites using cryptojacking is growing 31 percent month-on-month.