Taking control of one’s browser to mine cryptocurrency has a somewhat of a negative connotation, but UNICEF Australia is seemingly doing it for good.
The charity has launched something called The HopePage, which allows people to make a donation by keeping the webpage open and using your computer’s CPU to mine those digital dollars. It taps into an application by Coinhive, which mines Monero.
Each time you visit the page, you’ll have to confirm and select how much processing power (between 20 to 80 percent) you want to give over.
“We wanted to leverage new emerging technologies to raise awareness about current humanitarian crises and raise funds to support children caught up in them,” Jennifer Tierney, UNICEF Australia’s Director of Fundraising and Communications, said in a statement.
“The HopePage allows Australians to provide help and hope to vulnerable children by simply opening the page while they are online.”
Mining cryptocurrency for legitimate causes isn’t a new thing. In February, UNICEF asked gamers to install mining software Claymore to help support children affected by the Syrian Civil War.
Commercially, online media outlet Salon tested in-browser mining, also using Coinhive, but as a way of creating revenue outside of ads.
That effort came with a bunch of downsides, with critics decrying the effort as wasteful. Mining cryptocurrency is a power intensive exercise, and making your computer’s CPU work harder wears out your system. Of course, you can decide how much computing power The HopePage uses.
“If you’re ever worried about power consumption, turn down the amount of processing power you’re donating,” explains the site’s instructions.
If it’s all too much of a worry, maybe you’re better off donating cold hard cash instead.
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