We tested 3 mining plugins. Here’s what we’ve learnt

Over here we recently reviewed 3 WordPress Mining plugins, namely
Simple Monero miner, SpareChange and Coin Auth. Firstly let me clarify – these plugins enable you to mine Cryptocurrency in your user’s browser in one form or another.

This is what we learnt:

  • The Crypto space for WordPress is still relatively new.
  • Of all the plugins we tested so far, no one has yet made a comprehensive drop-in solution for mining. Simple Monero Miner comes closest to a drop-in solution.
  • Most of these plugins are pretty barebones and have less than 10,000 active downloads inside WordPress.org.
  • All these plugins mine Monero(XMR) Cryptocurrency. This is because XMR uses the Cryptonight algorithm which is well suited towards consumer grade hardware.
  • Over the past one year, the price of a single XMR coin has increased from $23 to $234.
  • All these plugins piggyback off 3rd party mining services such as SpareChange and CoinHive.
  • These 3rd party services are fairly well established and have a statistics panel as well as a concise API available.
  • These plugins work by importing js scripts from these services which do the actual mining.
  • You’ll need to provide a disclaimer to users stating that their browser will be mining Cryptocurrency, similar to how cookie acceptance banners are designed.

From this we can conclude that plugin authors need to take a stab at creating quality miner plugins.

However the bigger question is – can XMR mining be a useful alternate to ad revenue?

Currently that is really hard unless you’ve got a large userbase to generate enough pageviews which can possibly generate greater than three digit figures per month. Coin Auth knows this and takes a different approach – it makes users mine a fixed set of XMR before they can login to WordPress. This can potentially penalize scripts from trying to get access to your website.

Cryptocompare is a handy utility for checking mining expenses. For this test I’ve set power consumption to 0 and I’m taking 37/hr as the base hash rate. Say, you get about 1000 sessions per day that gives us (37*1000) = 37000. Putting that value inside cryptocompare gives us a tidy sum of $56 per day. Of course mining fee will be cut from this as well as any 3rd party fees. Still, this is pretty good but there are currently two major problems with this:

  • Adblockers are now actively stopping mining scripts from running.
  • XMR’s value is still unstable just like other Cryptocurrencies.

The silver lining here is that XMR’s value is going up and it could very well be possible in the future that mining could be a very suitable alternate to ad revenue. This is only something time will tell.