In-browser mining with JSECoin – Experiment and feedback

Monetization matters. Whatever you are YouTube or the proud admin of a small site, you need at least to get your hosting fees back. Chances are that you also want a little more. A beer, a new phone or a living.

On RealFaviconGenerator, I made a few experiments, with ads, donations… The last attempt to date is in-browser mining with JSECoin. I led an experiment for 16 days, where 10% of RealFaviconGenerator visitors were presented the possibility to mine JSECoin from their browser.


The message was quite bold… and wrong, since JSECoin actually displays an opt-in banner:

The goal of the wording was to not trigger kindness-biased feedback. Quite the contrary, if someone was not happy with in-browser mining, I wanted to hear him shout, not whisper.

By clicking the “Answer 2-3 questions” button, the user was presented a short survey:

The first question was about speed. Cryptocurrency mining is tied to processing power. The more power you engage, the more chances you have to mine the next block and get the miner reward. So in-browser mining carries the risk to slow down the visitors PC for the sake of performance. I wanted to know if the user experience was impacted.

82% of respondents said they didn’t notice anything. That leaves 18% of unhappy users, though.

What about the feeling of the visitors? They were presented 4 choices:

  • Fine with background in-browser mining, without any notification. In other words, you don’t know it takes place and you can’t opt-out. I’m personally not fine with this setting, but I wanted to know. Plus, again, this aggressive proposal was on purpose. 14% respondents choose this answer.
  • Opt-out. Mining starts automatically and you can easily choose to stop it if you want to. 45%.
  • Opt-in. You need to click a button in order to start mining. 26%.
  • Definitely don’t want in-browser mining. 15%. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get feedback about why people rejected the idea when opt-in sounds like a reasonable option. Maybe this is because of the wording, and if so this is good.

So far, the results are rather positive. Opt-in is my preferred setting and it appears that most people agree with this. The slowness observed by nearly 1/5 of visitors is not an issue anymore as soon as mining has been explicitly turned on, and can be as easily turned off.

Money $$$ 😉

Next question is: when will I retire to a heavenly island? 🙂

TL;DR : not any soon.

JSECoin is not your regular cryptocurrency. Finding a valid hash is quite easy. Self-mine in JSECoin and the “hash found” counter grows regularly. But unlike BitCoin and the other ones, finding a hash only grants you a ticket to a lottery. This lottery takes place every 30 seconds and awards 1 JSE to 50 winners. And because you can get a single ticket per round, there is no need to mine a lot. You only need to mine enough (enough to find a hash often, ideally one per 30 seconds).

Alright, how many JSE did I get? Around 3000. This is less than 200 JSE/day. This token is not yet listed on your regular crypto platform, so it’s hard to know how much it’s worth. But ICO price was 200 JSE for $1. As of today, this is not a great deal. As always with token, there is a special factor: speculation. What is worth $1 today may become $10, $100… or $0.

Maybe I’ll come back to JSE later. Right now, I’m testing ads again.