Our Results With CoinHive – A Brief Review
A few months ago, we started an experiment with CoinHive on both NicheSiteAzon and some of our niche sites.
It’s an interesting way of trying to monetize your site. In one way, it’s a bit like running ads on your site. You can keep your site free for visitors, but still monetize it.
In another way, it means your visitors do still end up paying, because their browsers are mining Monero for you, and therefore their electricity is being used.
Still, we wanted to experiment with it and see if it could be worth pursuing.
Note: We are aware it can be slightly unethical to use Coinhive, so we put an “opt-out” button on all of the sites that used it.
Second Note: This post was inspired partly by Perrin’s recent post over at AuthorityHacker. We’ve been using Coinhive since the summer, but after reading Perrin’s post, thought it might be good to add something to the debate.
To explore a bit more about how coinhive works, read his epic post.
For now, let’s talk about the sites we used and their results, as well as our motivation for the experiment.
It’s not actually specifically because we wanted to earn cryptocurrency. We have actually been actively buying it for a while and investing it into ICOs, but that’s not the main reason we picked Coinhive. It is how we first heard about it though.
What attracted us to coinhive in the first place was the fact that some of our niche sites weren’t earning as well as we’d like. There were a few that are nice earners, but there were also some with only 1,000 to 5,000 visits per month, and between them they earned a few hundred dollars p/m only.
So we figured, if we could add this monero script miner to the sites, and then have them all still earning their original incomes as well, it could be a nice extra.
So in total the sites we installed CoinHive on have a combined total of about 100,000 visitors per month. That’s not a small amount, and we hoped it could bring in a few hundred or thousand dollars per month.
Our logic was that we could keep earning from the sites the traditional way, and just add Monero as an extra passive revenue source.
Before we talk about how much money it actually did bring in, let’s talk a little a bit more about the downsides of having Coinhive installed on your site:
- It feels a little bit spammy, even if you have an opt-out option on your site
- It uses up your visitor’s resources, which might make them leave the site sooner
- Some virus checkers have started reporting viruses on sites with coinhive, which can’t be good for Google ranking and definitely not good for UX
So with that in mind, we had to ask ourselves, would it be worth having the above downsides? They’re pretty big downsides, but it could be worth it if the amount of Monero mined was big enough.
However, in all this time, despite getting a lot of visits, we’ve not even earned 1 Monero from our efforts:
With the minimum payout set to 0.5 monero, we are now stuck with a dilemma. Do we keep it going for another 18 months just to hit the 0.5 minimum, or do we cut our losses?
It’s cost us nothing but some bad user experience so far, so we will probably be removing Monero from the sites. Even if it triples in price (and it’s already more than tripled since we first started using coinhive), it’s still not worth the wait and definitely not worth ruining the UX on our sites.
It’s a shame though, because as we have enjoyed learning how to buy altcoins over the past few months, Monero has been one of the top ones we’ve had our eyes on.
So Is CoinHive Worth Using?
Regardless of whether you are interested in cryptocurrencies or not, the conclusion of this post is that we don’t recommend using Coinhive on your site.
Unless the payouts become much higher, or Monero becomes significantly more valuable, using other means for monetizing your sites is probably going to be more worthwhile.
That said, if you DO have a ton of visits to your site, it could be a good additional income. By a ton, we mean more than 1 million visits per month.
As per the Coinhive FAQ: You’d need that many visits to earn anything decent:
But who knows, maybe this time next year Monero will be worth thousands per coin and we’ll wish we had at least gained a fraction of one for free.