A controversial new practice among torrent sites — implementing cryptocurrency miners that use visitors’ computing power — has emerged. However, it seems they are now starting to see pushback from providers like Cloudflare.
Cloudflare Terminates Site for Using Miner
An internet domain provider is taking a stance against the practice, just weeks after The Pirate Bay became the first to trial cryptocurrency miners as an alternative revenue stream.
Cloudflare has, according to Torrentfreak, banned at least one torrent proxy site for using a cryptocurrency miner.
ProxyBunker.online, the terminated domain, told Torrentfreak earlier today that it had been kicked off Cloudflare’s service for using a Coin Hive miner.
ProxyBunker is a portal to other torrent sites such as The Pirate Bay, RARBG, KickassTorrents, Torrentz2, and others.
It began trialing the Coin Hive miner on September 24th, which lasted four days, and officially launched on October 1st — lasting until the ProxyBunker domain was suddenly deleted.
Torrent Sites Creating a New Revenue Source With Crypto
Cloudflare’s trust and safety team contacted the site, notifying that their account had been suspended for violating its terms of service.
After ProxyBunker’s operator reached out for further clarification, Cloudflare made it clear that the suspension was the result of them using a crypto miner.
Eventually, they were able to get Cloudflare to lift the suspension, but were told that if they were caught using a miner again they would be permanently blocked.
ProxyBunker was not the first torrent site to deploy a Coin Hive miner — Pirate Bay became the first to do it in mid-September 2017 with others following suit later.
The initial news was surrounded in controversy — as people on the site began noticing their CPU usage rose significantly when on Pirate Bay.
Once it was discovered what the operators had done, user outrage ensued — playing out on the site’s official forums.
Moderators on the forums even seem agitated at hearing the news, seemingly surprised that site administrators had implemented the tool without notifying users.
Pirate Bay, at the time, it said was testing the miner for 24 hours as a possible replacement for traditional banner ads.
What do you think of Cloudflare’s reaction here? Let us know in the comments.
Images via Cloudflare and Torrentfreak