Backlink analysis specialist Ahrefs recently completed a study where they analyzed 175 million domains to determine which ones were mining cryptocurrency.
You’ve probably heard about some websites secretly mining cryptocurrency using the processing power of visitors’ computers. It’s true! A large number of websites will take advantage of each visitor’s processing power to make money by mining cryptocurrencies.
It’s not even necessarily a bad thing: some websites have implemented crypto mining scripts to replace advertisements, for example.
Our friends at Ahrefs decided to analyze which websites are mining cryptocurrencies. Ahrefs analyzed over 175 million domains and published the results of the study on April 3. That list of domains includes every single website in the Ahrefs database, including domains and subdomains.
Ahrefs used Wappalyzer to check for the presence of cryptocurrency mining scripts. Wappalyzer can detect the presence of 14 different mining scripts, including popular options like Coinhive, Crypto-Loot, JSECoin, ProjectPoi, and others.
What did Ahrefs find? Here are some of the things you need to know about the study:
- 23,872 unique domains out of 175,251,729 total websites were found to be running cryptocurrency mining scripts
- In other words, approximately 0.0136% of all websites are running cryptocurrency mining scripts, or 1 in 7353
- Coinhive is the most popular cryptocurrency mining script and it’s not even close; 93.82% of websites that run cryptocurrency mining scripts are running Coinhive
- The next most popular mining scripts were Coinhive Captcha, running on 2.28% of all mining websites, CoinHave, running on 1.29%, and Coinimp, running on 1.05%
- The vast majority of websites running cryptocurrency mining scripts receive virtually no monthly traffic; 91.06% of all websites running scripts received fewer than 50 hits from organic search traffic each month
- Only 0.27% of all websites running cryptocurrency mining scripts received more than 50,000 hits from organic search traffic each month
- Torrenting websites, free video websites, and similar “grey area” or illegal websites were particularly likely to have cryptocurrency mining scripts
- Of the top 100,000 domains in the Ahrefs database, just 220 were running cryptocurrency mining scripts; or, listed in another way, over 99% of domains running cryptocurrency mining scripts are outside of the top 100,000 by Ahrefs rank
How to Check if a Website is Mining Cryptocurrency Using Your Processing Power
It’s surprisingly easy to check which websites are running which scripts on your computer. The study linked above used a tool called Wappalyzer.
Wappalyzer is available for anyone to use online for free. Just type your domain here to get started: https://www.wappalyzer.com/
Ahrefs also published a list of the most popular websites running cryptocurrency mining scripts. As you might expect, you’ll find a lot of torrent websites, free video websites, and similar websites in the list. Popular websites running crypto mining scripts included:
- Torrentz-2.eu (3.4 million estimated visitors per month)
- Whatismyipaddress.com (3 million)
- Zamunda.net (2 million)
- Rutracker-net.ru (1.4 million)
The Ahrefs study has significantly more information about the type and number of websites currently running cryptocurrency mining scripts.
Sure, it might only affect a small number of websites. However, the number is clearly growing, and certain search niches lead to more cryptocurrency mining scripts than others. If you’re frequently searching for torrents or free videos online, for example, you’re going to be exposed to more cryptocurrency mining scripts than someone who visits Facebook and Twitter.
You can view the entire Ahrefs study here: https://ahrefs.com/blog/cryptomining-study/