Google is dealing with some negative PR as media outlets around the web report cryptocurrency mining ads that utilize users’ computing power without permission to mine Monero through normal looking advertisements.
It’s not easy for the average user to tell whether the cryptocurrency mining ads are actually running on their PC, but the extra computing power necessitated by this involuntary form of mining will lead to computers suddenly slowing down or spikes in CPU and GPU usage.
This controversy is just the latest in several months of advertising disasters for YouTube. With a desire to appeal to more mainstream advertisers, YouTube has been demonetizing videos of YouTubers it deems non-family-friendly – seemingly without rhyme or reason. This has drawn a lot of ire from the content creators, and advertisers still don’t seem happy with the way their ads are being placed. With a recent video from rising YouTube star showing a hanging suicide victim still monetized while seemingly harmless videos on LGBT issues having their ads removed, many feel that YouTube’s automated system for determining ad placement is seriously flawed.
The fact that nefarious advertisers are resorting to putting up cryptocurrency mining ads reinforces the idea that the virtual currency scene continues to thrive. Despite recent downturns at the beginning of the year after record highs in December, the majority of currencies are still ahead of where they were a year ago and will likely continue to grow.
Cryptocurrency mining is the primary way in which new currency is added to the market, and it takes a serious amount of computing power in order to mine each coin. NVIDIA and AMD are facing product shortages as cryptocurrency miners snatch up all the high-end GPUs, leaving gamers who would normally be the customers without access to their favorite cards.
Until we get a statement from YouTube saying what exactly they’re doing in order to address these issues, keep an eye on your computer’s speed and capabilities. If you’re noticing an unusually slow operation, consider downloading an antivirus program to see whether you’re being affected by these secret cryptocurrency mining ads.