I’m sure many of you have noticed the guild runs ads through Google Adsense. The revenue from these ads is small but has helped to provide for some of the costs of the guild. Those costs include funding the Challenge Coin initiative, charitable contributions, providing prizes for the annual guild Meet and Greet events and supplemental funding for web hosting and voice hosting when we’ve had to increase the available number of licenses.
Unfortunately the fact of the matter is even though we do have some ad revenue trickle in throughout the year it’s not much. Last year we brought in just shy of $100 and we’re at about $35.00 for the current fiscal year. The minimum threshold to cash out is $100. Last year’s funds went for the $100 in gift cards and other prizes that were given out at the guild 5 year anniversary event last summer.
In an effort to try to increase the revenue so we can continue with the same programs we’ve had as well as to hopefully expand to other programs we are looking for new methods to monetize the guild and the web site so we can better support such initiatives financially. To that end we are experimenting with the concept of using Crypto-mining through the guild web site.
Some legitimate enterprises are seeing this as a means to offer the same content they have been and either supplementing or eliminating the need for paid advertising to support their sites. This is the experiment we are going to be trying for a little while. Instead of “mining” Bitcoin we will be mining “Monero”, another type of crypto-currency that isn’t as prevalent in the news at this time.
In partnership with Coinhive we will be using an opt in service that will allow you to choose whether or not you allow us to use your computer to process the calculations necessary to unlock the currency. You will be prompted for permission for each 24 hour session. After the 24 hours the session token will expire and the web site will no longer use your computer without you granting permission again.
The Opt-in module we are using is also calibrated to not exceed 70% of free CPU usage, unlike some of the malicious sites that will use over 90% at times. The script in use is designed to use only unused CPU time and relinquish CPU cycles if other applications need them. While processing such computations through a web browser is not the most efficient way to mine cryptocurrency, it is akin to other distributed computing initiatives such as SETI@Home where the inefficiencies in the application are compensated for by the number of computers contributing.
We’ve setup an account for the Guild with MyMonero that will collect any crypto-coins that are mined. When we reach the minimum cash out amount we will convert the Monero to legal currency for use in guild functions.
We currently have 131 days of prepaid subscription for the guild web site. It is my hope that we will have sufficient adoption of this new program combined with the income from the Google Adsense that the guild web site will become self sufficient and we won’t need to open up the Group Pay function thus eliminating the need for direct contributions by guild members. Anything beyond the annual need for the upkeep of the guild web site will be pooled and used for the other programs we’d like to keep running and those we’d like to introduce.