​Opera just added a Bitcoin-mining blocker to its browser

Finally, a browser is doing something to protect users from drive-by crypto-miners.




NoCoin blocks in-browser cryptominers Image: Liam Tung/ZDNet





Norwegian browser maker Opera has launched the beta version of Opera 50, the first popular browser to integrate a built-in cryptocurrency-mining blocker.

The feature offers a new defense against the rise of cryptojacking or browser-based cryptocurrency miners that use a site visitor’s CPU without gaining the owner’s consent.

Crooks are increasingly hiding JavaScript miners on compromised websites and some have taken to deploying sneaky pop-under windows to continue using a CPU even after the victim has left the site, while groups using fake tech support scams have started integrating JavaScript miners into their bogus security-warning browser lockscreens.

“Your CPU suddenly working at 100 percent capacity, the fan is going crazy for seemingly no reason, and your battery quickly depleting might all be signs that someone is using your computer to mine for cryptocurrency,” said Opera.

Opera’s cryptocurrency mining protection is part of Opera’s built-in ad blocker. The company has tried to differentiate itself with a range of novel features, such as the ad-blocker and a built-in VPN.

To enable the mining protection, users need to go to Settings or Preferences. The NoCoin (Cryptocurrency) setting can be found in Recommended lists of ad filters in the Block ads page.

“With NoCoin turned on, pages embedded with cryptocurrency mining scripts will be blocked in a similar way our mechanism blocks ads,” said Opera desktop QA Kornelia Mielczarczyk.

In the beta at least, the NoCoin option is enabled by default. The feature works by blocking cryptocurrency mining scripts.