What a clever idea, and one that could offer an alternative revenue model for online publications.
At the moment, it's likely that public perception would lump this experiment together with increasingly prevalent 'drive-by currency mining' (i.e. where websites and apps covertly run resource-draining code on other people's devices).
However, I can see this maturing over time, perhaps using a trusted third party to conduct the mining, in order to reassure individuals their laptop or PC will not be infected or otherwise compromised. There's the seed of a good idea here, and hopefully it won't shrivel and die due to security concerns.
Anyone out there interested in setting up a company to be the trusted intermediary? I hear ICOs are a hot way to fund speculative ideas these days. All the kids are doing it.
Salon.com has a new, cryptocurrency-driven strategy for making money when readers block ads. If you want to read Salon without seeing ads, you can do so—as long as you let the website use your spare computing power to mine some coins. If you visit Salon with an ad blocker enabled, you might see a pop-up that asks you to disable the ad blocker or "Block ads by allowing Salon to use your unused computing power."