Over the past few months, websites have begun to capitalize on the increasing value of cryptocurrency in not-so-great ways. Numerous websites have started to include scripts that use your device's processing power to mine cryptocurrencies. While the scripts usually aren't as noticeable on desktop computers, they can slow smartphones down to a crawl and drain the battery.

Opera today announced that it is adding crypto-jacking protection to Opera Mini and Mobile for Android, as part of the browsers' ad-blocking feature. Put simply, it will block known crypto scripts from starting, keeping your phone fast and responsive. The company added the feature to its desktop browser earlier this month.

You can download Opera Mini and Mobile from the widgets below. The crypto-jacking protection might still be rolling out, and Opera has made a handy webpage to check if it's working.

Opera Mini - fast web browser
Opera Mini - fast web browser
Developer: Opera
Price: Free

Opera browser - news & search
Opera browser - news & search
Developer: Opera
Price: Free

Press Release

OSLO, Norway - January 18, 2018 - Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, have become a hot topic and, with their surge in value, so has the mining for new coins, known as cryptocurrency mining. While some use their own data centers, many web developers are increasingly using people’s computers and smartphones for this - often without their consent. The phenomenon is estimated to be affecting more than a billion people worldwide, causing their devices to run warm, become slower and eat up their batteries.

Opera recently became the first major browser to add protection against cryptocurrency mining scripts to its desktop products. Today, Opera launches the feature in all its mobile browsers, protecting hundreds of millions of smartphone browser users.

“When you browse the web, there are no visual clues that your device is exposed to mining,” says Jan Standal, VP Product Marketing at Opera “A single webpage you visit can take up to 4.5 hours of your battery time, if you keep the tab open. This often turns out to be just the battery time you needed to use a ride-hailing app or check the map to get home”.

According to some reports, there are currently more than 3 million websites exposed to cryptojacking, so the need for extra protection is bigger than ever. By blocking mining scripts, Opera ensures that its users’ smartphones continue to run smoothly and that they have enough battery life for the things they really want or need to be doing.

How does it work?

The new anti-cryptocurrency mining feature is activated by default when activating the ad blocker on Opera Mini and Opera for Android. The ad blocker can be enable in “Settings”, and it will automatically detect and stop the mining scripts written into the coding of a webpage.

Check whether your browser is affected by cryptocurrency mining

To make it easier for you to tell whether your browser is affected by unwanted crypto mining, we have created a website which safely checks just that. Simply go to www.cryptojackingtest.com on your mobile or desktop browser to see if your device is impacted by mining.

Testing and results

After several tests of the Opera browsers for smartphones performed on Samsung Galaxy S8 and HTC One, developers at Opera determined that scripts mining for cryptocurrencies can increase the smartphones’ CPU usage up to 100 percent. This can cause increased battery draining and make the phone overheat.

After testing Opera Mini and after activating the ad blocker on Opera for Android, we found that some phones were able to recover 100% of their CPU usage.

Where to download?

Opera Mini and Opera For Android are available for download on Google Play.

About Opera

Since its founding in 1996, Opera has been a pioneer in shaping the future of the internet. Providing faster and more innovative web browsers, Opera is the everyday browser of choice for more than 350 million people worldwide.

Opera Software AS is a privately held company and is headquartered in Oslo, Norway. Follow our news at http://blogs.opera.com/news/

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