Quartz’s new business model: Putting our readers to work mining bitcoins

Together, we can do this.
Together, we can do this.
Image: Reuters/Tim Wimborne
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Publishing is a tough business, and we’re always looking for new ways to help-quality journalism thrive on the internet. That’s why we’re excited to unveil Quartz’s new bitcoin-based business model, using our readers’ computers to help mine the digital currency. Just click the new button at the top of the site to start mining bitcoin for us.

Call it a cryptopaywall. Instead of paying us to read Quartz, you can donate some of your computing power, instead. If you clicked the button to start mining, your PC or mobile device has joined forces with other Quartz readers in racing to claim a new batch of 25 bitcoins, worth about $11,452, that’s generated every 10 minutes. You don’t have to do anything else. Just keep reading while your computer goes to work for us.

We think bitcoin mining is a better model for the future of news than advertising or subscriptions. Instead of obsessing over pageviews, we’ll measure the hash rate of each article. And rather than lock our journalism behind a paywall, we’ll unlock its revenue potential with cryptography.

The more readers who join our mining pool, the more likely we are to make some money (or whatever you want to call it). To understand the technical details, read our award-winning piece, “By reading this article, you’re mining bitcoins.” That experiment generated one whole satoshi, or 0.00000001 bitcoin, which encouraged us to stake Quartz’s entire business on a cryptocurrency mining scheme.

This is only partially an April Fools’ Day joke. No, we don’t expect to make any significant money this way. (If we do, we’ll donate it to charity.) But you really are mining bitcoin, and we do kind of think it’s a cool idea. Maybe someday.