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article imageOpera gets built-in cryptocurrency mining blocker in version 50

By James Walker     Jan 4, 2018 in Technology
Opera has launched the fiftieth version of its web browser, described as a "milestone " edition with several innovative new features. The headline addition is a built-in cryptocurrency blocker that prevents websites using your CPU to generate coins.
Crypto blocker
The increased value of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin has resulted in a new web trend over the past year. Some shadier websites and malware authors are crafting cryptocurrency mining scripts that can be injected into websites. When you visit a page that's using one of the scripts, your device's processor is put to work mining coins for the page owner or malware author.
Opera 50
Opera 50
Opera
This can cause dramatic slowdowns while you're browsing the site. Working the processor hard also depletes your device's battery, without giving you a portion of the reward. With growing numbers of sites using the technique, Opera's added a tool to version 50 to stop miners "trespassing" on your device.
Opera estimated that up to 500 million people worldwide may have visited a webpage that contains a mining script. You can now turn on Opera's "NoCoin" tool to identify and block mining activity on your device. The feature follows Opera's built-in ad blocker utility and works in tandem with the older function. You can choose whether to use ad-blocking, NoCoin or both together.
Smoother browsing
In addition to NoCoin, Opera 50 comes with a raft of other features that streamline the browsing experience. Opera's added support for Chromecast streaming, updated its VR video player and improved its built-in webpage unit converter. It's also updated the in-browser currency converter to include the cryptocurrencies Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash.
Opera 50
Opera 50
Opera
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In the browser's core, several tweaks have been made to improve overall performance and reliability. There's enhanced protection against crashes and refinements to video playback on macOS devices. According to Opera benchmarks, videos now have a 25% lower impact on the processor and consume 24% less battery power when played within the browser.
The release of Opera 50 is a landmark moment for the web browser. Now over 22 years old, Opera has lost market share to newer rivals including Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. However, the company still retains a strong following in part due to its inclusion of features only available as extensions in rival browsers. Opera was the fifth largest web browser last year.
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