Bitcoin rival rewards you for recording history, not pointless number crunching


Although those that timed their Bitcoin mining right will have made a decent chunk of money, the benefit for the rest of us is a little less clear now the currency is established, and the same goes for all the copycat crypto-currencies.

However, one new currency is looking to actually use our collective computing power for more than just wealth creation.

Permacoin rewards miners for actually doing something useful: backing up important data to your hard drives. For instance, the national library or even the wayback machine could be distributed to the millions of computers around the world, providing a secure backup for if the main data source goes down.

The data would be encrypted and validated using a ‘proof of reliability’ check.

Permacoin is just a prototype for now but researchers think a 100 Petabyte data pool could be created is users spent the same on storage that they have on expensive mining rigs.

The researchers point out that a conservative estimate of Bitcoin rig spending would by £80million on specialised equipment, while the ongoing power usage is 35MW, or the equivalent of a small power plant – quite the waste of energy.

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