Lite Mining

I’m oddly excited about solutions like CoinHive and Coda that make it feasible to mine cryptocurrencies from a light clients like browsers.

I think we are going to see a lot of distributed and light mining solutions crop up and that in a more mature web3 ecosystem much of the mining will be done on end users' devices. 

An example: imagine that the Evernote app mined EvernoteCoin (or FileCoin/Truebit/whatever Evernote is built on) in the background while you used the Evernote app. 

The benefits of this are three-fold: 

  1. Evernote wouldn't have to compete against other distributed networks for miners’ hash power.
  2. Both the security and throughput of the Evernote network would scale with the amount of Evernote users.
  3. It’s an alternative to the ad-supported model: mining would give Evernote users a way to automatically pay back their Evernote bill and get to use the service for “free". 

The challenges are that:

  1. Data and battery are scarce on end user devices and mining could deplete both.
  2. Because most of the mining would be done by the main app client, this could be seen as more centralized.
  3. Before hitting a critical mass of users, a network with only a few desktop and mobile miners could be more easily susceptible to 51% attacks by miners with powerful machines.

There are solutions to the above, such as only mining on devices plugged in with full battery, letting the user toggle mining on/off, allowing traditional mining pools as well as mining on end user devices, etc. 

I think we’ll start seeing this sooner rather than later. I am excited about it.