Mining as monetization

Hello everyone,

I know there has been some exploration recently around crypto currency mining buried within SDK’s. I think it was Widdit that did it without notifying their users, which I’m not advocating. I’m curious if this could be a viable alternative for monetizing applications when being transparent about it to the end user. Something as basic as, “In lieu of advertising, this application donates CPU cycles toward distributed algorithm analysis. This will not impact normal operation of your phone.”

I’m also curious if Widdit scrapped the idea because it wasn’t feasiable or if it was due to push back from the community and Lookout.

I think this could be a potential next evolution of app monetization, being less invasive and distracting than banners, interstitials, offer walls, push notifications, etc.

What are your thoughts?

Also, if interested, I already have an SDK written that performs the functionality. I’m pretty horrible at the marketing side, so if anyone is interested in integrating/testing/hopefully making money then let me know.

Thanks for your input!

I’m not sure if I’m the right guy to answer that questions, but my 2 cents are:

  1. Presonally, I like the idea.

  2. As long as the user is fully aware of the idea, I see no problem here. The user simply trades his CPU for ads. And as all he really pays here is with his battery life (which he can always charge), that might work for all sides. Question is - does the mining happen only when the app is in use? If so, even though it works against my interest as somone who works in an ad netwrok - I like the idea

  3. Take into consideration that even if the users agree to this trade-off - Google and Apple might not approve. Who knows.

Anythnig that can help developer monetize and users are fully aware of - is worth a try.

Thanks Jonathan,

I’m not sure how Google/Apple would approve either. I suspect Apple would boot it without giving it a second glance. Google would probably do the same, but they tend to be a little more forgiving.

As for the mining, I have my code running in a test app. The mining only occurs when the phone is plugged in and connected to wifi. So, normal operation wouldn’t be impacted. As soon as the phone is unplugged or actively being used, the mining stops. It resumes again when the conditions are met. I have it running on a single device and left it idle for a full day recently. I think I mined the equivalent of a penny during that time. Extrapolating that out and assuming maybe 6 hours of idle/charging the numbers could get big, but so does the processing required to mine. It’s one of those things that’s hard to gauge without a real world test.

Wasn’t one ad network caught doing some mining on users mobile phones? I don’t know how you can even consider it. It will eat battery and give you no real gains since phones are too slow for mining. And it would cost the user money (chargin costs).

Yeah didnt Appayable get busted for this a while back. I remembered that was like a mass ban, a lot of people were effected.

I wasn’t aware of Appayable, but I know Widdit had embedded mining. I suspect that the banning/backlash was done as a result of it not being transparent to the user. If it’s disclosed then perhaps that isn’t a violation of T&C’s at least as they stand today. Assuming it’s agreed upon and disclosed, is there a revenue opportunity? Maybe that’s a question for the litecoin boards. I know bitcoin is probably off the table due to the difficulty. Lite/Doge/etc may be and having a little army (1000 installs? 100,000 installs?) could potentially be more profitable than traditional monetization methods.