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Re: Economic Model for Key Cracking

Douglas Barnes wrote:
> At the same time, many people and companies have lots of unused CPU
> time on their hands. Economically, this CPU time is scrap material --
> and there are companies out there that do nothing but buy up scrap
> equipment for pennies on the dollar.
> Therefore it should be possible to create a market in spare CPU cycles
> for tasks like this that require massive parallel computing. An
> earlier suggestion for bounties on keys (basically the Chinese lottery
> approach) is a step in this direction.

One can set up a workload distributor this way:

 Distribute work when a request is received.
 When the final results come back, pay the worker e-cash.

We need to make sure that someone did do the work honestly, but I don't know
how to check this (other than doing the work yourself to confirm the results,
but this defeats the whole point of the system).  Perhaps we should require
that people buy the work first, and when they report the results, they get 
the money back + some profits.  

Assuming everyone is honest, I am sure many people in businesses
wouldn't mind making money this way.  Most business machines are
completely idle/turned off after working hours anyway.

Now we just need to convince the business people to help us.  Not
everyone is honest, and so this may be a bit difficult to do.  If I
were a business person without much computer knowledge, I probably
wouldn't trust someone running programs on my computer.  What if the
program scans all my business secrets and distributes them world-wide,
or what if the program is some sort of a virus?  I could get some
computer consultants to check the program's source code, but this
would be too much trouble.

Anyway, I think this would be the attitude of an average business
person.  Therefore, it will not be very easy to convince a lot of
people to donate their spare cycles.


Howard Cheng                     e-mail: [email protected]
University of Alberta                    [email protected]
3rd year Honors Comp. Sci.       URL   : http://ugweb.cs.ualberta.ca/~hcheng
Finger [email protected] for PGP public key.

Algebraic symbols are used when you do not know what you are talking about.