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idle CPU markets
With many high speed personal computers on the Internet and the
deployment of low transaction cost Internet payment schemes, it seems
inevitable that markets for idle CPU cycles and memory will develop. An
interesting problem is to try to predict who this market will benefit,
and what the market will be used for.
So far it seems that cryptanalytic problems (e.g. factoring and brute
forcing of keys) have the highest marginal value/MIPS among problems
amenable to loosely coupled distributed computation. However, I think it
would be wasteful if the demand in idle CPU and memory markets were to be
dominated by cryptanalysts since (non-academic) cryptanalysis is basicly
a zero-sum game. When a key is broken, no wealth is created, rather it
is transfered from the owner of the key to the cryptanalyst.
What other problems would benefit from easy access to lots of distributed