Hammer - Pay by Mining



You may or may not be aware that I’ve been looking into various aspects of the cryptocurrency landscape over recent months, resulting in launching the initial version of our simple CPU Miner for MacOS just prior to Christmas.

Since this time, we’ve improved the mining aspect of this app and even abstracted the mining specific code into a native MacOS framework, since we had interest from other app developers about using mining as an alternative way to do “Freemium” models in their apps - and were curious about different mechanics ourselves.

Basically the idea is that instead of paying cash directly to unlock paid or premium features, the user could simply agree to mine some sort of cryptocurrency, such as Monero or Aeon on their computer via their CPU or even, if feasible via their GPU for improved performance.

It opens the potential for a couple of models which spring to mind…

##Premium While Mining
So long as you’re mining, then the Premium features are unlocked. As soon as the mining process is stopped or falls below a minimum acceptable hash rate, then the Premium features are blocked and the app resorts to it’s “free” state.

##Mining Credits
The User mines at their leisure to earn credits which can be traded for Premium feature access for a certain amount of time. It kind of disconnects the mining process from usage of the product, which may be more suitable for some apps. For example, Credits could be built up by mining with CPU or GPU overnight while away from the machine, and then traded for premium feature access automatically when the user comes back to the machine and wants to work with the app.

I’m thinking I might release a version of Hammer for Mac which incorporates this mechanic as an alternative to our standard License payment, as an experiment, but I’m curious what you think of the idea… would you be up for mining crypto-currency in return for premium feature access? To Hammer? To any other apps?


I’ve gone ahead and created a variant of Hammer with Coinstash framework support.

Using the Coinstash framework, you could unlock the trial version to the full version so long as the miner is active and performing more than 30H/s

If the miner gets disabled or performance drops below this rate, the app will automatically revert to the trial mode and sites and build processes will not be accessible, though the data will still be available next time it is unlocked through mining.

What do you think about this idea?


I decided to release the new CryptoMining powered Hammer alternative as a completely separate app, with a new name and everything.

Pickaxe is here

I decided on Pickaxe because it suits the mining metaphor and as a distinctly separate product to the standard Hammerformac product.

The products are ultimately identical, except the way you pay for the app.

Pickaxe is enabled with our very own Coinstash framework for making it dead simple for me to integrate cryptomining in to the product.

I decided it was most appropriate to ship the separate version in this case, though I could have feasibly bundled it into Hammer. It was predominantly a choice on my part about how best to communicate clearly the WHAT and the WHY of putting this version out there.

As a small dev shop, we face the very familiar challenge of trying to monetise our hard work and efforts, whilst providing the best possible experiences for our customers. I believe that this cryptocurrency mining based payment system could be a very exciting opportunity for my company and other app developers like me.

I do hope that you’ll find this approach perhaps enables you to make building beautiful websites part of your daily life, with Pickaxe.