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.
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?