back to article Zennet wants YOUR machines for tradable supercomputer cloud

A group called Zennet wants to create a blockchain-managed market in which users rent out their spare processor cycles for a closed-shop crypto-currency. The idea is a combination of two streams of thought: SETI@home and Bitcoin. From SETI@home and other similar setups that have followed in its footsteps, Zennet wants to …

  1. weebs

    I can see this being abused in so many different ways.

  2. msknight


    When faced with the massive amount of wasted processor cycles at home, I decided that the only sane way to go, was to actually cut down on the waste by using lower power processors that cost far less energy to run. In truth, I got a bit more complicated than that, but the essence is, cut the power so that I'm not generating the waste.

    Cooling the home office became easier as well, because at one point I was talking with an engineering friend of mine about installing decent air conditioning. Now, I don't need it.

    OK, there are occasions when I could do with a sudden burst of processing grunt, but, heck, it is a small price to pay. It's a personal choice.

    The rewards of hiring out unused cycles, eating in to bandwidth allowances (as I live in the country with pathetically bad internet) just doesn't even come close to the costs it would take me to earn that reward.

    Sorry, but this seti/bitcoin cross just doesn't make any sense to me.

  3. razorfishsl

    you mean like rent out my computer for hackers and peadophiles to use and get paid in an untraceable currency.

    Yep sounds just like the kind of thing I would like to be involved in….

  4. MyffyW Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    I follow that creating a market where you could sell your surplus CPU resource might make sense (providing you were suitably protected). I'm not sure I understand how you could use credits so earned to buy processing power back to create BitCoins to convert into real money - since BitCoins are now minted on specialised hardware.

    But my brain now aches thinking about this. Time for a cup of tea.

    1. d3rrial

      I keep repeating this, but nobody listens.. Ignorance, stubborness, stupidity? Who knows.

      It's Bitcoin when talking about the technology and bitcoin when talking about a unit of the currency. It's never BitCoin or bitCoin.

      But the rest of the comment is somewhat correct, so this is the only issue I have to complain about.

      Sugar with that tea?

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        @d3rrial milk, no sugar thanks. Have an upvote for your even-handed correction.

  5. ohadasor


    Thanks for your comments. Let me address them:

    1. As mentioned, every professional can see right away how it can be abused. We also did and closed all holes. The provider will able to block (or limit) any network connections outside the publisher's box (we might block it by default to avoid such concerns). Providers may block data persistence as well. They will also be able to work with specific trusted publishers (such as a University). That's where the beauty lies - it's an open and free market. It's all up to participant's decisions and preferences, including the pricing.

    As for security on the provider's PC itself, it all runs in a restricted VM and the publisher does not gain elevated access even inside the Docker box, not to mention elevated or non-elevated access to the VM containing the boxes, not to mention access to the OS running the VM.

    2. Right, Bitcoins won't be efficiently mineable over Xennet (unless someone gives access to his ASIC miner to the publisher, but why would one do that?). CPU/GPU mining algorithms based cryptocurrencies, though, will be mineable using Xennet. But still: it has nothing to do with justifying the existence of Xennet or the value of XenCoins. There are enough entities worldwide that desperately need massive computation power, and will pay more than crypto mining (AWS itself is order of magnitudes more expensive).

    3. Xennet's main goal is not to save electricity. It's only a side effect. The main goal is to spread the fortune among the households, each contributing a small computational power, while letting anyone rent those powers. Recall that nowadays, households cannot really monetize their hardware, and most of the researchers does not have access to supercomputers, F@H etc.

    Please feel free to email us or initiate a discussion at

    Ohad Asor.

  6. +415-55771104
    Thumb Up

    Great idea - both sides can benefit from it. Ordinary VM = no security issue...

    Virtual machine is old concept so there is no security issue.

    Good luck.

  7. kordless

    I've been working on this concept for a good while now. The Github repository for the appliance is here: The pool software is currently running here:

    The site has been in beta for a few months now, and you are able to launch anonymous instances with it here:

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