It was back in 2013 that popular torrent site The Pirate Bay began accepting donations in bitcoin. A number of torrent sites followed suit and donating cryptocurrency became a commonly available option. There’s now another way in which you can repay your favourite torrent sites with cryptocurrency, but it doesn’t require making a direct donation. Instead, sites have begun offering users the option of dedicating some of their computers’ processing power to cryptocurrency mining. In exchange, users receive upload credit.
According to an article on TorrentFreak, multiple private trackers have been observed using the novel mechanism to create funds for themselves while also incentivizing users. In each case, a software running in the background makes use of the host system’s CPU cycles to carry out cryptocurrency mining. The exact implementation varies, but the idea is that it’s possible to convince users to allow their computers to contribute to the mining process using upload credits as inducement. While this seems like a reasonable way for these services to generate funds for their own upkeep, some have run afoul of the torrent community by putting it in place on the down low.
Other private torrent trackers seem to be using more above board methods. One in particular that TorrentFreak leaves unnamed has buttons to start and stop mining, so the control is fully in the hands of users. In addition to that, you can also choose how many CPU threads you dedicate to the process. Users get to view the number hashes solved with the help of their CPU’s processing power, and the how many bytes of additional upload credits they’ve earned as a result.
The upload credits are used to download more content without having to seed a torrent. Usually, private torrent trackers require a 1:1 ratio between size of files uploaded and downloaded. That means that there’s only so much content you can download before you have to upload the same amount. Upload credits are a kind of currency you can use to bypass that and keep downloading content from a torrent swarm.
This article was written by one of our guest writers
Author: Prateek Jose
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