One of the things that is currently “hot” in IT is to mine cryptocurrency.
If you have a good setup for this, and the value of currency increases, as happens with the BitCoint, you can earn a lot of money. But, ….. mining these coins also costs a lot of electricity and produces a lot of heat. Bad for the environment.
Using hardware to solve “puzzles” is not new. You can also have your PC help with scientific research, like with “Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing” (BOINC). You can use unused time from your PC so committed to science / charities. Only you usually get no money for this, but a status on a ranking (some projects praise a prize to the best team).
But, why can the above things not be combined? Generating cryptocurrency, but also doing calculations for science, for example. The technology of both methods is different, but should it be possible to merge?