TidbitBoston, MA

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Launch Site

Tidbit

By Shoop Team

Screencast
Quick Intro

Tidbit is a service that lets you make money mining bitcoins on your clients' computers.

Description

Bitcoin mining in Javascript

The core technology is a performant Bitcoin miner that we have implemented in pure JS (Asm.js). This includes an Asm.js implementation of SHA256, and a shading algorithm for applying it efficiently on large sets of data.

Pooling monetization service

We've made a service on top of this technology, called Tidbit, that lets developers mine bitcoins using their clients' browsers. Tidbit isn't fully ready for production use, but 98% of the infrastructure is in place. We believe this is a very strong proof of concept for the idea.

Judging Instructions

Instructions (Works on Firefox, Chrome)

1) Make an account. If you don't have a Bitcoin wallet, you can log in as username: demo@tidbit.co.in and pw: password.

2) At this point you would generally insert the iframe into your websites, but in this case you can just go to /miner to see what the iFrame links to.

3) Open up the console, and you can see the iFrame connect to the server and fetch work / start mining.

Details on our mining scheme

We are using the Stratum protocol for Bitcoin pool sharing. Here's what happens:

1) We get assigned work from P2Pool, a Bitcoin pooling service

2) We send the client that work, and it runs the mining script on it

3) Whether or not a Bitcoin is found, work is counted for significant processing done

4) You get credited for that work

5) Once you've done a certain amount of work (again, regardless of actually finding a bit coin) you can cash out.

Again, it is important to note that the whole infrastructure is only a proof of concept and not ready for production. We have left out the final interaction with P2Pool while we put together a Terms and Conditions, so we currently do not receive any Bitcoins.

What they Used

Asm.js, WebGL, P2Pool TCP API, Express.js, Socket.io, Font Awesome, Bootstrap 3

Who

Votes

Your Vote

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Other Votes

  • (99)
  • contestant

    Awesome idea, but I still have my doubts on how feasible it is. Looks like it can become something big!

  • contestant
  • contestant

    Looking forward to see it in production

    • JeremyRubin
      contestant

      Hey Levente,

      We'd love to hear any feedback you have!

  • judge

    Brandcast

    interesting idea, not sure if it's useful for the end user.

    • kcking
      contestant

      Hi Dan!

      We believe our utility for the end user comes in freeing up real estate on web pages. Imagine a web where your amazon shopping cart doesn't follow you around to every website you visit. We believe there should be more options than advertising for monetizing a website, and we believe we have a novel and non-intrusive solution.

      In this way, we provide utility to developers who can now include higher quality content on their websites, and utility to end users who are spared the wasted time in looking at ads.

      Thank you, Tidbit

  • judge

    sequoia

  • judge

    just fyi, there is a company called coinlab that does this with GPU cycles on mobile I think. Might be worth checking out if you haven't seen it yet

    • JeremyRubin
      contestant

      Hi Agam, We'd love it if you could give us some feedback on our idea. We think that we are fundamentally different from CoinLab in that we are looking to provide an alternative to web advertising.

  • judge

    Amazing idea! I could see this monetizing content creators towards single page app experiences. Would love to see where their concept goes.

  • It's a great idea and well-implemented. Services like this really start to raise questions about the security model of the web. Historically, we've thought in terms of access to data and capabilities, but it's obvious that, with sophisticated tools like asm.js and WebGL, we'll need to start thinking about resource consumption as a third axis of security, especially on power- and CPU-constrained mobile devices. Great work!

  • contestant

    Great job guys, and great idea.

    • JeremyRubin
      contestant

      Hey Robert,

      We'd love to hear any feedback you have!

  • judge

    I was unable to confirm data coming through to the backend. Is "Clients connected" wired up? Never saw mine show up, even with this open: http://jsbin.com/UKOfUzOk

    Very interesting project. Are you planning on open sourcing the backend?

  • judge

    This is a very intriguing idea that could really transform online economics if it works. There is a much broader discussion to have about mining bitcoins vs doing other useful tasks (e.g. a friendly form of mechanical turk).

    I put the embed code in a website, and examined the output in the console. It looked like it was successfully mining bitcoins, but the coins did not seem to show up in the account info dashboard? Maybe there is a bug? (or is the dashboard not real time?)

    Bottom line, very very clever and nice to see a functioning version done in a weekend!

    • JeremyRubin
      contestant

      Hi Alex, we didn't finish implementing the dashboard during the hackathon, but definitely will if we carry forward!

  • judge

    Mozilla

    • oliversong
      contestant

      Hey Danny, we'd love to hear any feedback you could give us!

  • judge

    GoInstant

    This is a good idea. I like the "monetize without ads" tagline. Definitely seems like something people would use. The design of the site is nice. Not very complete, but great POC.

  • contestant

    Great idea. I myself have been thinking about something of the same concept. Hope you get to the end of it very soon. Although the usability may be questionable since it all depends the viability of the bitcoin.

  • judge

    Great idea, needs more 'demo' upfront and some kind of gauge as to how much useful work this can possibly actually do, considering how difficult it is to mine for coins.

  • judge

    Awesome concept/idea as i despise advertising as a business model. Only points lost overall is from an uncaught TypeError that i saw at the /miner url when testing.

  • judge

    Walmart Labs

    I think this is both an awesome idea and aside from the incompleteness a well executed one. I wasn't able to get anything post signup, but it looks like a rad idea. Fer serious.

  • judge

    Adobe

    didn't see any connections on the console on Canary or Safari :(

    • oliversong
      contestant

      Hi Divya, that's pretty weird. We've tested it in Chrome 30, 31, and Firefox 25. Can you try using one of those?

  • contestant

    Looks good.

  • judge

    @vigour_io

    Pretty nice idea but I'm curious how long it'd take to bring significant profit. Also, it didn't seem to work for me - I started 2 iframes both in Chrome and in Firefox and no clients were reported.

    • JeremyRubin
      contestant

      Hey Maciej, thanks for checking us out!

      Unfortunately, we weren't able to get the dashboard metrics working in time, unfortunately, however the work is being done (it just doesn't display it)

      In terms of profit, we believe it's definitely viable given our pooling configuration and future potential (integrating WebGL, even mining different cryptocurrencies like Litecoin or doing GP computing).

  • judge

    Awesome idea! Actually there's a business in here!

  • contestant

    Adparlor

    my first reaction was "Ha!Why haven't I thought of that!!" With great volume, it will be worth running! Great job guys!

    Your hack reminded me of these guys: https://www.hackerleague.org/hackathons/techcrunch-disrupt-sf-2013/hacks/adfree http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/08/spruce-crowned-the-disrupt-sf-2013-hackathon-grand-prize-winner-cloudyverse-and-adfree-take-second-and-third/ http://www.bitcoinplus.com/miner/embeddable

    Check them out!

    I'm just curious about the average hash rate by single client?assuming it runs on CPU

  • contestant

    What an awesome idea! I believe bad guys loving this too. XSS' for profit and fun?

    Great POC you four!

  • contestant

    Finally my meme website will be generating me the millions.

  • judge

    Bugsnag

    Hah! Great idea :). I'd particularly love to see this for other stuff than bitcoin (though the use-case of monetize without ads is great too) — for example we could use it in namecoin so that the sites that had more visitors had more secure DNS (which would be pretty handy). Also any other useful computation, though I guess there are secrecy implications.

  • judge

    Bugsnag

    • oliversong
      contestant

      Hey Simon, we'd love any feedback you could give us!

  • judge

    Joyent

    Great idea, and made very easy - I could set this up in seconds. I'm not sure I'd want to leave it running forever - it eats a CPU per website that does this. I generally have a few hundred tabs open, and often run on battery power, so... Perhaps as a way to monetize web sites, it could have an limit; eg, only run for 5 mins after page loads.

  • contestant

    This isn't a brand new idea, but this looks like a well produced version of it. The dashboard will be key in making it work.

    It also feels like a nebulous legal area. You are using the CPU of your users' visitors (not your users directly) without their permission to perform work that turns into money. You can argue that ads do the same thing, but the CPU load profiles are very different. That's just something to think about.

    Is the mining rate of browser-bounded computation good enough to produce anything close to real money at this point? It seems that with the network difficulty going up over time, your users would need more and more visitors to get the same revenue. Do you imagine this is a sustainable model? Or is it just an option to offset the needs for quite so many ads on a site?

    • oliversong
      contestant

      Hey Sean, these are great questions. We're hoping that Tidbit can completely replace ad revenue. Looking forward, there's a ton of interesting optimizations we can do. First and foremost we want to integrate WebGL and run computations on the GPU. Beyond that, there are even different cryptocurrencies with less mining overhead like Litecoin that we could swap in.

      With respect to sustainability, our clients get paid for work done for the mining pool, not exact bitcoins mined. This should mitigate losses to network difficulty. Hopefully Bitcoin is around long enough to experience such difficulty! :)

  • judge

    From what I do understand of bitcoin, this seems super awesome and useful. The design is a lot nicer than I would expect for a site this utilitarian, so high marks there.

    Very innovate idea. A similar idea (called maprejuice) almost won the innovation prize in the first Node Knockout. The idea behind that was to auction generalized (map reduce) cpu processing off for high-traffic websites. This makes money more directly.

    I like how simple and easy it is to get started. Because it's an iframe, its more embeddable than even a javascript script tag, so you could potentially even add it to your hosted wordpress blog (right?)

    I'm giving you low marks for completeness, because even though I opened the console, and saw work ostensibly being done, your dashboard didn't update.

    I've also emailed a friend who's super into bitcoin, so I reserve the right to amend my vote based on his feedback.

    Good luck, I hope you turn this into a real business!

    • oliversong
      contestant

      Hey Gerad, thanks for being so frank! Good eye- we weren't able to get the dashboard metrics working in time, unfortunately.

      In terms of Bitcoin, we believe it's definitely viable given our pooling configuration and future potential (integrating WebGL, even mining different cryptocurrencies like Litecoin). That said, we'd love to hear any ideas your friend has in regards to efficient Bitcoin mining!

    • gerad
      judge

      Here are the notes from my friend:

      It's a cool idea. If it's using the CPU (in all likelihood) it makes roughly zero dollars (7.2e-6 dollars per day) unfortunately with the current market economics. Even if they got it to use a person's GPU, it would still make almost zero dollars... (1.44e-4 dollars per day) They could, however, change it to solve scrypt (litecoin) and it would do much better.

      bitcoin https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Mining_hardware_comparison

      litecoin: https://litecoin.info/Mining_hardware_comparison

  • contestant

    I'll be honest, I'm not entirely up to date on just what the heck bitcoin is or how it works.. But my interest is piqued now! Great job!

  • contestant

    CARFAX

    Really cool idea, and I like your design.

  • judge

    Zerosum Labs

    I love this idea, and although I've seen a few other implementations of web-based miners, this one shows promise as a PoC. Really need to take advantage of WebGL for mining purposes, however, 20k isn't going to cut it :). But the promise of the web-without-ads is certainly something I've spent a lot of time noodling on and can certainly get behind. Nice work, good initiative!

    • oliversong
      contestant

      Hey Nick, that's a great insight. You're absolutely right. 20kH is pretty low right now, even given a substantial amount of clients. Optimizing our own algorithm and adding WebGL integration are definitely on the map. On top of that, we want to offer Litecoin and other cryptocurrencies to complement payout.

  • judge

    CratePlayer

    Really clever.

  • contestant

    This is as a great idea.

  • contestant

    Wow, I've never seen such a point of view to removing ads on the internet. Although I don't believe that you could pay a web app using Tidbit, it's awesome. Great work guys but a demo interface (for people without a bitcoin wallet) would be nice for judging.

  • contestant

    Uva Wellassa University of Sri lanka

    No more annoying ads :)

  • judge

    Brilliant idea!

  • judge

    Browserling

    Innovatively impressive!

  • judge
  • judge

    Clever. I have heard discussions of this very idea but never seen a flushed out implementation like yours.

    Not only did you hack a project together but you proposed a paradigm shift for how to generate revenue on the web.

    My only concern is based off my rudimentary understanding of bitcoins. As popularity increases wouldn't the profit sharing decrease, putting the sustainability of this project and technique at risk.

    Nice Job.

  • contestant

    Interesting! I guess mobile users won't be happy if this takes off.

  • contestant

    routeFlags

    Nice hack!!

  • judge

    Great combination of ideas and it seems you've pieced them together just right. Looking forward to seeing this develop further.

  • contestant

    Fagbokforlaget V&B AS

    Very cool idea 5* for innovation but on the contrary current hardware cannot afford it and as mining is getting harder day by day so better hardware in future may not help either.

    • oliversong
      contestant

      Hey Deepak, thanks for the feedback! In terms of viability, please see our updated judging instructions. We're using the Stratum protocol, which gives you credit based on work done, not Bitcoins mined. Sorry for the confusion!

  • contestant

    Innovative and interesting idea with great design! But not sure it's viable.

    • oliversong
      contestant

      Hey Bálint, thanks for the feedback! In terms of viability, please see our updated judging instructions. We're using the Stratum protocol, which gives you credit based on work done, not Bitcoins mined. Sorry for the confusion!

  • contestant
  • contestant

    MeteorHacks

    great idea. it didnt work for me. signup page doesnt load properly for me. took few refreshes to get signup page. what is bit coin ID?

    • carolynz
      contestant

      Thanks for voting! It seems like our site has been very slow/crashing because we got such a huge response to it - could you possibly try again in a few hours?

      The Bitcoin Wallet ID is the address of your Bitcoin Wallet. By giving out the Wallet ID, you enable other people to transfer Bitcoins into your account, but not the other way around. Check out http://bitcoin.org/en/choose-your-wallet for more information.

    • oliversong
      contestant

      Hi pahans, everything should be working now!

  • contestant

    Really neat idea. The idea of overcoming the need for ads, which have been around for so long is really smart. I look forward to implementing this on my site!

  • contestant

    Printly.pk

    Great idea, definitely worth going for.

  • contestant

    iZotope

    This is really cool guys, well done!

  • contestant

    copyPastel

    Voting based on the idea alone. Anything that would replace ads so seamlessly is worth pursuing.

  • judge

    Nodejitsu

    I wanted to give this a higher completeness rating, but there is no throttling at all when the miner is running in the browser. Luckily I watched my laptop the whole time because if I had left it alone it would have melted!

    The miner code was using up 100% of 2/4 core on my CPU so I guess it works!

    • oliversong
      contestant

      Thanks for the vote Charlie! Looking forward, we want to explore throttling and choosing between ads and mining as more practical options. This was supposed to be a proof of concept :)

  • contestant

    Square

    I've definitely seen using other web clients before along with of course bitcoin mining. great idea to combine the two.

    p.s. HI OLIVER!

    • oliversong
      contestant

      Thanks for the review Visnu!

      Also, why does it say you're a contestant?

    • visnup
      contestant

      cuz I am this year! check out our app!

  • contestant

    Very cool idea - I've actually lost my bitcoin wallet[s] on my catacomb of hard drives so cant really test. But if it works. I love the idea. Having a way to monetize a site without annoying ads would be fantastic.

  • judge

    Scoutzie

    whoa

  • judge

    Automattic (formerly Cloudup)

    Quite frankly, I saw this and repeated to myself at least 3 times out loud "Wow, what a great idea!"

    • kcking
      contestant

      Thank you Nate! We are excited about it too! =D

  • contestant
  • contestant

    This a really awesome idea! I will definitely use this service!

  • contestant

    MasterMade Technology

    Brilliant idea!

IMPORTANT DATES

REGISTRATION
SEP 17
COMPETITION
NOV 9-11 UTC
JUDGING
NOV 11-17
WINNERS
NOV 18

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