I rarely make public predictions about where technology is going, but I was just struck by a thought I felt compelled to share. Here’s a prediction for 2014:
A new content distribution service (or video service/indie games on demand/Kim Dotcom/whatever) will begin to “give away” content via a P2P protocol that mines cryptocurrency as a prerequisite for transfer. This proprietary client will also serve ads and collect user data, as usual. Soon, everyone will follow suit and all of these ‘freemium’ content distribution models (Crackle, Spotify) will also become distributed (dogecoin!) mining operations.
The other side of the freemium coin (no pun intended), is the games market. Look for in-app purchases to be partially augmented by an option to ‘mine’ in-game currency. During the ‘cool-off’ period typical of this game type, cryptocurrency will be slowly mined in the background, while ads continue to serve and user data continues to be stored (and our conversations recorded by the NSA, etc etc). You can see the in-game upsell advertisements now: “Hook up all the computers in your house to collect diamonds super-fast!”
So there you have it, that’s my first prediction for 2014.