Even as internet service providers (ISPs) steadily increase their prices — by about 4 percent a year over the last decade — blockchain technology now enables the monetisation of unused household internet connections. Blockchain allows anyone to become an ISP to their local community and generate some passive income.
PKT Pal Co-Founder Josh Berger on November 17 said the ‘PKT Cube,’ a powerful edge computer designed to monetise unused internet bandwidth, is an easy-to-use technology connected to the PKT blockchain, a layer 1 protocol powered by PacketCrypt, the world’s first bandwidth-hard proof of work (PoW).
“The PKT Cube is a whisper-quiet, plug-and-play mining device that enables anyone in the world to monetise their unused internet bandwidth, and compensates users in PKT Cash every 60 seconds for bandwidth that has already been paid for and is currently being wasted,” Berger said.
“From February 1996 to December 2020, prices charged by internet service providers have increased by 250 percent, which comes to 3.9 percent per year. These organisations have an 80 percent profit margin before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation. And consumers are paying the price, as they are defenceless against rate hikes from their local providers and monopoly ISPs,” Berger said.
Aliasgar Merchant, Developer Relations Engineer at Tendermint, said mining is a very common term used in blockchain, especially within the proof of work blockchains. “Mining refers to the exchange of resources — for example, computational power or internet bandwidth in exchange of commission or fees. In recent times, this has been popularised as a passive source of income. One such good example is exchanging available internet bandwidth for compensation or fees. This exchange of bandwidth takes place in blocks of 60 seconds, which makes it ideal to start and stop at the user’s discretion,” he said.
He added that it would be ideal to keep the device unplugged throughout the day when internet usage is at its peak, and plug the device at night when usage is least. This approach will utilise the unused internet as well as guarantee some extra cash while making sure your productivity and work performance is not hampered.
Raj Kapoor, Founder of India Blockchain Alliance and Chief Growth Officer at Chainsense Ltd, said as of now, mining is not illegal in India. In fact, there has been an uptick in cryptocurrency mining in recent years. Companies such as Easyfi Network provide mining facilities and blockchain development in the country. There are other pockets of small-scale mining operations in some parts of the country. However, there is no official information available on the same.
“Frankly anyone with a computer can mine. Mining too is not really complex and if you have a GPU — or ideally, more than one — it’s incredibly easy to get started mining Ethereum. All you need now is an account at a cryptocurrency exchange that accepts ETH, like Coinbase, you can just use your wallet address from that account with mining pool software,” Kapoor said.
PKT is an open-source community project offering a solution that would monetise a household’s internet connection by enabling anyone to become an ISP to their local community and make passive income from their internet connection, which has always been viewed as a hard cost of living.
More than a mining device, each PKT Cube functions as an edge point powering the PKT Network. While mining PKT Cash does not require a PKT Cube, PKT Pal hardware devices come preloaded with a proprietary operating system called PkteerOS, “designed to make earning PKT Cash as easy as plugging in the device and using a mobile app.”
The PKT Network is end-to-end encrypted, which provides users more privacy and safety than their current internet connection. The PKT technology roadmap will eventually enable people to provide internet access to their neighbours via localised mesh networks (worldwide) and Wi-Fi-sharing using CJDNS technology. Through community participation and economic incentives, the PKT Network infrastructure is fully decentralised — with no venture capital investment, no company, no CEO, and no pre-mine.
Murtuza Merchant is a former journalist who works at The Transform Group and takes a keen interest in the ever-evolving world of cryptocurrencies
(Edited by : Shoma Bhattacharjee)