Hash Cash

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See also: Wealth Transference

Home Page: http://www.hashcash.org

Hash Cash is an invention from Adam Back.

From their homepage:

Hash cash is payment in burnt CPU cycles by calculating n-bit partial hash collisions on chosen texts.
The idea of using partial hashes is that they can be made arbitrarily expensive to compute (by choosing the desired number of bits of collision), and yet can be verified instantly. This can be used as the basis for an ecash system measured in burnt CPU cycles. Such cash systems can be used to throttle systematic abuses of un-metered internet resources.

See also: Distributed computing for projects which put unused CPU cycles to collaborative use.