Back in the old days of the blockchain, when you could buy a bag of bitcoins for a handful of dollars, anyone could be a miner. Leave your computer running while you slept and as your processor crunched numbers, there was always a chance that it would hit on the answer and drop 50 BTC into your wallet.
Those days didn’t last long. Today, if you want a reward for helping people to make and record Bitcoins transactions you’ll need to buy a server farm in Sichuan. Mining is no longer for the average Joe.
But it should be, and if Magic Dust has its way, it will be again. Created by Kurt Braget of Nifty Wizards, and running on the Wax blockchain, Dust is an NFT and gaming cryptocurrency that is mined by chatting on Telegram.
The idea came to Braget during the ICO boom. People would join Telegram chats to discuss a white paper. They might get a token, and if they were lucky there might even be a product to support the value of that token. Often though, there wasn’t, which meant that people were chatting and spending their time for nothing.
“I thought, ‘How could you kind of turn that into something that’s more valuable for those community members, because they’re contributing to the community?’” Braget told the Bad Crypto Podcast. “If every message I sent inside of one of these ICO channels let me mine that currency, I deserve it.”
Telegram users can apply to install the Dust chat miner on their channel. Each time a member of the community sends a message, a bot in the channel checks its veracity and sends some Dust to their wallet. For each Dust token that a community member mines and receives, the mine operator receives one as well. “It’s like diamond mines,” explained Braget. “There’s a guy who owns the mine and he has a bunch of miners taking out diamonds. But the mine operator is the one that profits from it too.”
As well as rewarding people for taking part in Telegram communities, Dust is also NFT-friendly. The token has about 88 mines that support NFTs, and holders can purchase a number of collections using Dust, including Blockchain Heroes. Some NFTs also increase mining power, allowing users to generate more dust for each message.
Dust has already exceeded 4 million transactions on the blockchain, including more than 2 million mining transactions. Upgrades to the mines prevent spammers for generating endless amounts of Dust from meaningless messages.
The result is that anyone can now mine cryptocurrency tokens again. You don’t need any special hardware, and you don’t need to buy a server farm in southwest China. You just need to be enthusiastic about the blockchain, a cryptocurrency, or an NFT, and you’ll get the rewards you deserve. Just like the good old days.
Note: the author is an advisor on the Dust team