(UPDATED: Bitcoin / poclbm) Compute4Cash: Use your GPU to Make Money with OpenCL


*** Second Update (2011.02.17) ***

I just received two messages that detail what is Bitcoin and what is really Compute4Cash tool.

Here is the first message:

the Bitcoin community ( bitcoin.org ) noticed Compute4Cash today and we
found out that it is used to generate Bitcoins.

Bitcoin is a cryptographic peer-to-peer currency and it is secured by
computing power. Those who contribute computing power are rewarded with
50 Bitcoins after completing a block (“workunit”; I think Compute4Cash
splits them into smaller workunits). This is completely legit and there
are exchanges where one can sell 1 Bitcoin for roughly $1.05 nowadays.

Compute4Cash.exe is based on poclbm (https://github.com/m0mchil/poclbm),
a program used to calculate Bitcoin blocks. I even identified the small
OpenCL kernel image in the article as being from poclbm as I worked on
that code not too long ago.

An ATI 5970 will generate about 700 Bitcoins/month (this changes every
two weeks), that’s about $735. Compute4Cash claims a 5970 will net $255
so he is making about $400..500 profit.

So maybe you should encourage your readers to generate Bitcoins directly ;)

and here is the second message:

compute4cash is actually using your gpu power to make bitcoins (http://bitcoin.org), and then exchanging them for about twice as much cash as he pays you. Bitcoin is an online currency which you can exchange for cash, services, and other goods. The exchange rate is currently at about 1 USD per bitcoin. If you chose to do this on your own, rather than through the compute4cash middleman, you will make more than double the money.

compute4cash is being dishonest in telling you that this is used for computation or “data compression for the financial sector”

compute4cash is using an open-source miner called Poclbm (https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/OpenCL_miner). At current difficulty and bitcoin price levels, the guy is making >50% profit on this. Any of you who are participating in the compute4cash pool, would do better on your own, using a free open source gpu miner. where better == about twice as much return.

I encourage you all to learn about bitcoin and cut out the middleman.
here are some links you should visit if you are interested in making money with bitcoin http://www.bitcoin.org http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/02/10/189246/Online-Only-Currency-BitCoin-Reaches-Dollar-Parity

*** First Update (2011.02.17) ***

Compute4Cash client is actually a wrapper around a Bitcoin miner called poclbm (Python and OpenCL).

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer digital currency. Peer-to-peer (P2P) means that there is no central authority to issue new money or keep track of transactions. Instead, these tasks are managed collectively by the nodes of the network.

Then Bitcoin is a new kind of money!

More information about Bitcoin HERE.

*** Update (2011.02.13) ***
I got some information directly from Compute4Cash (at least there are some real guys behind ;) )

The tool is used for distributed computing for the financial sector.

The program will continuously compute hashes until it finds a small enough hash to meet our requirements. Basically it is encrypted compression. The more clients we get working on this the more data we can encrypt/compress.

Compute4Cash does not wish share more information but they assure that you will not get any trouble with the law by using this tool.

From time to time, I look at Google ADs on Geeks3D.com, and few minutes ago I stumbled on this ad: “Own a Radeon 5XXX / 6XXX?” Use your video card to make money!”.

Humm… Compute4Cash is a website that proposes to pay you for your OpenCL GPU power processing. It pays you via PayPal:

Use your computer to generate some extra cash!
So you want to put your computer to work for you to make some extra cash, eh? Great! We can help you do just that. Compute4Cash will pay you for your video card’s free cycles which we will use to perform massive computations. All you have to do is register, download the Compute4Cash client, make sure your video card drivers are up to date, and run the program. The more work your hardware does for us the more we will pay you – it is as simple as that!

How we measure the work you complete
We measure the work your hardware completes in ‘Work Units’ – a Work Unit (WU) is a fixed quantity of calculations that allows us to fairly compensate users based on how much work their hardware completes.

How you get paid
Compute4Cash will give you $0.10 $0.20 USD for each WU you complete. We will deposit these funds into any PayPal or Liberty Reserve account you specify. For a quick reference, a top of the line Radeon 5970 will do around 2 WU/hr, give or take 0.50 WU depending on its core clock speed. This equates to about $150 $300 a month per card if you compute 24×7! All you have to do is run our program in the background.

Here is the OpenCL client


Update: Compute4Cash requested me to remove the code.
Just for fun I edited the exe (280KB) and an important part of OpenCL kernel is readable:

Compute4Cash OpenCL kernel

Honestly this client is a bit suspicious. Compute4Cash doesn’t tell us what exactly the client does. Maybe the client is used to do illegal stuff like password cracking (see this post for an example of MD5 cracking with OpenCL).

Sure, it would be cool to monetize the idle cycles of our GPUs but for something legal. As long as Compute4Cash remains enigmatic about the real job of the client or unless a trustworthy source has tested and approved it, I don’t recommend you to install it. According to the latest update, this tool is a Bitcoin wrapper and Bitcoin community encourage us to use a free open source gpu miner. See more details at the top of this article.


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