If you have any spare, unused hard disk space on your computer, then you could be putting it to use to earn some extra income. On a regular home computer you won’t exactly earn a fortune, but it won’t really cost you anything either. If you have any external hard drives lying around and a computer you can leave running 24 hours per day then maybe you can earn a reasonable extra income, but of course you will have to factor in the cost of electricity for leaving them running all the time.

Each of the different services listed here use cryptocurrency tokens – peer-to-peer digital currencies – to pay users according to their contribution.

These digital currency tokens which you will earn can be used to purchase other services on the network, or they can also be exchanged for Bitcoin or your regular national currency.

As this is a pretty new field of enterprise with many services still in the early stage of development I have included on this page both established services and emerging ones which are not yet ready to use but which are worth keeping an eye on.


Burst is an ‘alt coin’ – a digital currency designed as an alternative to Bitcoin which includes additional features and functions. P2P digital currencies like Bitcoin use something called ‘Proof of Work’ to help secure the network and create a consensus across the network about how many coins each person rightfully owns. The developers of Burst have created a novel take on this which uses ‘Proof of Resource’ rather than proof of work. The resource in question is computer storage space.

Because of this you can use spare disk space to ‘mine’ Burst – to help secure the network and earn Burst coins as a reward.

The storage you contribute to the network is not used for anything other than saving ‘plots’ which can be periodically checked to make sure that your really are contributing that amount of space. As a result it may be considered wasteful, but on the plus side the data does not need to be constantly available, so you do not need your computer to be switched on and connected to the internet 24/7.


  • Already available and well established
  • You don’t need to leave your computer on all the time
  • Burst is also developing smart contracts and other services, so it’s an interesting project to get involved in


  • Requires multiple software downloads and may not be considered user-friendly by non-technical users.
  • May be considered wasteful as the space is not used for anything
  • The Burst token is not widely used for anything, so it may not retain its expected value.

For more information:


Maidsafe is an ambitious attempt to create a new internet. The SAFE network is all about creating ‘Secure Access for Everyone’ who wants to use the internet without fear or hackers or having their privacy breached by spies.

Our current internet infrastructure relies on having servers which store websites’ code and data and then serve it up to regular users when they request it by visiting a particular web address. Maidsafe want to help us to do away with this centralized structure to create an encrypted serverless internet.

When it launches later this year, users will be able to join the SAFE network as ‘farmers’, contributing their disk space to store the data for websites and apps which can then be served up to other users whenever necessary. For providing this service they will be rewarded in Safecoin. The data will shredded and encrypted so it remains private at all times and cannot be stolen or spied on.

Rather than buying or renting a server to host their websites and apps, business owners will buy Safecoins to pay the network for whatever resources they need. Other users may also purchase Safecoin to use the network for cloud storage, and in the future the same system may be used for sharing other computer resources such as processing power or internet bandwidth.


  • You do not need to leave your computer on 24/7.
  • Your disk space would be put to good use providing other users with secure and private internet.
  • Network services provide a demand for Safecoin’s, helping to maintain demand and ultimately value.


  • Not yet ready to use
  • If your computer is not left on at least most of the time, then you may still be at a significant disadvantage in earning power compared to users who can.

For more information:


Storj is a peer-to-peer cloud storage service. You can use it to offer your spare disk space for rent or to store your photos and other media privately in the cloud.

Apps can also use the same storage space, for example to store and stream videos for a decentralized YouTube-like service.


  • Well targeted to a large, global market niche – which may help with ensuring demand
  • Focused on ease of use – very simple to install and configure the app to share however much hard disk space you can spare.


  • There is a heavy penalty is you can’t leave your computer running 24/7
  • Currently only available to a closed group of users who contributed to the project’s crowdfunding.

For more information:


Vtorrent aims to combine digital currency with torrents, creating an economy which will provide a higher quality and more reliable service.

This project is still at a relatively early stage so many of the details have not yet been ironed out, but the basic idea is to reward both uploaders and seeders, encouraging users to put in to the network more than they take out and thus ensuring both more content and faster speeds for all users.

What this means is that you can use your disk space to host videos, music files and more, making them available to other users of the network.


  • The same software can be used to download files you want as well as to earn money from your spare hard drive space.
  • Network services may provide a demand for the coins, helping to maintain demand and ultimately value.


  • Currently in closed beta, not available to new casual users.
  • You may be involving yourself in illegal file-sharing.

For more information: