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I wonder if a Javascript based proof-of-work system could be used as an alternative to CAPTCHAs. It wouldn't stop spam entirely but it would rate-limit it and possibly render some forms of spam unprofitable. Aa a bonus, the proof-of-work could be tied to something useful (Folding@home?) just like reCAPTCHA's CAPTCHAs are useful for digitizing books.



Nope. This was tried with Bitcoin back in the day. JavaScript is far too slow, and a spammer could just blast out thousands of times the work with a single CPU running something native. Mobile users would suffer greatly too.

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