I came across this paper from Microsoft in 2011. I feel that the idea from this paper eventually became cryptocurrency miners. Mainly ASIC Bitcoin miners.
Microsoft no longer hosts this paper. Here’s a link to the paper that is hosted on this site.
Original 2011 Synopsis
How it works?
Your furnace does computations, and you get rewards from these computations. You can also use the exceed the heat for your own. You pretty much earn passive income for heating your home. I know; I simplified the process, but an income stream that’s passive is possible.