GridCoin project purpose and description
What is Gridcoin?
Gridcoin is a distributed computing network built on the blockchain. There is a lot of unused resources or underutilized resources lying idle in terms of existing hardware. It is these resources that Gridcoin is designed to put into good use.
Anyone who has access to the Gridcoin network and can process data is granted free access. Those who participate in the network are given incentives through cryptocurrency that is minted under the Gridcoin protocol.
There is too much idle processing potential on the internet at the moment. These are resources that instead of being left to lie fallow, can be put into good use.
What Gridcoin does is to mint and distribute cryptocurrency in lieu of the processing power needed, and what a participant in the ecosystem makes available.
Instead of being wasted, this processing power is then channeled towards scientific discovery and data-driven analysis
What is the problem that Gridcoin Solves?
One of the biggest challenges that Bitcoin has is a waste of resources. Bitcoin is a resource-intensive blockchain platform, and in the long run, it becomes unsustainable given the amount of resources that are burned just to process transactions.
This is where the concept of Idle Processing Potential (IPP) comes in.
IPP is the processing power of one computing device multiplied by the unused processing potential over a given period of time. What makes up the IPP network? Anything that has a processor falls in the concept of IPP. This means that anything from computers, toys, cars, gaming systems, phones and so forth.
The challenge behind IPP is that there is a lot of idle processing power lying around, and as more and more devices are made available, this points to idle resources. We must face the reality that these devices are part of our life at the moment.
You will find them in almost any house. Therefore, there is an insane amount of processing power that is lying idle. Instead of letting this processing power go to waste, Gridcoin proposes a solution where the developing systems and legacy systems can contribute their IPP to distributed computing systems.
How does Gridcoin Solve the problem?
Gridcoin is a pioneer in the blockchain industry. It directs computational power to help advance scientific progress. In order to solve the problems above, Gridcoin sets itself apart from the competition in the following ways:
There is a lot of energy waste that is associated with Bitcoin and most of the other projects that are built on it. Why waste so much electricity? It is estimated that millions of dollars are put to use each day on electricity use to run Bitcoin.
Instead of struggling through this, Proof of Stake is a feasible workaround that has been implemented by Gridcoin. The good thing with the Proof of Stake algorithm is that it has proven the feasibility of immense cryptographic strength without having to spend so much on electricity bills.
Therefore, users can still perform the same transactions they would on Bitcoin, or even more, but at a lower cost of operation.
The other issue when it comes to efficiency is coin velocity and coinage. Coinage is a concern that arises out of remuneration and retention of coins.
On the other hand, coin velocity is as a result of transactional spam. These are issues that have dogged Bitcoin for the longest time, making it unattractive for those who do not have the resources.
What Gridcoin does differently is to offer rewards to users who support real scientific contributions. Gridcoin is for a worthy cause, and such causes need all the support possible. It is about changing the world as we know it today and redefining the future. As an energy-efficient blockchain project, the playing field is level on Gridcoin.
To protect the network, Gridcoin uses distributed signatures. The distributed signatures belong to the majority of the stakeholders who own coins on the platform. Payouts are shared in terms of the quantified contribution to the scientific causes on Gridcoin.
Since the goal behind Gridcoin is to reward contributions to science, fairness is mandatory. This is where BOINC comes in handy. This is a system of distributing credit nodes.
The University of Berkeley distributes tasks to volunteers in computational research. On the Gridcoin platform, the work is handled through cryptographical validation.
BOINC is an open source volunteer computing grid that uses the computing power of individual users, combines the computing power to advance scientific research.
Using BOINC is free, and it has already supported more than 30 projects in different scientific areas.
Gridcoin runs a robust protocol such that even in the worst-case scenario where there is an attack or disaster that renders BOINC ineffective for up to 14 days, the platform would still thrive. What this means, therefore, is that Gridcoin strives to encourage new uses and incentives, especially towards directing resource use into science.
One of the reasons why Gridcoin has become easily acceptable and appreciated by a lot of people is the low resource requirements. Compared to other platforms, Gridcoin is not resource intensive. Therefore, this means that anyone with a basic machine can run Gridcoin on their devices. You can even run it on your phone. The hardware requirements of most of the blockchain projects usually lock a lot of people out of access.
Being an easy to set-up platform, anyone, including those who research in their leisure time, and beginners who do not know the first thing about blockchain platforms can contribute the idle processing power of their devices to the Gridcoin platform. Standard devices like mobile devices, home computers can all form a part of this network.
There are a lot of computational tasks that are carried out in the world at the moment, and this might be too much for ASICs.
This is because they are designed in such a way that their general-purpose computing setting makes them resistant to hardware optimization. As long as you have a computer at home, you can include its processing power into the blockchain and get rewards for your contribution to scientific research.
What makes Gridcoin better than the competitors?
Gridcoin is hosted on GitHub under an MIT license. By hosting Gridcoin on GitHub, this means that anyone who is interested is free to view, access, modify, experiment with, learn from or even make a copy of the Gridcoin software. There are a lot of benefits that accrue to open source projects.
Any developer who has in-depth knowledge of C++ is in a good position to contribute to the development of Gridcoin. Other than that, the Gridcoin software was specifically designed for easy maintenance, auditing, and extension.
One of the perks of running such a project as an open source project is that it allows the users a world of opportunities, especially when it comes to developing projects pegged on Gridcoin.
Apart from that, it is very easy to address any challenges concerning the Gridcoin environment as and when they arise.
For programmers and other contributors, an open source project means that they are free to identify any concerns or issues that might be present in the code before they move to production with their projects. Besides, the GitHub community is one where developers can always ask for help from other experts in the field concerning anything that they might be struggling with.
Apart from being an open source project, Gridcoin is also an open data project. This means that you can either access the data on the blockchain through a web-based blockchain explorer or through your wallet software.
Why is this an important feature? The blockchain environment was specifically designed with a view of transparency. Anyone is able to audit the ledger at any given time.
Gridcoin is part of a global open-ledger system, hence all data accessed through it is secure and open. Open publication of data means that a lot of people are free to experiment with and analyze the data.
The Gridcoin network is unrestricted. Therefore, anyone who wishes to access it is free to do so. The only barrier put in place to secure the computing services for the Gridcoin project is a network consensus.
Through network consensus, anyone on the network has access to instant, borderless services. Other than that, this is a platform that is free from censorship constraints. Open access is primarily encouraged for academic publications. In so doing, Gridcoin opens up the project for public engagement with open data and science, and this is in line with the ideals of Gridcoin of making the world a better place.
Open access supports the learning initiative, culminating in an open education platform. As an open source project, Gridcoin fully supports the open education resources (OER) development. Gridcoin is one of the projects that is actively involved in supporting easy access to educational facilities for the masses.
An educated society is an empowered society. This also makes it easier to draw lots of participants and experts in different fields to engage one another, and in the process make the Gridcoin ecosystem better through their interaction.
Gridcoin employs BOINC (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing), an approved distributed computing platform. Through this platform, Gridcoin can support massive organizations, laboratories, and research institutions to create and develop projects not just for the purpose of research and discovery, but also for individual needs.
To show support and commitment towards open education initiatives, Gridcoin whitelists any relevant project that has a large scope potential.
How can Gridcoin be categorized?
Gridcoin is a distributed computing network. What sets Gridcoin apart from other distributed networks is that it is powered by idle processing potential of hardware that is already in use. Gridcoin is a free access platform for anyone who needs to process some data.
What’s Gridcoin’s vision on Security?
The security protocol employed by Gridcoin is Proof of Stake (PoS). This is a security system that has been successfully used by so many other blockchain projects in the past. A lot of projects are actively migrating towards Proof of Stake because this protocol is not resource intensive as compared to Proof of Work. Apart from that, Proof of Stake is also a protocol that rewards those who stake blocks through the transaction fees employed in the said blocks.
Proof of Stake secures the blockchain project without having to perform energy-intensive calculations.
As a result, it frees up CPUs and GPUs from having to secure the blockchain. The processing resources, therefore, can be invested towards other useful ventures like completing analytical tasks.
Examples of Gridcoin use cases/applications
There are a lot of projects that currently use Gridcoin or BOINC. These are projects that are geared toward solving world problems like global warming, investigating diseases, discovering pulsars and so forth. The following are some of the projects that have benefitted from the Gridcoin project:
This is a scientific project that studies the protein structure to understand protein functions and predict the structure of the protein from the unique amino acid sequence.
Other than that, it also investigates the interaction between different proteins, in an attempt to understand how sicknesses and diseases are caused by malfunctioning proteins. The knowledge from these studies should be applied in developing treatments for diseases.
World Community Grid
In this project, millions of data-based computing experiments are distributed to volunteers on their devices. Once the experiments have been completed, the results are collected and sent back to the research teams.
The research teams study these results in an attempt to identify existing patterns and hopefully use this as a stepping stone towards scientific progress.
Since the project was started, scientists have managed to accomplish work that would have taken them thousands of years, in a very short time, thanks to the input of the volunteers. In cancer treatment and solar energy research alone, the World Community Grid has been able to make significant progress, with the research partners publishing lots of articles in scientific peer-reviewed journals. This has also helped advance knowledge in poverty, health and sustainability.