Golem (Golem Network) platform is a marketplace for computing power. On the peer-to-peer network, unused computational resources can be rented out to users wishing to perform memory-intensive tasks, who pay the provider in Golem’s cryptocurrency.
The idea is that an individual possessing, say, a high-end gaming rig can profit from allowing another to use its GPU/CPU cycles for anything from CGI rendering to training neural nets. Resources that once would have sat idle can now be monetized on the decentralized network.
Golem (GNT) is using personal computer to offer services that are currently done today by servers. The ICO started in November 2016. Users who share their computing power with the Golem network will be rewarded in Golem Network Tokens (GNT). The GNT token is a perfect example of the second – the ecosystem runs on the native Golem token, with requestors paying providers in the currency for their computing power.
The Golem Project, in its communications, has always been vocal about disregarding the price of GNT. However, the token has shown impressive growth since its introduction in 2016 – from beginning to ATH, it has blown up by approximately 70x its initial value, and boasts a market cap of over half a billion USD.
Golem's aim is to use any personal computer to do jobs that are done today by servers, computing farms or supercomputers. Golem's features include a P2P network, a trading system, task definition and computation and reputation system.
With Golem, anyone will be able to rent their unused computing resources. Simultaneously, Golem will enable any user to buy computing time from other users to complete computationally demanding task. Golem wants to create a global market for idle computing power. Golem uses Ethereum and smart contracts for transactions.
Who is Golem for?
While there seems to be an increasing trend in tokens catering to overly-specific markets (do we really need a strip club token?), Golem’s platform caters to a large audience: the current testnet has a focus on CGI rendering, but as it is refined, one can see the pool of requestors varying wildly, potentially including:
- Businesses wishing to crunch large amounts of data
- Programmers running dApps
- Scientists simulating large-scale models
- Machine learning
Anyone can become a provider, renting their machines in exchange for cryptocurrency. It will be interesting to observe the variance in price from traditional centralised servers, given the low barriers to entry.
There are several exchanges on which you can purchase GNT; however, it’s traded with the highest volume on Huobi as a trading pair with BTC, USDT, and ETH. GNT is also available on Liqui, Bittrex, Ethfinex, and Poloniex. Once the Golem mainnet is launched, you’ll be able to receive GNT for renting out your computing power.
You can store your GNT in any wallet with ERC20 support. The most popular options are MyEtherWallet and Mist. If you’re willing to shell out a few shekels, you should use a hardware wallet like the Trezor for additional security.
Golem is led by Julian Zawistowski who’s also an advisor to Hoard, a blockchain platform for the video game industry. The team first released the alpha, Brass, in August 2016. Brass includes Blender and LuxRender, two tools for CGI rendering. Later releases are as follows:
- Clay – Includes the Application Registry and Task API. In this release, developers will be able to integrate with the platform.
- Stone – Includes the Certification Mechanism and Transaction Framework. With this release, Golem can be used in a SaaS model.
- Iron – Has increased security and stability. This version allows developers to create applications that run outside of the sandbox.
The long-term vision of the Golem team is to build a decentralized platform of microservices acting as the “new Internet of tomorrow.”
There are a few similar projects to Golem that the team addresses on their FAQ page. The most notable project is iExec; however, it’s primarily focusing on requestors who want to run off-chain computations. The Golem team believes that there won’t be any use-case overlaps between the two in the immediate future and they may even be able to work together later on.
SONM and BOINC are also working to solve similar problems. SONM uses third-party frameworks whereas Golem doesn’t, and the Golem team states that BOINC is a more centralized solution.