Gridcoin is an open source network protocol using blockchain technology. Its network is able to be used as a distributed computing network for scientific research.
Instead of requiring a supercomputer to process data, scientists are able to use the Gridcoin network (based on the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing; BOINC) to process data at a much lower cost. The project aims to further the capabilities of scientists worldwide by providing them with the computing power they need that otherwise might be completely inaccessible. HistoryBOINC began development in 2002, and its goal was to manage the [email protected] project started by the Berkeley SETI Research Center. [email protected] was one of the first distributed computing networks created. Its purpose was to analyze radio signals and search for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence.
BOINC expanded the scope of its abilities to include many more types of scientific computation. Gridcoin was launched in 2013 as a reward for participating in the BOINC network. FeaturesBOINC is an open source distributed computing network system that is able to perform computations for multiple sciences. It is the largest computing grid in the world, and runs on multiple operating systems. The network uses both CPU and CPU power to compute its algorithms, which means that Gridcoin is not ASIC averse like some other cryptocurrencies. There are currently 37 projects whitelisted for BOINC, with projects sponsored by universities from all over the world.
Gridcoin rewards are based on Proof of Stake and Proof of Research algorithms. Proof of Stake generates an interest rate of 1.5% per year on the staking coins.
Proof of Research pays users for participating in approved BOINC projects. BOINC projects have a Cross-Project ID which is linked to computations that are completed, and if the computations are related with the ID then the user is rewarded for helping with the computation. Users are paid out in Gridcoin tokens proportional to their Recent Average Credit score (RAC), which is determined by the number of helpful computations that the user provided to the network. Gridcoin is decentralised, so the development of the coin is based on community consensus. A blockchain-based voting system exists where users can stay updated with current projects and vote on the development of the coin.
Features such as the BOINC whitelist were developed through the voting system. Other cryptocurrencies generally create coins and maintain their value through their distributed computing networks, however this results in a lot of computing power being directed towards solving computations that are then discarded. Gridcoin aims to direct the wasted resources into producing results for research. The project sees idle computing power and computing power used for discarded algorithms to be a waste. There is a large demand for computing power within the scientific community, and the cost of running a centralized network is quite high.
By rewarding users to direct the computing power towards the Gridcoin/BOINC network, Gridcoin is able to create an energy efficient network that is also able to help further develop our knowledge.