Rent your GPU — Golem it!

If Ethereum broke the shackles the cloud had us on then the Golem Project is here to give you super powers.

Golem Project’s splash page

Imagine you could you could easily rent a crazy expensive computer by the CPU cycle to render your next animated motion feature, wouldn’t it be great?

— It sure would, Gonçalo!

Then look no further my friends because the Golem Project is here to do exactly that.

As stated on their webpage:

Golem’s objective is to use (almost) any computing resource to execute tasks that today need to rely on centralized solutions.
Golem Network is going to be a decentralized ecosystem, with combined power of users’ machines and dedicated software delivering all necessary resources to complete any computing task.

What this means is that you’ll be able to connect your computer to Golem’s network and rent out CPU/GPU cycles and RAM you’re not using and get paid for it (whom they call the providers). Or, if you’re in need of some serious computation power, pay to use the network’s huge computing power (whom they call the requestors).

Now, you’re asking yourself:

But, Gonçalo, will this only work for 3D modeling software?

Of course not, you silly!

This is a distributed computing network much like Folding@Home and similar well-known and acclaimed projects. It gives the possibility to rent computing power, what you do with it is your business (which raises some questions I’ll address below).

There are some major differences between those projects and Golem, though:

  • When most of them were made with specific goals in mind (protein folding simulations, for instance), Golem was made to be a general-purpose network
  • Most of them were made as non-profit endeavours so the only thing you get in return is moral satisfaction. Golem, on the other hand, pays you for your resources
  • Golem uses the Ethereum chain to decentralize payments and relies on no external entity

I find the core concept not only interesting but important for the Ethereum community as a proof-of-concept for larger scale P2P networks that don’t necessarily run on the EVM but implement smart contracts as part of a larger architecture.

I must say I fell in love with the idea and it is the most important use case I see for Ethereum since theDAO. Decentralization fits this project as a glove.

Praises aside, I must say that when I first heard of Golem a few months ago the bad guy in my head burst right out:

Hey, what if I used Golem to crack stolen password hashes?

This is probably what many black hat guys thought the minute they saw this as well. A more general question poses itself:

How is the network going to stop bad bits from being processed?

Guess we’ll have to wait and see!

To finish I must say I just read a really good article on their recently announced crowdsale. An awesome analysis of the project and the team.

If you’re into crypto trading (or only into Golem) you should definitely check it out!

Golem just made me believe a little more in a truly decentralized future. Just made me a little more of a crazy technocrat that dreams of equal power in the hands of everyone!

All hail decentralization! :D