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Golem — a peer to peer, decentralised supercomputer

The Golem Project is in the process of creating a ‘global, open sourced, decentralised supercomputer that anyone can access’. It’s a network that aims to combine the power of users’ machines, ranging from humble laptops to entire datacentres. Spare computing capacity is rented out for use by individual users — a sort of Airbnb for computers — and can be used in aggregate to run almost any kind of programme. The creators of Golem envisage it being a much cheaper and faster way to carry out intensive computation for areas such as scientific research, CGI rendering, machine learning, cryptography and big data analysis.

Golem is currently in early stages, alpha testing its proof-of-concept version.

So what?

If successful, Golem will give inexpensive and easy access to supercomputer-levels of computation, which is likely to have ramifications for a vast range of sectors across the world. For example, imagine what impact it could have for research and innovation in developing countries.

It presents a challenge to the current centralized cloud computing model — and in fact to very infrastructure of the current internet, which is dominated by large monopolistic providers. The decentralised (ultimately blockchain-based) model underlying Golem aims to connect users directly to each other in a self-organising structure, cutting out middle-men and disrupting the current set of large corporations that act as gatekeepers. Golem could be a harbinger of the future of the internet itself.

— By Joy Green // #signalofchange via Michaela Rose


This article was first published on the Futures Centre on 6 Jun 2017.