VideoCoin and the Blockchain, the New Future of Cloud Computing
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I personally discovered Bitcoin in 2012 and launched the crypto wallet Uphold in 2013. I’ve noticed over the years I’ve been involved in this new industry that Bitcoin is like a many faceted diamond. What one sees depends on the direction from which one looks. I’m still glimpsing shiny new things nearly 6 years later! 6 years is a lifetime for a new technology to still be imparting new lessons. Bitcoin and crypto are wide and deep in lessons and undeniably here to change far more than money.
Bitcoin, of course, lets money flow globally, near instantly, and in sizes small and large. This is well known now. What’s less well known is the fact that Bitcoin, the blockchain to be specific, will also change the way mankind computes. Beyond money, Bitcoin and crypto are creating an entirely new architecture for computing.
Bitcoin accomplished something that had never before occurred in computing. It proved that people would be willing to connect their computers with special software that includes a digital wallet into the Internet and get paid for remote computation, big and small, and do so without any centralized sales team selling them on the idea. Bitcoin computation grew and grew and it did so totally organically.
At first people simply used their home computers and then increasingly larger scale resources were added to the network. Never before had anyone been able to simply connect a computer to a network and get paid in digital money that could be converted back into the fiat and used to buy even more computers. At first this seemed just to be a novel “trustless” way to track the flow of value, but it was so much more.
The world of computing keeps flipping back and forth, from decentralized to centralized and back again. For eons many people were needed to do all of the calculations necessary to accomplish mankind’s major achievements — like building pyramids and rockets — which is a very slow and decentralized way of computation. In the twentieth century these people with pen and paper were called “computers”.
Along came the mainframe computer in the 1960s and as seen on the movie Hidden Figures it replaced hundreds of people doing hand calculations for NASA. NASA no longer had a need for human “computers”. All calculations could now be done by one machine. Calculations moved quickly from decentralized human computation to highly centralized based on mainframe computers.
In the 1980s and 1990s it was a different story. It was the age of the server and client-server computing. Companies tried to switch as fast as possible from mainframes to much smaller servers, each replacing a single mainframe application. The goal was to replace the big, cumbersome, centralized mainframe computing model. Client-server computing was born and the age of decentralized computing began anew.
As the 1990s came to a close people like me were seeing the possibility of using the Internet to once again centralize computation in what became known as cloud computing. CNET, salesforce.com, Google Voice, and OpenDNS were all personal efforts to let the cloud do what individual computers did before. No longer did companies need to build and manage their own internal servers. The vast number of servers companies accumulated were becoming very hard to maintain and they did not have the deep domain expertise needed. The same applications could be created in the cloud, each built for and used by many companies at the same time. It was far cheaper and less complex and the cloud quickly swallowed company servers and centralized all of the complexity using new cloud application providers.
Most people believe this is where the story ends. In fact it’s just the introduction to the most exciting story in the history of computing. While Bitcoin brought prodigious resources onto the network to simply account for the flow of bitcoin between parties it was quietly doing something else. It was creating one of the largest computational infrastructures in the history of mankind. The blockchain that Bitcoin built was capable of scaling ad hoc with no central point of resource control. People simply connected computers, got paid, and it all scaled in much the same way as the Internet.
VideoCoin borrows much from what the blockchain has already proven, namely that people will connect computers to a network to get paid to do work and as demand scales so too does supply. VideoCoin creates a new class of miners who do real work, not just accounting. Computers are connected to the network and they can provide some or all of the following processes required for video: computation to “encode”, storage of the encoded output, and distribution upon schedule or demand. In addition, servers can be configured to connect with traditional video cloud providers like Amazon Web Services or the Google Cloud in a hybrid model as we embrace the video services of today and build a home for the video services of tomorrow.
All servers in the world can encode video and then that video must be stored and streamed. These are all very basic functions that can be performed by devices that range from super powerful servers to smartphones. Additionally, today there are a massive number of servers that have been purchased and are not used at all! These “zombie” servers can in a flash be turned into VideoCoin mining machines.
The advent of smart money and the blockchain allow all of these resources to be identified, tested, and compensated to create a much less costly way to deal with what has become 80% of Internet bandwidth, video. We believe this will not only save media companies and other video creators and application providers tens of billion of dollars each year, but it will also allow for entirely new applications to emerge.
Because VideoCoin is an open source project it not only leverages the best minds but it also allows for the next YouTube, Netflix, and micro-targeted video applications to emerge. Allowing for easier innovation in video is essential because video and reality are on a collision course today. With VR, AR, AI, and super high resolution video coming, video itself is going to go through its greatest transformation since its original creation. What is video and what is reality will simply become points on a continuum, with the two becoming very hard to distinguish between.
The decade to come is going to bring amazing new technologies forward, technologies principally driven by the transformation of video and the advent of the blockchain. We believe we at VideoCoin are at the center of this innovation and would very much welcome your participation. The world to come is almost unfathomable but we believe VideoCoin and you will be at the epicenter of this coming transformation and will play a key role in defining our future.
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