Golem intends to be a worldwide, decentralized supercomputer, one that derives its computing power from every machine on its network.
Providers and Requestors
Computer users can join the network to either loan out their spare CPU or request CPU for their heavy computing tasks. How might this work in practice? Any Golem network member needing to perform a heavy computing task (“a requestor”) can submit a task request via its software client. Any Golem network member(s) wishing to provide the computing power needed for the task (“a provider”) can send their computing power details and price to the requestor. However, Golem’s interface will allow several providers to perform smaller subtasks, which together can fulfill heavier computational requirements.
Payment is carried out through an Ethereum smart contract. This idea has earned Golem the nickname “the Airbnb of computers.”
Eventually, Golem hopes to provide everyday computer users with the capability to perform high-end heavy computing activities, such as artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and CGI rendering. At present, Golem only rents out its CPU power for creating CGI (computer-generated imagery). The entertainment industry relies heavily on CGI rendering to create animated films and video games. Users can purchase the computational power required for CGI using an ERC20 token known as the Golem Network Token(GNT). The swapping occurs via an open source software called Blender,
Plans and Current Progress
Once Golem proves itself as a cost-effective alternative to cloud computing platforms, it will provide its network members with an online computational cloud. As Golem’s technology advances, other advanced technologies may integrate with it, most notably Swarm, Whisper, IPFS/Filecoin, and DEVp2p. Such a development may very well offer an appealing alternative to the current data centers servicing the internet. Golem’s online computational cloud will precede its trial release as a globally decentralized supercomputer.
However, the technology required to pull such supercomputing transactions can be rather daunting. While verifying computations related to crypto transactions is a straightforward task, verifying heavier computations (the kind that might be used in supercomputing) is a far more difficult task.
Unfortunately, its inability to quickly get a product off the ground has fuelled criticism toward the project. In response, Julian Zawistowski, CEO and founder of Golem, states that such delays are “typical for software development in general, and blockchain in particular, as we underestimate the complexity of what we want to do. You always underestimate how difficult it is, and this was obviously the case with us.”
Golem remains in the top 50 coins by market cap. However, the market has not been kind of late, as Golem has lost 24% of its value in the past month. Still, the Golem concept to enable widespread supercomputer use remains an intriguing and attractive idea to crypto investors.