Blockchain sharing economy startup Golem has launched a beta version of its Brass software with support for the Ethereum mainnet, according to a press release dated April 8, which was shared with ETHNews.
The company aims to build a "global, open source, decentralized supercomputer that anyone can access" by creating a platform on which "requestors" can rent computer processing power from "providers" who have processing power to spare. Requestors would broadcast offers on the network and Golem's "transaction system" would match them with providers by "taking into account prices, reputations and [the providers'] machines' performance."
Eventually, Golem hopes that its P2P platform will enable users to perform "a wide variety of [computing] tasks," but the current implementation of its software exclusively supports computer-generated imagery rendering. It does this by interoperating with the open-source computer graphics software Blender.
A member of the Golem team told ETHNews:
"At first, we used to think that we needed the product to be perfect to launch mainnet. We realized, after many software iterations, that the only way to achieving a good product was to get it out of the comfort of our laboratory - the testnet."
In line with this goal of improving the software's code, the Golem Project also announced a bug bounty with a total pool worth over $130,000 at press time, which will be paid out in the platform's ERC20-based native Golem Network Tokens (GNT).
However, the Golem team admits it still has "a long way to go." Brass Beta is the company's minimum viable product, but Golem also expects to support other use cases as early as this year, including machine learning projects.
The next step, according to the press release, is to develop and release an optional piece of arbitrage software called Concent, which is intended to "secure the network and verify that the participants are behaving correctly."
The Golem Dapp "utilizes an Ethereum-based transaction system to settle payments between providers, requestors and software developers," and while users transact in GNT, they must pay transaction fees in Ether. Computations on the platform "take place in sandbox environments and are fully isolated from the hosts' systems," and requestors are free to act as providers any time they have leftover processing power available.
Before the advent of blockchain technology, the Folding@Home project used distributed computing to harness spare processing power for research on protein folding with the goal of improving humanity's understanding of certain diseases, including some cancers. Similarly, Golem's stated objectives include establishing its own system to support "scientific computing."