It’s been over a month since the Golem Project launched their crowdfunding campaign. The wildly successful token sale was over in 29 minutes, having raised over $8 million. After picking their jaws up off the floor, the astonished and overjoyed Golem team went to work.
Golem is currently set to enter their next phase called, Brass Golem, which will tentatively be released in May 2017. Brass Golem is their first use case and proof of concept for the project, which they describe:
Brass Golem introduces the world’s first sharing economy for spare computing power, and serves as the platform upon which we will build Golem into a worldwide decentralized supercomputer that anyone can program.
Since this is the first stage of their release, Brass Golem will only be able to handle CGI rendering but plan to offer it at a cheaper and faster rate than currently being offered by other systems. Their roadmap will see the project through several releases, from Brass Golem to Clay Golem, then Stone Golem, and finally, Iron Golem. With each release, the project will be upgraded and become more powerful as it approaches full functionality.
Golem is currently in alpha testing, and the team is running Golem Alpha on their own private Ethereum testnet. Golem’s public release will run on the tokens sold during their crowdsale, Golem Network Tokens (GNT). Therefore, when the public release occurs, they will move all of the Alpha’s transactions to tGNT, which is the Test Golem Network Token, and will function the same as GNT. As they continue developing Golem, their tests will eventually be moved over to Ethereum’s Ropsten testnet. From there, they’ll begin using their tGNT on the Ethereum mainnet, before eventually rolling out a full Brass Golem release, which will see regular GNTs introduced.
As Golem moves toward a full release, scalability will become a potential issue. When processing large files, like high-quality image rendering, a reliable and efficient decentralized file sharing mechanism is required. Golem Alpha currently relies on InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) to host their files while they continue testing and development. They are concerned about IPFS’s reliability, however, and are now exploring other options. As Ethereum more efficiently integrates Swarm functionality into the network, it’s possible Golem could utilize that system instead.
To focus on improving user experience and product design, the Golem team is also working on several technical aspects of the project, such as APIs, so that users can integrate Golem into new apps. In an updated post on their blog, Golem wrote:
We will finally be replacing Qt interface with web interface as the software that Golem’s front end is running on. We’re changing our current interface-client communication method and preparing API specification to allow users to write their own interface-extensions for new apps with more ease. This is not critical for Brass Golem (because there will be only CGI rendering integrated by us in Brass), but it is perspective work towards more advanced versions of Golem.
We’re also moving into more detailed tests & improvements of Golem’s Blender & Lux Renderer performance, refactoring Golem’s code (as well as splitting the code previously in ‘gnr’ into two directories: ‘apps’ and ‘gui’), and starting to really focus on improving UX and product design.
By the time Brass Golem is released into the wild, it’ll be so friendly that anyone with basic computer skills will be able to get it up and running in minutes.
This is exciting news for the technology, especially in regard to a project that’s still very much in development and planning to be released within a few months.
Due to their comprehensive development plan and their sizeable amount of financing, Golem is looking to expand their team. They’ve already hired three new developers, and are still looking for more help. If you know your way around the keyboard, are well adept at programming, and think you may have something to offer to the Golem team, click here.
If the Golem project is successful, they stand the chance to not only be an amazing use case for Ethereum but also possess the power to potentially revolutionize decentralized supercomputing.