The Gridcoin community is running a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for its PiGrid plug-n-play network that rewards scientific research.
The goal of the PiGrid crowdfunding campaign is to raise EUR 8,000, providing rewards that include SD cards, Raspberry Pi-Class devices, quad-core CPU boxes, and a octa-core CPU box, all of which come loaded with the plug-n-play Gridcoin mining software.
Gridcoin itself is a blockchain protocol with a “Proof-of-Research” algorithm that equally rewards and cryptographically proves research completed on the Berkley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) network. The research work can utilize any kind of distributed computing process (ASIC, GPU, CPU, Sensor, etc) and generates rewards.
Gridcoin, abbreviated as GRC, has the added benefit of being relatively energy-efficient. While Bitcoin mining consumes double digit millions of dollars in electricity daily, Gridcoin strips out energy waste and dedicates 98% of networked resources to scientific tasks.
Developed at UC Berkeley, BOINC is an open-source volunteer computing grid that combines the processing power of all users for the purposes of scientific research. Users can donate idle time on their computers to cure diseases, study global warming, discover pulsars, and do many other types of scientific research.
Since being founded in 2013, Gridcoin’s biggest hurdle has been user adoption. To attract more users, members of the Gridcoin community decided to develop PiGrid – an easy-to-use solution that works out of the box and takes care of related configurations and updates. The PiGrid software can be used on existing hardware or bundled with pre-installed systems. A graphical user interface permits users to select research projects via drag-and-drop, monitor progress and track rewards in Gridcoin.
AllCoinsNews discussed with key Gridcoin community members, Maximilian Weigel and Tobias Becke, about the PiGrid crowdfunding campaign and Gridcoin in general.
ACN: Max how did you come to Gridcoin?
I was looking for the next big thing in late 2013. I came across the working blockchain solution which Rob had first presented and fell in love with the concept. Since then the rush of innovation has not stopped, we already went from 50% of efficiency to 98% and decentralize each part of the system in clean increments. There were times of much envy and ddos attacks but the network prevailed and became more and more robust with time. What irritated me was, that the algorithm seemed to inspire every person I talked to, but the active community remained small. It dawned on us, that this was due to the short update circles that broke compatibility in the past. Hence, we at PiGrid aim to deliver a plug-n-play solution that keeps track of incoming upgrades and aids the user in staying atop.
ACN: Also Tobias what is your role at Gridcoin?
Well my role at Gridcoin is simple, I am a participant, a miner, an active community member and enthusiast. Also I am helping new members to understand and setup everything correctly. That’s all, but obviously I am trying to promote Gridcoin, spread the words that anybody can see how “stupid” it is to waste energy with mining Bitcoin instead of researching with Gridcoin. sometimes I am hunting for bugs in our testnet.
ACN: How was this project conceived? Who are the founders? Who are the key project contributors?
Gridcoin was born in late 2013 when Rob Halförd started developing the first version of Gridcoin. He is the most prominent actor in this open source project, but there are a few helping hands and anyone could enter and participate. Then there is a large community consisting out volunteers like me. The rest of the story can be found here: http://wiki.gridcoin.us/Main_Page
The initial idea of PiGrid was introduced by Maximilian Weigel and Wojciech Kwasnik who developed a Linux based solution that consists of BOINC and Gridcoin software as well as a client-server architecture for pooling to easily
participate in the Gridcoin network. I joined them as a consultant in Gridcoin details (community, mining etc…)
ACN : What is the Gridcoin cryptographic algorithm?
Gridcoins cryptographic algorithm has many innovations as described on http://uscore.net and http://wiki.gridcoin.us It relies on principles from industry leading implementations of Proof of Stake but combines those with a mechanism to reward the users with most BOINC performance which rewards directly for scientific calculations in the BOINC system. The algorithm is called Proof of Research or POR More can be found here http://wiki.gridcoin.us/Proof-of-Research (and of course, everything is open source).
ACN: What are the main goals of the project?
I believe you mean the PiGrid project. Well we have two goals, obviously, the promotion of innovations behind Gridcoin and the simplification of its use for anyone who can control a mouse and a keyboard 🙂
ACN: How do owners of Gridcoin benefit?
Gridcoin owners benefit from the two main goals mentioned above. The more people know about Gridcoin the more people will be interested in it. The more people are interested, the more will research and the harder it will get to get the same share of daily produced Gridcoins which will eventually result in a higher price. Once this cycle started (the price gets higher, its worth mining, even worth buying hardware to mine, more participants in BOINC, the price gets higher etc etc – the same as Bitcoin, only with useful calculations) Gridcoin owners will see their owned Gridcoin rise in price.
ACN: The PiGrid kickstarter campaign target 8000 Eur? It doesn‘t seem to be a lot. What will these funds be used for?
Well we thought of a low target because we will found the company PiGrid anyway. Gridcoin will be promoted by Kickstarter, at least passively, if the Kickstarter is successful.
The funds will be used to buy the first hardware that is promised to the backers. The (little) extra money will be used to develop necessary software and updates.
ACN: What will participants in the campaign get out of buying the mining hardware?
Well the backers/participants in the Kickstarter will get a plug-n-play miner where they just have to choose which project they want to support via drag and drop GUI (including advices regarding the best GRC/kWh rates etc.). And then they can mine and earn GRC with research. In case anyone is interested in a mining rig such as a complete workstation, he could use it as a normal computer / gaming rig when he does not want to research anymore or stop research for example.
ACN: Is the software, hardware and participation in network only for hardcore crypto coiners?
NO, that’s the best thing about our solution. We want to make anyone capable of becoming a paid home based researcher. Plug-n-play for anyone is our goal. Everyone who participates in PiGrid could say hey, I will be paid for research
now, also when I sleep. Including our grandmas 🙂
Below is a list of links for background information.
– short introduction to Gridcoin: http://uscore.net
– overview of BOINC: https://boinc.berkeley.edu/trac/wiki/BoincIntro
– developer board of Gridcoin: https://cryptocointalk.com/forum/464-gridcoin-grc
– twitter: https://twitter.com/PiGrid_com
– Gridcoin documentation: http://wiki.gridcoin.us