it is long ago that I have written about one favorite project of mine called Gridcoin. But recently in the light of the new hardware crisis in regards to Graphic cards and such it all came back again to me.
I simply do not get that we are using all this wonderful processing power and are not calculating something halfway useful with it. We are solving puzzles, but not ones that really would bring us anywhere or help us even, but ones that we thought of ourselves, that help us secure a network or proof some work done.
What is Gridcoin?
Well, Gridcoin was obviously thought to be the remedy to this illness, to give the possibility to do something useful with this massive amount of computational power. It is based upon the BOINC (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing) Client**, a way to distribute scientific calculations, you might have heard of this back in the 90s already when SETI@home was amongst one of the first projects to use this kind of distribution.
So basically, instead of calculating generic problems, you can help science with your computational power and calculate or simulate scientific problems. For instance, you can help fighting childhood cancer by contributing to the World Community Grid from IBM. Or you can help draw a 3D map of the Milky Way Galaxy by supporting the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with their project Milkyway@home. Or you could help the University of Washington with their project Rosetta@home trying to predict protein structures that could ultimately lead to cures for some major human diseases.
Why is not everyone then mining Gridcoin?
Good question, there is one relatively easy answer to that. It does, from a purely financial point of view, not make sense to point GPUs or CPUs (yes you can help with both, there are projects out there where you can even help with a raspberry pi) at a Gridcoin project. Revenues are quite small and the price of GRC is not soaring like Dogecoin at the moment.
But, on the other side, not everything can and should be measured from a financial point of view.
Where can I find additional information?
One thing that also is a standing problem for the Gricoin universe (at least for me) is the quite steep learning curve and the relatively high entry barriers in terms of knowledge that you need to start calculating for science. The Gridcoin Website has a lot of comprehensive material to help climb those first few steps. Take a look at the Guides section, but be careful, the raw mass of material might be overwhelming at first.
I might as well do a follow up to this article explaining the setup and the choices that you have to make if you want to start helping science and humanity :)
Live long and prosper
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