Sometimes called the “AirBNB” of computing power, Golem allows users (“providers”) to rent out their unused processing power to others (“requestors”), with Golem Network Tokens or GNT as a reward. In this way, it reinvents the Internet as a true sharing economy, thanks to the power of blockchain technology (through use of the Ripple Virtual Machine), and essentially creates a worldwide, decentralised supercomputer by combining the processing power of many users.
Golem (GNT) Chart
Golem and graphic design
Golem can be used for any type of computation task, requiring any length of time or any processing capacity. A first suggested use – initially the only possible one, through Golem Alpha – is to help graphic designers render large CGI images more quickly.
The designer thus invests a certain number of GNT, which is used to “hire” a number of idle computers; instead of taking 100 minutes of the designer’s time to render the image, it can then, for example, be rendered by using 100 different computers for one minute. The image is rendered 100 times faster, and the owners of the “idle” computers are paid for their time.
Golem, when widely adopted, has advantages both for individual users and for companies. Individual users would not require such powerful individual computers; by connecting to the Golem platform, a tablet or even mobile phone could gain the power of a laptop or desktop computer. Simultaneously, companies could use the Golem system to access extra processing power during peak times or extremely busy times of year, without having to invest in more advanced infrastructure which is perhaps unnecessary at other times.
Conversely, users and companies could make money in the form of GNT simply by using that which they already have: their computers and their untapped processing power, when not in use.
Nonetheless, the system also has a number of disadvantages to overcome. Firstly, it relies on connectivity even more strongly than any other Internet-based service, since many of its applications would involve a lengthy use of the system. A lack of connectivity, therefore, in the form of a power cut or Internet outage in a particular part of the world, could cause data loss or simply extreme delays.
Secondly, the system relies on a certain balance – a more or less equal number of providers and requesters. Once a particular time of year or day sees an uneven amount of providers and requesters, this may mean particular tasks cannot be carried out, or can only be carried out very slowly. In a sense, the system thus relies on very wide adoption.
Finally, however, Golem can also be useful for software developers. In this sense, it provides a flexible platform for such people to deploy and monetise particular software through the Application Registry and Transaction Framework, which works as an app store. As opposed to traditional app stores, however, it takes advantage of the decentralised nature of the blockchain system used by Golem, which means developers retain complete control of their product.