Golem is one of the first crowdfunded projects in the cryptocurrency sphere. After all the preparations (three years to be exact) it has finally launched its mainnet on the Ethereum blockchain.
When the project was selling off GNT tokens, it was sold out in just 20 minutes. The project raised $340 million at the time of the sale in 2016 – that’s 820,000 units of ETH.
Imagine browsing a social media platform while filling your wallet with extra cash. That’s the main goal of Golem – a peer-to-peer market where users can contribute computing power to a decentralized network. It’s like chipping in power to one large supercomputer in exchange for GNT tokens. Likewise, users can ‘rent’ computing power from the network by spending tokens.
Critics question why it took so long to launch the platform. Golem CEO and Founder Julian Zawistowski responded in an interview with CoinDesk:
"This is typical for software development in general, and blockchain in particular, we underestimate the complexity of what we want to do. You always underestimate how difficult it is, and this was obviously the case with us."
Ethereum’s technology surely brings life to the concept Golem came out with. Smart contract technology is a huge factor in the implementation of the exchange of computing power. However, the ‘worldwide supercomputer’ setup is still far from realizing.
As it is now, Golem enables unused computing power from the machines of users. This is done through CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery) by running computing power through an interface that uses Blender. Blender offers a 3D creation suite that supports modeling, animation, simulation, motion tracking and many other related services.
Golem’s current version is Golem Brass Beta with the goal of testing the platform’s functionality by participating in the real market using real funds. Zawistowski shared that the team intended to see how it behaves when released in the wild. Golem itself does not run its own blockchain, but makes use of Ethereum for the GNT token as well as GNT transactions. The reliability of transactions sprouts from the fact that interactions are done through nodes running on the network without human intervention.
Golem Co-founder and CTO Piotr “Viggith” Janiuk seconded Zawistowski through a statement:
"The release is there to prove to us and everyone that we can actually deliver something that can run on mainnet and that's really usable. And well, it is."
"You start with a very simple Golem that should work up to a point where we have the Golem which is perfect and self-contained and modular, and you give it a computation and it's done in a matter of seconds."
As it is usable, the mainnet release is admittedly a kind of testing phase where any issues will be addressed right away.
In the future, Golem has the goal of making the platform more seamless by integrating a plugin for Blender such that there will be no extra steps when running the Golem service through it. Also, machine learning is being considered so the network can provide even more computational resources through artificial intelligence.
Janiuk further explained to Coindesk how the team was solidifying the project before launch:
"Interfacing with Ethereum seems pretty straightforward, but once you want to move into production, it is difficult. You have to make sure that it is as bulletproof as possible; there can be no holes because you're risking someone else's money."
This much makes it clear that more and more technical barriers had to be addressed in the development of the platform.
"Any decentralized solution right now is I believe still at least a few steps before being even close to something that can be called a production-grade solution," Janiuk said.
Although blockchain solutions today allow for a more copy-paste approach, this was not the case with Golem. Zawistowski added to this, saying:
"Very often you have to invent the wheel to solve your problems. Not reinventing the wheel, but actually inventing the wheel."