Yes, I know, that's all very nice and helpful, but the reality is that the vast majority of users (even if they are interested in crypto) DON'T run BOINC, nor do they have hardware powerful enough to contribute significantly, nor the patience to deal with its complexities (which, I admit, can be sometimes overwhelming for new users). That's all even more true for running BOINC on your GPUs, which consume a lot of power, create a lot of heat and can be difficult to set up properly (as described in my previous article).
Do you want your PC to look like this? No? Well, you are not alone.
So, while many people like the idea of contributing to science and earning cryptocurrency in return, only few actually do so. But even if you don't run BOINC at all, you can still help Gridcoin and the scientific research behind it.
First, you can simply install Gridcoin Wallet, let it sync with the network and keep it running as much as possible. By doing so, you will actually create a new node on the Gridcoin network, thereby making it more secure for everybody, including researchers (Note: approximately 6 GB of hard-disk space is needed to download the whole Gridcoin blockchain and the wallet requires approximately 650 MB of RAM while running).
Gridcoin Wallet running in Investor mode (no BOINC installation detected on the hard-disk) and out of sync. Going to Rebuild Block Chain -> Download Blocks will make it sync a lot faster.
Of course, your balance will be zero upon installation, but there are three Gridcoin faucets where you can acquire your first Gridcoins for free: Gridcoin Asia, Gridcoinstats (currently best funded) and Eobot.
More importantly, holding Gridcoins in your wallet pays an annual 1.5% interest. So, even if you don't have BOINC installed at all, you can still earn Gridcoins through interest, you just have to hold them in your Gridcoin Wallet and let the Wallet application (gridcoinresearch.exe) connect to Internet from time to time (you don't need to keep the wallet running 24/7, although it's beneficial to the Gridcoin network if you do). And of course, buying and holding Gridcoin increases the demand and reduces the supply, thereby driving the price of Gridcoin up. And with higher prices, people are more likely to consider using their CPUs and GPUs for BOINC and computational science rather than for Proof-of-Work and simple hashing, which consumes countless megawatt-hours and TFLOPS for very little actual benefits (outside the crypto world).
A powerful supercomputer, running complex protein folding simulations and finding cures for some major human diseases? Nah, a crypto mining farm, running a repetitive hashing algorithm.
Gridcoin is essentially a Proof-of-Stake cryptocurrency (like Peercoin, Blackcoin etc.) with an important addition - BOINC computations are rewarded in a decentralized manner, something no other crypto can do. So even if you don't run BOINC, you can still use Gridcoin's Proof-of-Stake features, collect interest, help secure the blockchain and increase BOINC science output in the end, through simple supply and demand economics.
The idea of computing for science and getting rewarded is easy to grasp and is universally appealing to many people across the world. Associating the idea of crypto with the idea of scientific progress would be a huge win for the whole cryptosphere and would in many ways validate the idea of crypto to the wider public - something that all cryptocurrencies together haven't managed to do yet.