While crypto is booming, scientists across the world lack the computing power to find a cure for diseases which can affect us allsteemCreated with Sketch.

in gridcoin •  last year

We live in the world which has unlocked many scientific secrets and achieved amazing engineering feats. But with many years of rapid scientific progress now behind us, one very important fact has emerged: the more we learn about the universe, the more it appears to be based on mathematical laws. There is a new era of science emerging right in front of us - the era of computational science, where apparently everything can be calculated.


                     


That's good news - it means we could certainly learn much more about the universe and the world around us in the near future. That's also bad news - we don't have enough computing power to do so. More and more scientific projects across the world are stalled - due to lack of computing power. Faced with the same problem 18 years ago, some smart guys over at the University of Berkeley said: Well, let's split our large computing tasks into small pieces and distribute them over the Internet. Perhaps people will compute them for free? People did and thus SETI@home was born (and became globally popular). Few years later, it was expanded and it became the BOINC network which included many different scientific projects from all across the world. And thus volunteer distributed computing was born.


              

Distributed computing: there's plenty of computing power in the world, the problem is how to harness it.


But the problem remained. Our demand for computing power is increasing very fast, while BOINC output is increasing very slow. Yes, it's true - even with Bitcoin hitting new all-time-highs and new Proof-of-Work coins appearing almost every week, established scientific projects (World Community Grid, Rosetta@home, GPUGRID) which are attempting to find cures for some major human diseases (cancer, AIDS, Malaria, Alzheimer's, Ebola, Tuberculosis, Zika) are progressing only slowly - because they cannot afford enough computing power and volunteer computing is having a hard time meeting the demand. It isn't difficult to see why - when computing for free, you still have to pay for the hardware and you still have to pay for electricity.


Bitcoin price in the last 60 days: from $1200 to $2800, nice exponential growth



BOINC output in the last 60 days: from 4.205 trillion credits to 4.424, steady linear growth


You, the crypto-enthusiast, can turn the things around. Perhaps you are already mining some Proof-of-Work crypto on your machine? Profits are good, you are invested, don't wanna switch? Spare only a core or two for BOINC and volunteer science. Want to contribute more? Devote both your CPU and GPU to BOINC and join Gridcoin, a currency minted by BOINC computations and computational science. Gridcoin currently has the marketcap of $22 million, with one Gridcoin worth approximately 5 cents. Even at that price, it's already possible to turn a slight profit, running only BOINC, computing only for science and mining only Gridcoin. Only a few years ago, such an idea would have been dismissed as utopian science fiction. 

Now, imagine one Gridcoin worth 50 cents. Thousands of new crunchers would join up and BOINC would experience the exponential growth it needs to catch up with the computing demands of modern science. Imagine one Gridcoin worth 100x more or $5. Welcome to the era of computational science. It's hard to even imagine today the level of scientific progress achievable with such a large computing network, it would start to look a lot like Ray Kurzweil's Singularity. And that's not an outlandish idea - even at that price ($5), Gridcoin's marketcap would be $2.2 billion, placed only fifth on the list of most valuable cryptos today.


The University of Geneva's Professor Francois Grey, Computing for Clean Water, World Community Grid

What would you do if you had a lot more computing power? Like 100x more? Or even 1000x more? The analogy I would give, it's a bit like Galileo, if you asked him 'what will you see through the telescope', before he looked.

Youtube link: How the Computing for Clean Water project came to World Community Grid



The University of Washington, Dr. David Baker (Rosetta@home) talks about protein folding in this NOVA documentary titled "The Origami Revolution" (from 20:30)

"Protein origami is the future of drug development" (Youtube link)



Harvard University, Dr. Alán Aspuru-Guzik, Clean Energy Project, World Community Grid

If I were to have say a hundred times more volunteers, we could turn the project into the ‘Molecular Space Project’ and we could undertake a vast cataloguing of a sample of a diverse set of molecules in chemical space to search for molecules with extreme properties for a variety of applications that could range from energy to technology and even health.

https://www.inverse.com/article/6592-supercomputer-boinc-update



"Billions and Billions of Molecules" (Youtube link). Dr. Alán Aspuru-Guzik talks about distributed computing and World Community Grid (from 17:30)

You end up with three million molecules. And there you go, how to compute them? So that's when we started to harness some of the compute power out there. Computers anywhere can help screen polymers by participating in The Clean Energy Project.


Conclusion

Today, we have three cryptocurrencies worth over $10 billion: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple. Yet, what's changed? Cryptos still have crappy reputation. Ordinary people still think that's just another bubble and fail to see any groundbreaking benefits. Hundreds of megawatt-hours are still spent every day on Proof-of-Work, a wasteful concept which is very difficult to explain to anyone outside of the crypto world. Everyone's still concerned about government clampdowns. But who would dare to clamp down on the network which is on the verge of discovering a cure for Zika? Gridcoin can change the world in a way that all people can relate to - through science and scientific progress. 



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The problem with crypto millionaires is that you cannot know how many of them is out there. Thus, no one is actually socially "forced" to give charity. Great post. We need more like this.

In other news

Bitcoin computational power increased from 2,220,167,778 GH/s to 5,298,911,504 GH/s in 6 months, almost the double!

Source: https://bitcoinwisdom.com/bitcoin/difficulty

BOINC + Gridcoin = Real science with benefits

The projects gets their computational work done without ANY cost to them. At the same time the Gridcoin network pays the tab and sends the newly minted coins out to the users doing their work.

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Just placed a buy order for some.

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Nice, welcome in :)

Great post Vortac! As the price of GRC rises BOINC should be seeing a lot more users. Exciting times.

There is a new era of science emerging right in front of us - the era of computational science, where apparently everything can be calculated.

Hybris! We already had the era of physics, the era of chemistry and the era of the atom.

All sciences are advancing, and all use computer. That si the reason after all why more people need to join BOINC!


Really nice post!

Thanks for sharing! A link to your post was included in the Steem.center wiki page about SteemSTEM. Thanks and good luck again!

I just set up a server to sync different blockchain. I will try to join BOINC sometime this week.

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Will be good to see you there. Drop in on us on IRC as well.

http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=gridcoin-help&uio=d4

@Vortac, I like the concept of gridcoin and have run BOINC tasks to test it out. My concern is what is the demand signal for Gridcoin. In other words, why would people buy it other than investment or staking. I believe if they could find a use case for it then it would drive demand for completing BOINC tasks.

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Gridcoin is BOINC, BOINC is computing power. Computing power will be everything in the future and BOINC will provide a sizeable amount. Soon enough, one part of that computing power will be monetized through crypto, for projects which are in urgent need of more TFLOPS. Gridcoin is currently the only coin rewarding BOINC computations and will surely play an important role in that process.

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I think if they created a network from which you could buy computing power with gridcoin and BOINC was a charitable mining option that would create sufficient demand for a long term stable token price.

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That is exactly what I was thinking. You buy computing power from the "miners" with GridCoin, create a market! NiceHash does something similar. Buy computing power for altcoins with BTC.

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In a way, since coins have been primarily distributed via proven verified computation, each token you buy is like owning a bit of historical computation. By buying gridcoin you help offset the electricity costs of people crunching BOINC.

But I agree that a gridcoin:computation market would be interesting, it could be created within a BOINC project, within a Gridcoin Pool or potentially within the reward mechanism (via proof of burn).

By owning Gridcoin, you could vote your project into the Gridcoin whitelist and distribute additional gridcoin to incentivize users crunching your project.

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I really like this project. I like altcoin projects with more to them than just being another store of value.

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But surely that is what Gridcoin is.

I 'crunch' several BOINC projects which I believe are of benefit to human kind and some of these I do under the auspices of being a member of the Gridcoin Team.
I receive Gridcoin through the Proof of Research algorithm.

Who benefits:

  1. I defray my electricity costs.

  2. The project completes X number or work units and moves closer towards its goal.

Win, win!!

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The question is who is buying the Gridcoin. For now it is investors for staking and speculators who hope the price will go up. To sustain PoR mining over the long term, there has to be a use for the coin. If I can buy processing time with Gridcoin, that is a use, it just needs to be advertised so the demand is created.

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It's already possible to distribute Gridcoin to miners who run your BOINC project (so called 'rain' function). We use it internally to reward crunchers participating in various crunching competitions (i.e. BOINC Pentathlon) but an enterprising scientist might also use it to reward its cruncher base and to boost computations (more reward->more crunchers->more computing power).

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I think that feature should be advertised heavily and possibly developed further to make it easy to use. I think there is a significant block to investment right now because there isn't a clear demand side use case for Gridcoin.

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Excellent. Great to see the code exists. Let's spread the word.

I've been crunching SETI since 1999, and in fact looking for similar types of things is what introduced me to Bitcoin 6 or 7 years ago. Gridcoin is the perfect blending of the 2 ideas.

Thanks for this, it's really interesting and a very powerful point that we still have these huge problems to solve but are mainly focused on aspirational goals like improving financial transaction effectiveness than keeping people alive.

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GridcoinNetwork GridcoinNetwork tweeted @ 07 Jun 2017 - 21:42 UTC

.@customminer is representing #Gridcoin during #210 BeyondBitcoin hangout!

steemit.com/beyondbitcoin/… / https://t.co/AubKSL65be
@Beyond_Bitcoin $GRC $STEEM #Whaleshares

Disclaimer: I am just a bot trying to be helpful.
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Thanks! This is the correct link though :)

https://twitter.com/customminer/status/872572275408744448

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customminer CM tweeted @ 07 Jun 2017 - 21:53 UTC

While #crypto is booming, many scientists lack the computing power required to find cures for diseases!

steemit.com/gridcoin/@vort… / https://t.co/kDoeeh7XWl
$GRC #BOINC

Disclaimer: I am just a bot trying to be helpful.
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Haha, yeah my bad! At least I tweeted the right link! :D

beautiful post :)

708 Views and 136 votes?? What a TRAVESTY!! Your content has been selected to be highlighted on the Science-Trail, keep up your hard work!

Join Us On Discord!

Amazing post I put a serious amount of hashing power towards some of these projects and they are all for great causes. I didn't have much luck in trying to get it to stake and provide me with gridcoin that process still eludes me for some reason no matter how many times I tried. If it was easier to setup I believe more people would do it.

It is a wonderful rewards system that helps the world and will only become stronger. I actually plan on building a dedicated rig or two just for boinc

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Need help? Come to Gridcoin IRC channel or Reddit. Or even better, create another Steemit post describing the problem, tag it Gridcoin and we'll sort it out.

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Awesome thank you very much for that I look forward to being productive again with my rigs!

An excellent post, sums up my thoughts. Well done!

As part of the older generation I have lived through the passage of the early days of computational power from room sized mainframes to the power I hold in my hand and I now call a smart phone. I have been involved or on the fringes of many changes in technology since the advent of the first PC.

Now is the time of true Volunteer Distributed Computing.

Come and join our discussions:

https://steemit.com/gridcoin/@cm-steem/gridcoin-community-hangout-032-10th-june-2017-9pm-gmt-rsvp-and-suggest-topics

Lots to take in. Good article!

What happens when quantum computing starts making leaps and bounds?
Does this happen before computing power is an issue?

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When quantum computing starts making leaps and bounds, you'll potentially be able to rely on such quantum computing power through the BOINC network.. though we're talking decades away.

BOINC will likely be compatible with most computer advancements for the next few decades, so the more computing power the merrier!

Lets say hi to Proof of Stake and welcome science to the new blockchain where PoW miners are looking for a new job.


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Everything stems from a thought and then we can bring it into fruition.
This is so exciting the more I find out, I'm buzzing!!!!🕉

This sounds like an indirect nod to Golem. ;-)

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Except Golem will just keep compute resources constrained/expensive by charging for it, this will continue to block scientific progress.
Gridcoin gives compute resources for free, so science can flourish.

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How much cheaper is computing power with Golem than having to purchase time on an existing super? And what advances will we see as more and more researchers are able to make use of that power, simply because of a reduction in cost? I'm not of a mind that your choices are always either one or the other. I don't believe you'll be able to recognize the world, crypto or otherwise a decade from now.

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Nobody can answer your question because nobody has actually computed anything on the Golem network yet (it's still in early alpha version). Also, due to its auction system, it's very difficult to predict the actual prices. More details here:

https://steemit.com/gridcoin/@cm-steem/why-gridcoin-beats-golem-hands-down-nateonthenet

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Thanks.

Based entirely on the little info I had garnered from their web page, Golem was on my short list for crypto to diversify into.

I'll look more closely at gridcoin now.

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That's a wise move. Research and protect yourself. Official marketing is seldom a good source of information.

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Be careful of people making claims about what Golem can do. Im not saying it cant do things but there seems to be a lot of guessing and people just wish fulfilling. I think the devs are fairly straight, in the interview I saw they were honest that they just dont know how its all going to work yet.

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To be honest, the first 2 criteria I use are market cap and current price. From there I start looking at what the coin's actual intended purpose is and try to decide if it's got any chance to do what it's supposed to.

I think that crypto right now, is in a state similar to internet marketing in it's infancy.

There will be a lot of easy money made in the short term, until people figure out how it really works.

Then you're going to need to know your shit.

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I get why you would start with market cap and current price - but is it just me that thinks it's a little weird that whether something is actually useful for something is 3rd on the list ?

I noticed grid coin going up recently. Only have a little. Time to get some more.

The pure biochemical model is obsolete. It requires too much infrastructure and specialization to cover the myriad subdivisions of health. In the end, chemistry is physics, and biochemically, it can all be broken down to +/-. There is not much computing power needed to decide whether positive or negative is required. Medicine should, at this point, be setting broken bones and sewing people up. Disease is nothing more than a for profit industry, with no good outcomes that wouldn't be better without it.

I don't know much about Gridcoin. Is it a coin that you get paid out in exchange for loaning your computer for compuational science?

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'Loan' is an ugly word. You volunteer, you run some computations and get rewarded with Gridcoin in turn.

interesting

I think a lot of this is the fact that demand is manipulated by a heavily artificial market propped up by state regulation, taxation and of course the derivatives markets.
If government didn't monopolize a few big researchers, perhaps there would be free market competition and with that innovation on always trying to provide a better product for a better price than the other guy.
Because there's such massive monopolies, there's no real incentive. Instead they released medicine which takes care of just the symptoms and leads you to buy 5 to 10 other medications due to the side effects of the one. It think it's a rather nefarious industry personally.

What about Golem?

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They haven't computed anything yet and are primarily oriented towards commercial stuff. But Google, Amazon and Microsoft are already there, with their own commercial cloud computing platforms. It's going to be tough, competing against them.

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But aren't they all using proprietary software while golem is opensource.

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I am not really sure if commercial users care about such niceties. You can run your own code on all three platforms (GC, EC2, Azure), perform a lot of computations and pay at the end of the month with your credit card. With Golem, you have to pay up front in GNT and establish contracts for each individual task and anonymous sellers offer you no recourse in case of theft or failure to deliver. Doesn't look very competitive to me.

Interesting post.

thanks, I did not know of GridCoin.

Ha! Wake up. They don't want to cure anything. No profit in that. No control nor fear. Garbage in garbage out. Change your diet to what it's supposed to be and you'll find that "dis ease" no longer exists.

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