What is Gridcoin? New introduction information wiki resource!

in utopian-io •  last year  (edited)


The Gridcoin community has been hard at work making the introduction process a little simpler by expanding the number of resources to draw from.

I am proud to present to you one small fruit of this large labor in the form of a new page under the cryptowikis subreddit.

This is not a page that defines blockchains or cryptocurrencies are anything nearly that ambitious. It does, however, provide a stripped down overview and summary of basic and introductory information on Gridcoin and BOINC.

Take this information and use it to help build your own knowledge-base, and then share that knowledge with the world!

This is a wiki page, so feel free to point out typos, possible additions, incorrect information, misleading information, or whatever your heart desires. Use the modmail at the top of the wiki page, or leave a comment blow.

I have pasted the bulk of the text here for simplicity.



Introductory Information for Gridcoin and BOINC

In 2013, the pseudonymously named Rob Halförd took the proof-of-work blockchain protocol implemented by Bitcoin and began the process of directing its power to the completion of real world scientific research and data analytic tasks.

Gridcoin Overview

Gridcoin is an open source blockchain that mints and distributes cryptocurrency with relation to the processing power a network participant directs toward data driven analysis and scientific discovery. The Gridcoin blockchain is currently secured through a proof-of-stake protocol and monitors processing contributions to the distributed computing infrastructure, BOINC. BOINC, the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, hosts major institutional computing projects such as IBM’s World Community Grid, SETI, and data from the Large Hadron Collider, alongside projects developed by students, enthusiasts, mathematicians, researchers, and citizens scientists.


The Gridcoin blockchain was genesised as a proof-of-work protocol on October 16th 2013. On October 11th, 2014, Gridcoin was forked onto a proof-of-stake protocol which secures the blockchain based on the number of active GRC on the Gridcoin network. Gridcoin has evolved through several iterations of proof-of-stake and incentive structures. Currently, proof-of-stake is used to secure the Gridcoin blockchain while the primary incentive structure is based on processing power contributed to approved BOINC projects.


In order to accurately harvest a user's statistical data for storage on the blockchain, Gridcoin developed a tool defined as a superblock. Superblock data is translated into the Gridcoin variable known as magnitude, which then determines how much of the protocol-defined GRCResearch-mint each user receives.


The Gridcoin protocol mints the cryptocurrency GRC through two mechanisms. The blockchain security protocol, proof-of-stake, mints GRC similarly to other proof-of-stake blockchains. The GRCResearch-Mint protocol mints a protocol-defined number of GRC per day and distributes these GRC based on the network participants relative magnitude. As there is no end to data and research, there is no limit to the number of GRC minted; Gridcoin is a protocol-defined inflationary cryptocurrency.

Idle Processing Potential

Gridcoin defines Idle Processing Potential, or IPP, as the unused processing power of a computing device’s CPU over time. Every phone, every computer, every gaming system, every car, refrigerator, toy and object that houses a CPU is potentially part of this network. This presents an enormous amount of untapped potential. Instead of using physical resources to produce new hardware, Gridcoin seeks to focus on utilizing the IPP of processors which already exist.

IPP Distribution

Gridcoin seeks to create an ecosystem of science, research, and data analysis based on the desires of the network’s participants. Individuals will direct their IPP to projects which they see as beneficial, entertaining, or otherwise of value. A project which benefits or otherwise presents greater value to more people will receive a larger share of the total IPP of the Gridcoin network.

To ensure that no single project monopolizes the Gridcoin network’s IPP, Gridcoin uses magnitude economics to build a flatter IPP distribution curve. Each BOINC project is given the same amount of magnitude to split among its participants. This model builds an ecosystem which encourages at least a portion of participants in the Gridcoin network to seek out projects with fewer contributors.

Blockchain Data

The Gridcoin blockchain currently contains transaction data alongside data pertaining to a network participant's contributions to BOINC projects. It is entirely possible to build on these sources in ways that might include: participant data for sources other than BOINC, research data and results, peer-review and scientific journal rating information similar to the contemporary impact factor system, and more.


Gridcoin utilizes a voting system built directly into the Gridcoin Research wallet. Any network participant with a significant stake in Gridcoin (currently 100,000 GRC) can create a poll. A poll can be made to weight a vote based on a user’s stake, contributions to BOINC, or both. Additionally, a poll can be made to weight votes through a one-wallet-one-vote or one-CPID-one-vote mechanism. A CPID (Cross Project ID) is a BOINC account identifier.

BOINC Overview

BOINC is an open source distributed computing infrastructure which provides anyone with the means to process data via a global volunteer based distributed computing network. BOINC has been used to identify pulsars, create patient specific cancer treatments, expand on our knowledge of efficient molecular combinations for solar panels, and complete countless other scientific and mathematical computational tasks. While BOINC has been used primarily for science and math, it can host data from any open or commercial field so long as the data can be formatted for BOINC’s processes. Examples of projects include tasks on engineering, cryptography, rendering, weather and climate prediction, and social, market, and resource analytics. [email protected], for example, works to break remaining Nazi-Germany WWII messages encrypted by the Enigma machines.


[email protected] launched as an independent project in 1999. A co-founder of [email protected], David P. Anderson, sought funding from the National Science Foundation and with help from Oxford’s ClimatePrediction.net began development of a stand-alone software platform that would build on [email protected]'s success. The result was the BOINC software released in 2002.
The first entirely BOINC-based project, [email protected], launched in June, 2004. By August of the same year, [email protected] and ClimatePrediction.net had launched their own BOINC projects.


Development of the BOINC software was spurred forward with the help of Rom Walter, who left Microsoft to become the first full-time employee of BOINC, Charlie Fenton, also of Microsoft, and Bruce Allen, of the [email protected] project hosted by the University of Wisconsin and the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics. As an open-source project, BOINC development and the BOINC community has benefited from the work of over 60 other programmers and hundreds of contributors.


BOINC consists of two main components: a project server system and client software. The project server, hosted individually by each BOINC project, stores and distributes project data to the client software run by hosts volunteering to crunch that project’s data. Once the host completes the data crunching task, known as a work unit, it returns the results to the project server. The server then archives, or otherwise handles, the results for further study or future use. Upon verification of the validity and honesty of the completed work unit, a reward in the form of BOINC credits is provided to the host which completed the task. Credits serve primarily as a proof of participation tool in BOINC’s larger gamification system. Outside of BOINC, Gridcoin uses credits earned to determine a participant's magnitude, which determines the relative GRC reward for that participant.


As of January 2018, BOINC hosts about 21 petaFLOPS of processing power per second. For comparison, the currently top ranked supercomputer, the Sunway TaihuLight, hosts 93 petaFLOPS. The Tianhe-2 supercomputer, ranked second, hosts about 34 petaFLOPS. The Piz Daint, the third most powerful supercomputer, hosts about 20 petaFLOPS.


There have been at least 165 scientific papers published using results from BOINC projects. A list of these papers can be found here.

The Future of BOINC

BOINC has been an ongoing project for over 15 years. Development in recent years has seen increased activity, including a new project, known as “TBD”, funded by the National Science Foundation and being developed again by David Anderson. The open-source design of BOINC has also encouraged several other projects from volunteer contributors to undergo active development, including development of a BOINCOS which seeks to simplify the BOINC and Gridcoin user experience.

How To Get Involved

The Gridcoin network is comprised of blockchain purists, enthusiasts, and coders, established scientific researchers, commercial researchers, institutional researchers, Ph.D candidates, undergraduates, citizen scientists, data analysts, makers and tinkerers, and individuals and groups of all backgrounds. Every participant and developer seeks to advance science, research, and data analytics through blockchain technology, incentive mechanisms, value systems, or by participating in a distributed computing network.

Join the community through any of the social media outlets listed below. If you know how you would like to contribute to the development of the Gridcoin network, visit the repos in the "Resources" section below


Website and Wallets


Block Explorers

Social Media

Other Resources


ExchangeTrading Pair
flyp.meGRC/Any Supported Currency

Technical Information

  • Ticker: GRC
  • Launch Date: October 16, 2013
  • Consensus: Proof of Stake
  • Stake Reward: %1.5 Interest APR + transaction fees
  • Research Reward: ~27,000 GRC daily mint split by magnitude distribution and relative contributions to BOINC
  • Total Supply: ~400 million GRC with protocol inflation
  • Block Time: 90 seconds
  • Transaction Confirmations Required: 10
  • Stake Confirmations Required: 110
  • Transaction Fee: 0.001 GRC as standard
  • Voting fee: 0.0011 GRC

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cool. I now know where to start reading. I have been saying I will join forever!!

Do you know if by any chance it is possible to participate with a javascript miner? I am planning to use web mining as DDOS protection on a website. I would prefer to participate to gridcoin than mine for monero.



that's an interesting idea! i have no idea though. @ravon or @brod might.


ok I will more into. Thanks anyway!


hey we found something!



thanks I will give it a try!!

Thank you for the contribution. It has been approved.

  • good contribution to a very good open source project
  • but even if i like it, this was a one time exception. This post does not follow the rules since it does not belong to a series of blog posts. BTW I would really like to have a series of blog posts centering around Gridcoin.
  • So, approved, because you made a huge effort and the article is really very informative. But please next time take the rules serious.
    You can contact us on Discord.

understood -- we will submit the medium article series moving forward.

Hey @jringo I am @utopian-io. I have just upvoted you!


  • You have less than 500 followers. Just gave you a gift to help you succeed!
  • Seems like you contribute quite often. AMAZING!


  • Contribute more often to get higher and higher rewards. I wish to see you often!
  • Work on your followers to increase the votes/rewards. I follow what humans do and my vote is mainly based on that. Good luck!

Get Noticed!

  • Did you know project owners can manually vote with their own voting power or by voting power delegated to their projects? Ask the project owner to review your contributions!

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