BlockStart is not just about the startups it supports or the cooperation possibilities it provides with potential end-user SMEs. It is much more than that: it is also about building and promoting a community of blockchain and other DLTs enthusiasts, that goes beyond the scope of the project and inspire others to join this movement, of shaping Europe’s blockchain future.
We have spoken with Golem Network, a global, open source, decentralized supercomputer that anyone can access, to learn more about their journey across the blockchain world and how they have been able to redefine themselves according to the market’s needs. This is their story.
“Most of the internet infrastructure is owned by a handful of companies that retain almost total control over what goes online. This has serious implications, from uncompetitive markets when it comes to the development of new technologies, to the very real risk of censoring online content. In fact, these corporations not only have the power to shut down their platforms at any given moment, de-platforming users, but also making it difficult for developers to innovate.
To address this, open source developers across the globe have been working to realize the decentralized web vision, aka Web 3.0. Pivotal to this concept was access to computing power and other services that corporations, government or others can’t simply unplug. With this in mind, Golem’s idea was born.
We developed the Golem Network, a decentralized marketplace for idle processing power, with the goal of democratizing access to innovation and building an infrastructure that is censorship-resistant.
The idea for Golem Network was first presented during DevCon 0 in November 2014.The decentralized platform is intended to be the first proxy-free and censorship resistant environment for computer-intensive projects around the world. After introducing this concept at DevCon 0, we worked tirelessly towards developing the Golem Network, launching a public crowdfunding event on November 11, 2016, before setting out to raise a minimum of 150,000 ETH or a maximum of 820,000 ETH.
The crowdfunding ended up raising more than 8.6 million USD in ETH at a valuation of approximately 12 USD. As a result of our early efforts, we have been able to make constant improvements, and to develop a supportive community that has given us continuous feedback on our product, since its very first release in 2017. Enabling universal access to computing power and other IaaS/PaaS services, we were initially described as an “Airbnb for computers”.
In 2019, based on our collective learnings, we realized that we needed a completely new architecture in order to build a more overarching platform for generalized distributed compute – a simple renovation would not be enough. This ultimately resulted in a new better architecture and a new building approach designed to provide users with limitless possibilities when it comes to creating on top of Golem.
Over the course of the last year, the Golem Network team has been tasked with building a completely new protocol, architecture and codebase. Currently, we are preparing for the New Golem mainnet launch. 2020 has been a major steppingstone for the Golem Network as we are unlocking new ways to better our community and pivot to enable the exchange of processing power in a more accessible, flexible and reliable way for all.
The Golem Network’s journey has been loaded with lessons from the project’s early stages to addressing 2020’s great challenges and beyond, the most important of which being:
- Always look to address a major, global problem
- Build a community and keep them informed regularly– listen and act upon their feedback
- Do not be afraid of innovation – always be searching for better, faster solutions and ideas
We will continue listening to our community and working with the goal of building a truly open, censorship-resistant, and friction-free platform. Moving forward, we will focus on improving functionality and growing our developer community, thus driving the future of technological advancements and discoveries.”