GridCoin Whitepaper

Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Download document
Save for later
Add to list

GRIDCOIN WHITE PAPER THE COMPUTATION POWER OF A BLOCKCHAIN DRIVING SCIENCE & DATA ANALYSIS VERSION 1.0.0

THE COMPUTATION POWER OF A BLOCKCHAIN DRIVING SCIENCE & DATA ANALYSIS Table of Contents Mission ...........................................................................................3 Overview ........................................................................................3 Idle Processing Potential ..................................................................3 Approved Distributed Computing Platforms .......................................4 The Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing ................................................................ 4 Operation......................................................................................................................................... 4 Power ............................................................................................................................................... 5 Results ............................................................................................................................................. 5 Future Platforms.................................................................................................................................... 5 Gridcoin ..........................................................................................5 Security .................................................................................................................................................. 6 Incentive ................................................................................................................................................ 6 Approved Data Analytics Projects ........................................................................................................ 6 BOINC Data Analytics Projects ....................................................................................................... 6 Stand-Alone and Other Platforms’ Data Analytics Projects .......................................................... 6 Participants ........................................................................................................................................... 7 Crunchers ........................................................................................................................................ 7 Stakers ............................................................................................................................................. 7 Fetching Participant IPP Contribution Statistics ................................................................................. 8 BOINC Superblocks ......................................................................................................................... 8 Future Superblocks ......................................................................................................................... 8 Blockchain Data..................................................................................................................................... 8 IPP Distribution ..................................................................................................................................... 8 Infrastructure ........................................................................................................................................ 9 Voting ..................................................................................................................................................... 9 Gridcoin Values ...............................................................................9 Open Source .......................................................................................................................................... 9 Open Data .............................................................................................................................................. 9 Open Access......................................................................................................................................... 10 Open Education ................................................................................................................................... 10 Decentralized Operation ..................................................................................................................... 10 The Gridcoin Network..................................................................... 11 Community .......................................................................................................................................... 11 The Gridcoin Foundation .................................................................................................................... 11 Development ....................................................................................................................................... 11 Resources...................................................................................... 11 Website and Wallet Software .............................................................................................................. 11 Development Repositories.................................................................................................................. 11 Block Explorers.................................................................................................................................... 12 Social Media......................................................................................................................................... 12 Other Resources .................................................................................................................................. 12 2

THE COMPUTATION POWER OF A BLOCKCHAIN DRIVING SCIENCE & DATA ANALYSIS How much Idle Processing Potential Mission is there? Gridcoin is a blockchain-based distributed computing network powered by the An iPhone 6 is capable of idle processing potential of existing hardware. Access to this network is free for running 7 gigaFLOPS. those with data to process, while participants of the network are incentivized with If we assume all 2.5 billion smartphones in circulation cryptocurrency minted by the Gridcoin protocol. operate at this level, smart- phones form a network of about 17.5 exaFLOPS. If these smartphones are idle Overview half of the time, we can say Gridcoin is an open-source blockchain that mints and distributes cryptocurrency the IPP of the global smart- in relation to the processing power a network participant directs toward data- phone computing network is driven analysis and scientific discovery. Currently, the Gridcoin blockchain is about 8.75 exaFLOPS. secured through a proof-of-stake protocol and monitors processing contributions There are expected to be over 5 billion smartphones in to the distributed computing infrastructure, BOINC.1 BOINC, the Berkeley Open global circulation by 2020. Infrastructure for Network Computing, hosts major institutional computing Utilizing IPP projects such as IBM’s World Community Grid,2 SETI,3 and data from the Large Did you know that certain Hadron Collider,4 alongside projects developed by students, enthusiasts, data analytic tasks work mathematicians, researchers, and citizen scientists. better on CPUs over GPUs? It is even possible to build tasks to work most effi- ciently on dated hardware. Idle Processing Potential Gridcoin defines Idle Processing Potential (IPP) as the processing power of a computing device multiplied by the proportion of unused processing over time. Any object that houses a processor is potentially part of this network. This includes not only computers, but also everyday objects such as phones, gaming systems, cars, toys, and smart appliances. IPP represents an enormous resource which will continue to grow as processors and embedded devices become an increasingly pervasive part of modern life. Gridcoin taps into this significant potential from both legacy and developing systems by encouraging the contribution of IPP to approved distributed computing platforms. 1 https://boinc.berkeley.edu 2 https://worldcommunitygrid.org 3 https://setiathome.berkeley.edu 4 http://lhcathome.web.cern.ch/ 3

THE COMPUTATION POWER OF A BLOCKCHAIN DRIVING SCIENCE & DATA ANALYSIS BOINC Projects GRC can only be minted for Approved Distributed Computing crunching projects that are on the Gridcoin whitelist.13 Whitelisted projects are Platforms italicized below, list accurate Distributed computing platforms are larger entities approved by the Gridcoin as of 3 March 2018. network. They might host multiple data-processing projects while having only Biology & Medicine: • [email protected] some of those projects approved for use by the Gridcoin network. » GPUGrid.net • » RNA World [email protected] The Berkeley Open Infrastructure for » TN-Grid Cognitive Science & AI: Network Computing • [email protected] The Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) is an open- Distributed Sensing: source distributed computing infrastructure which provides anyone with data the • Quake Catcher Network • [email protected] opportunity to process that data for near zero cost by utilizing a global volunteer- Earth Science: based distributed computing network. To date, BOINC has been the driving force • Climateprediction.net behind numerous computationally intensive research programs, such as pulsar Physical Science: identification,5 the creation of patient specific cancer treatments,6 the simulation • [email protected] » [email protected] of candidate molecules for next-generation solar panels,7 along with many others. » [email protected] While BOINC has been used primarily for science and mathematics, it can host data » [email protected] from any open or commercial field so long as the data can be formatted for BOINC’s • Leiden Classical » [email protected] processes. Examples of projects include tasks on engineering, cryptography, » [email protected] rendering, weather and climate prediction, as well as social, market, and resource » [email protected] • SourceFinder analytics. [email protected],8 for example, works to break remaining WWII messages » theSkyNet POGS encrypted by an Enigma machine. • [email protected] » VGTU [email protected] Mathematics: Operation » Amicable Numbers BOINC consists of two main components: a project server system and client » Collatz Conjecture software. The project server, hosted individually by each BOINC project, stores and Math/Computing/Games: » [email protected] distributes project data to the client software running on volunteers’ host computers. • [email protected] Once the host completes the data crunching task, known as a work unit, it returns • Moo! Wrapper the results to the project server. Upon verification of the validity and honesty of the » [email protected] » [email protected] completed work unit, a reward in the form of BOINC credits is distributed to the host • ODLK which completed the task. Credits serve primarily as a proof of participation tool in » ODLK1 • primaboinca BOINC’s larger gamification system. Outside of BOINC, Gridcoin uses a participant’s » PrimeGrid earned BOINC credits to calculate their relative GRC reward. • [email protected] » SRBase » SZTAKI Desktop Grid Multiple Applications: • [email protected] » Citizen Science Grid » World Community Grid » YAFU » [email protected] 5 https://einsteinathome.org/science/discoveries 6 https://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/about_us/viewNewsArticle.do?articleId=395 7 https://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/about_us/viewNewsArticle.do?articleId=387 8 http://www.enigmaathome.net/ 4

THE COMPUTATION POWER OF A BLOCKCHAIN DRIVING SCIENCE & DATA ANALYSIS Power As of January 2018, BOINC hosts about 21 petaFLOPS of processing power.9 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.10 Gridcoin contributes 6.16 petaFLOPS of 28% processing power to BOINC, making up 28% of BOINC’s processing power.11 Results At least 165 scientific papers have been published using results from BOINC projects. A list of these papers can be found on the BOINC wiki page.12 Future Platforms Additional data-processing platforms are eligible for inclusion, should they be approved by the Gridcoin network. Gridcoin The Gridcoin blockchain genesis block was mined using a proof-of-work protocol on October 16th, 2013. Gridcoin continued as a proof-of-work blockchain until October 11th, 2014, when it 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. 9 https://boincstats.com/en/stats/-5/project/detail 10 https://www.top500.org/lists/2017/11 11 https://boincstats.com/en/stats/-5/team/detail/05d4b63c40a4d8c2b3dd2180f656931f 12 https://boinc.berkeley.edu/wiki/Publications_by_BOINC_projects 5

THE COMPUTATION POWER OF A BLOCKCHAIN DRIVING SCIENCE & DATA ANALYSIS Why Proof of Stake? Proof-of-stake is a green Security blockchain security pro- The Gridcoin blockchain is secured through a proof-of-stake mechanism similar tocol developed in 2013. It performs the function to most other proof-of-stake blockchains. Proof-of-stake is a proven protocol of Bitcoin’s proof-of-work that uses minimal processing resources and rewards stakers of blocks with the without the need for energy transaction fees in those blocks. intensive calculations This frees GPUs (and CPUs) from the task of securing the Incentive blockchain. Gridcoin incen- tivizes participants to direct Gridcoin has developed an additional incentive mechanism called GRCResearch- these processing resources Mint. GRCResearch-Mint operates by minting a protocol-defined number of the to the completion of real GRC cryptocurrency per day and distributing these GRC to participants based on world analytical tasks. each participant’s relative processing contributions to approved data analytics projects. Defined in this way, there is no limit to the number of GRC minted: GRC is a protocol-defined inflationary cryptocurrency. Approved Data Analytics Projects Data analytics projects are projects hosted by approved distributed computing platforms or as stand-alone projects. Data analytics projects are approved through the Gridcoin whitelist processes. The Gridcoin whitelist is a list of projects approved by Gridcoin network participants. The whitelist is managed through a parameter defined process in conjunction with blockchain voting. BOINC Data Analytics Projects The BOINC distributed-computing platform hosts dozens of whitelist approved data analytics projects. The actively maintained list can be found on the Gridcoin website.13 Stand-Alone and Other Platforms’ Data Analytics Projects Gridcoin is ready to receive proposals. Interested parties can reach the developers by creating an issue at https://github.com/gridcoin-community/Projects/issues. If possible include a brief overview of your project. 13 https://www.gridcoin.us/Guides/whitelist.htm 6

THE COMPUTATION POWER OF A BLOCKCHAIN DRIVING SCIENCE & DATA ANALYSIS A Blockchain for Everyone Participants While founded by those clos- Gridcoin participants are individuals or entities who are active in the Gridcoin est to blockchain technolo- ecosystem. There are currently two types of participants. gy, the Gridcoin ecosystem is one of perpetual growth and expanding inclusion. Crunchers Anyone who sees a path to make the Gridcoin protocol Crunchers are participants who contribute their IPP to approved data analytics fit their unique needs is projects. Their participation ensures the continued analysis of data approved by encouraged to participate in its continuing development, the Gridcoin network. from coding, to writing, to the contribution of ideas. CRUNCHER ts ul s Re GR rk C Wo Cruncher Contribution Data PROJECT SERVER GRIDCOIN Stakers Stakers are individuals who secure and advance the Gridcoin blockchain through the proof-of-stake protocol by maintaining an online wallet with a GRC balance. Their participation ensures the decentralized creation of blocks and superblocks while protecting the blockchain from adversaries. 7

THE COMPUTATION POWER OF A BLOCKCHAIN DRIVING SCIENCE & DATA ANALYSIS Scientific Literacy An IPP distribution ecosys- Fetching Participant IPP Contribution Statistics tem defined by the unfet- In order to accurately aggregate a participant’s contribution statistics for storage on tered will of participants is intended to encourage the blockchain, Gridcoin developed a tool known as a superblock. Superblock data is scientists and researchers translated into the Gridcoin variable known as magnitude, a quantifier representing to educate participants on a participant’s contribution to a project. Magnitude then determines how much of the usefulness of their data. the protocol-defined GRCResearch-Mint each participant receives. Each data analysis The result of such a system is intended to widen the platform is given its own superblock with a unique magnitude formula. umbrella of science to fields not directly related to any specific task or project, BOINC Superblocks thereby expanding general BOINC superblocks fetch a participant’s BOINC recent average credit, also called knowledge of science and scientific practices. researcher RAC. RAC is based on a participant’s earned BOINC credits. Credits and RAC are defined by BOINC. These definitions can be found on the BOINC wiki page.14 To determine magnitude for a project, the individual participant’s RAC is compared to the combined RAC of other Gridcoin team participants, and the number of whitelisted projects. Future Superblocks Unique superblock protocols will be created for each platform and stand-alone project added to the Gridcoin ecosystem. The intent is to appropriately distribute GRCResearch-Mint between all platforms and projects based on a participant’s relative processing contributions and in accordance with consensus reached by the Gridcoin network. Blockchain Data The Gridcoin blockchain currently contains transaction data, held in regular blocks, alongside data pertaining to a network participant’s contributions to approved data analytics projects, held in superblocks. These existing functionalities lay the groundwork for a much larger-scale data-storing infrastructure, which could include the following: participant data for sources in addition to BOINC, research data and results, peer-review and scientific journal rating information similar to the contemporary impact factor system, and more. IPP Distribution Gridcoin seeks to create an ecosystem of science, research, and data analysis based on the interests of the network’s participants. Individuals will direct their IPP to approved 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. 14 http://boinc.berkeley.edu/wiki/Computation_credit 8

THE COMPUTATION POWER OF A BLOCKCHAIN DRIVING SCIENCE & DATA ANALYSIS Magnitude Economics To ensure that no single project monopolizes the Gridcoin network’s IPP, Gridcoin Gridcoin’s magnitude eco- uses magnitude economics to build a flatter IPP distribution curve. Each approved nomics system in conjunc- tion with the different types project is given the same amount of magnitude to split among its participants. This of data hosted by approved model creates an environment which encourages at least a portion of participants projects makes dated and in the Gridcoin network to seek out projects with fewer contributors, ensuring the lower-end hardware com- petitive with high-end GPUs. access of lesser-known projects to significant amounts of computing power. Why Weight Votes? To prevent an attack on the Infrastructure network through the voting system. If voting was not The Gridcoin network consists of a collection of interconnected nodes running the weighted, an attacker could wallet software. Each node connects with up to several dozen other nodes. Worldwide utilize multiple wallets to distribution of nodes makes the network resistant to disasters like local power vote in polls. If each wallet had an equal amount of outages, natural disasters, or political upheaval, as there is no single point of failure. voting power, the attacker would be over-represented and skew the poll in the Voting attacker’s direction. Gridcoin utilizes a voting system built directly into the wallet. Any network participant with a significant stake in Gridcoin (currently 100,000 GRC) can create a poll. Votes can be weighted using a user’s GRC balance, contributions to BOINC, or both. Alternatively, a poll can tally votes through a one-wallet-one-vote or one- CPID-one-vote mechanism. A CPID (Cross Project ID) is a BOINC account identifier. Gridcoin Values Open Source Gridcoin software is hosted on GitHub15 under the MIT license.16 Anyone may access, view, modify, learn from, experiment with, or copy the software. Gridcoin’s commitment to open-source software brings several benefits. Since anyone familiar with the programming language (currently C++) may contribute, the software is easily extended, audited, and maintained. This inherent flexibility of open-source means that Gridcoin development can quickly respond to challenges as they arise. Open- source empowers programmers and contributors to recognize issues in the code before they present in production. Open Data The data on the blockchain is accessible either through the wallet software 0010101 1100110 or through web-based blockchain explorers. As a global open-ledger system, 0011010 blockchain technology keeps the data both open and secure. Gridcoin supports the open publishing of data which in turn allows more people to analyze and otherwise experiment with the data. 15 https://github.com/gridcoin/Gridcoin-Research 16 https://opensource.org/licenses/MIT 9

THE COMPUTATION POWER OF A BLOCKCHAIN DRIVING SCIENCE & DATA ANALYSIS Open Access Access to the Gridcoin network and its services is systematically unrestricted. Network consensus is the only barrier to access of the network’s computing services. This permits nearly instant, entirely borderless, censorship resistant transactions between parties. Gridcoin supports open access to academic publications, as this encourages public engagement with science and open data, consistent with Gridcoin’s ideals. Open Education The aforementioned open-knowledge principals culminate in open-education. Being an open-source community means that Gridcoin supports the development of Open Education Resources (OER).17 A more educated society means a more educated network and more educated contributors from all relevant fields. The current approved distributed-computing platform, BOINC, enables not only massive laboratories, organizations, or research universities to produce projects for discovery, but individuals as well. Gridcoin values this type of open education initiative and whitelists projects which are large in scope, such as World Community Grid,18 as well as smaller projects such as ODLK1.19 Decentralized Operation ‘A decentralized system is where some decisions by the agents are made without centralized control or processing. An important property of agent systems is the degree of connectivity or connectedness between the agents.’20 Decentralization solves the single point of failure problem, allows for diversity, larger participation in decision-making, provides equality, and limits encroachment by centralized higher authorities. 17 http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/access-to-knowledge/open- educational-resources 18 https://www.worldcommunitygrid.org 19 https://boinc.multi-pool.info/latinsquares 20 Johnson, Norman L. “Diversity in Decentralized Systems: Enabling Self-Organizing Solutions.” Theoretical Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, for University of California Los Angeles 1999 Conference “Decentralization Two”. 10

THE COMPUTATION POWER OF A BLOCKCHAIN DRIVING SCIENCE & DATA ANALYSIS Paid Development The Gridcoin Foundation The Gridcoin Network currently reimburses approved development in GRC and is equivelant to a Community rate of $30/hr. The Gridcoin network is comprised of blockchain purists, enthusiasts, and coders; established scientific, commercial, or institutional researchers; Ph.D candidates and undergraduates; as well as citizen scientists, data analysts, makers, tinkerers, artists, entrepreneurs, 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. The Gridcoin Foundation When the Gridcoin protocol switched from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake, there was a set number of GRC which were not claimed during the fork. This GRC was reserved in a wallet designated for development funding. In July of 2017, a reimbursement process was proposed and passed for approved developer contributions.21 Development Gridcoin prioritizes inclusive open-source development that focuses on community involvement and inclusion. While there are a number of core developers who have proven commitment to the project over time, there is no concrete development team behind Gridcoin. Anyone is welcome to propose improvements and changes through the Gridcoin GitHub repositories, and if the changes are approved, they are welcome to seek reimbursement from the Gridcoin Foundation. Resources Website and Wallet Software • Website and Wallets https://gridcoin.us Development Repositories • Gridcoin Research Client https://github.com/gridcoin/Gridcoin-Research • Gridcoin Research Community, for non-wallet based projects https://github.com/gridcoin-community 21 https://gridcoinstats.eu/poll/developer_reimbursement_6_month_package 11

THE COMPUTATION POWER OF A BLOCKCHAIN DRIVING SCIENCE & DATA ANALYSIS “Official List” There is no official organi- Block Explorers zation that defines official • Gridcoinexplorer community and media hubs. These resources are https://grcexplorer.neuralminer.io those that have both existed • Gridcoin.Network for an extended period of time and are supported https://gridcoin.network by long-standing Gridcoin participants and develop- • Gridcoinstats ers. For a comprehensive https://gridcoinstats.eu list, please visit https:// itsmyurls.com/gridcoin. Social Media Discord https://discord.me/page/gridcoin Facebook https://www.facebook.com/gridcoins Medium https://medium.com/@gridcoinnetwork Reddit https://www.reddit.com/r/gridcoin Steemit https://steemit.com/created/gridcoin Telegram https://t.me/gridcoin Tumblr https://gridcoin.tumblr.com Twitter https://twitter.com/GridcoinNetwork Other Resources • Gridcoin.io https://gridcoin.io • Wiki http://wiki.gridcoin.us/Main_Page 12