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Transcript: What can we do to support scientists in solving todays problems such as finding a cure for cancer, discovery of new solar systems and the fight against climate change? We all know, it takes brilliant scientists and the best working environment available for this to become possible. [A major part of the work is this: In search for solutions, much time is spent on modelling and simulation before effects become real.] Infact, there are many research projects that rely on a vast amount of computation in order to make progress on complex problems. So, great effort is needed to run simulations on a large scale, to process and to verify all results. For instance, if you aim to find an antidote for ebola or HIV, you have to try billions of atomic combinations in order to test which molecules match the signature of a virus. Luckily, those work tasks can be automated. Still, a lot of computation is necessary that takes time and blocks ressources. Therefore, researchers came up with the idea to deliver work units to home computers that contribute part of the calculation and send back their results to the scientists. But, as of today, those scientific networks still rely on many volunteers that offer their free computing time for scientific advancement. In the next minutes, we are going to present PiGrid, an easy to use network that rewards BOINC contributions [by enabling plug-n-play configuration and Gridcoin usage].
BOINC has many different research projects, including galaxy mapping or counteragents for Malaria and Alzheimer's desease. for instance, Einstein@home is a project on BOINC looking for gravity waves and new stars. Three weeks ago, this project made headlines - they were able to find a rare pulsar that would not have been detected without BOINC participation (Knispel et al, 2015). Imagine what more could be achieved if the network became larger. PiGrid stipulates BOINC participation on ready to use, single board computers like the RaspberryPI (trademark, RaspberryPI Foundation). Getting started is supposed to be straight-forward: you would plug a Pie into your network and choose your favorite research projects via web browser. Thereby you could directly support global science and get rewarded.
PiGrid is a project with the aim to make the world a better place. We developed a device that works out of the box. Just plug in and BOINC. For your help in research calculations you get rewared with Gridcoin, a virtual currency. We will provide a nice interface for you. So you will be able to see actually how many work units your PiGrid computed successfully. Besides, it visualizes how much boinc credits PiGrids all over the world computed together. PiGrid will run on its own device and is therefore secure and seperate from your personal data. Simply plug in, connect to a WiFi, and then start your research journey. Included in your PiGrid you receive your own personal Gridcoin wallet. All these Gridcoins which were computed will belong to you. You can exchange Gridcoins for Dollar or other currencies and their price will rise with growing adoption. You could even print a Gridcoin voucher and hand it to someone or lock it away. [Later you scan this QR-code in order to retrieve those coins again.]
Five years ago, Bitcoin has introduced a technology that allows for secure transfer of money in an untrusted network like the internet. It is the electronic equivalent to cash, because you cannot reverse a transaction and refund the money you have spent. [Other than cash, Bitcoin transfers money around the globe in minutes. This year, Wall Street Journal noted, that the financial sector has not yet improved its efficiency like other industries had due to internet-driven cost-savings (Casey et al, 2015). So, virtual currencies are in pole position to revolutionize financial businesses.] Sadly, Forbes magazine estimated in 2013, that Bitcoin network used $15 millions worth of electricity every day (Worstall, 2013). This energy is used by Bitcoin miners to outpace each other in guessing numbers in a mathematical lottery. If Bitcoin grew to the size of creditcard networks today, the power consumption is likely to become even larger. The project PiGrid aims to be more energy efficient than Bitcoin. [Therefore, PiGrid supports Gridcoin, another innovative virtual currency that benefits science instead of wasting enery.]
Given all those problems and technologies, are we able to make good use of the growing computations? Team Gridcoin already has a BOINC world position in research contributions among the Top20. And here is the punch line, it took less than 500 members to get that high. Now, make up your mind for a second, this tiny community is only about to start and you can become a part of something incredible here. Help us advance the progress of medicine, biology, astrophysics and much more. Get on board and let us grow together!
(Knispel et al, 2015): Knispel, B., et al. "Einstein@ Home Discovery of a PALFA Millisecond Pulsar in an Eccentric Binary Orbit." arXiv preprint arXiv:1504.03684 (2015).
(Worstall, 2013): Tim Worstall. "Fascinating Number: Bitcoin Mining Uses $15 Million's Worth Of Electricity Every Day." Forbes (2013). cf.: www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/12/03/fascinating-number-bitcoin-mining-uses-15-millions-worth-of-electricity-every-day
(Casey et al, 2015): Michael J. Casey, Paul Vigna. "Interest in Bitcoin Grows on Wall Street." Wall Street Journal (2015). cf.: blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2015/03/29/interest-in-bitcoin-grows-on-wall-street
Attribution, image courtesy: Gridcoin Illustration by http://cointelegraph.com/
Want to see us succeed?
Mention us on twitter: https://twitter.com/PiGrid_com
Help us spread our campaign link: http://pigrid.com/kickstarter
Risks and challenges
Our risks and challenges are the following:
Remaining challenges are interface-design, hardware delivery, unforseen software problems,
errors in calculation. But, we already have a working prototype and academic backgrounds in hardware and software engineering, so those challenges seem manageable.
We do not expect compliance issues, like missing CE certificates, as our hardware parts are already targeted for resale in consumer markets and we will not manufacture new electronics. We also have working EORI-number and experience with import. Hence, we do our best for procurement and delivery to be satisfactory and on-time.
- (36 days)