Golem (GNT) goes live on mainnet
One of the most prominent early Ethereum ICOs has now gone live on mainnet, bringing its function to life.
After years in development, Golem (GNT) mainnet has gone live on the Ethereum network. This means it can now be used for its intended purpose, albeit in limited ways at first. Golem is a decentralised computing network. It's designed to let people buy and sell excess computing power to make money from unused power and to get cheap processing power when needed.
The current project phase, Brass Golem, can currently only be used for distributed CGI processing of any Blender or LuxRender scene over the Golem network.
To use it, one can connect Golem to the Ethereum mainnet and then earn or spend GNT for computations. Because it's on the Ethereum network, a little bit of Ether is needed to pay the network fees.
"We strongly recommend everyone to get accustomed to the testnet version first and only go into mainnet after you have understood how the application works, and how to configure parameters for your tasks correctly," the announcement warns.
It also highlights the potential of new issues arising with the live product.
"Golem is a dApp, and as any other, it required testing through a contained "laboratory". But in order to progress, we need to get out of this comfort zone, and make sure the elements that we have worked hard, and continue to build, are responsive and working well on a decentralized setting.
"Our decision is based on the fact that even though this new stage will expose our project to diverse risks, it is not possible (or responsible) to say a product is finalized without real users," the announcement says.
"The road to mainnet for the Golem team has been a long and eventful one, there are many issues and challenges to tackle, but we are on the right path. We have also undergone a myriad of unforeseen circumstances in these two/three years. Yet the team kept their eye on the ball at all times, understanding that the project, and the complexity that building a marketplace for computations on a decentralised scenario implies, is a monumental goal that can contribute to the shared economy model and the blockchain ecosystem alike."
Brass Golem, where the project is now, is a big leap forwards from closed testing. At the same time, it's just the first step in a roadmap punctuated by big leaps.
The next phase is Clay Golem, which is designed to let Golem become a multi-purpose generalised solution and let developers integrate with it. It's intended mostly for those developers who want to get some early adoption in.
Stone Golem, the next step after that, is largely just a more stable version of Clay with a few additional features and a better developed and more secure decentralised network. The final step is Iron Golem, which is a hardy, thoroughly-tested, secure, scalable and immensely functional decentralised computing system.
But right now, it's for CGI rendering only, and for those who are willing to take a few risks on a well-tested, but not yet live-tested, decentralised systems.
One of the main challenges ahead of it might be scalability. This is largely down to the Ethereum network, which is making its own developmental strides towards solving the scalability issues.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VEN, XLM, BTC and NANO.