In order for Hypernet to work, we need to have users join the network. The more users the network accrues, the more valuable the network becomes. Although we plan to seed the network with a few industrial computation partners, we believe the longterm value of Hypernet will come from average users — even the power from industrial computing companies is chump-change compared to the combined flops of all the smartphones in the world!
A key question then is: Will users join the network?
Let’s answer this question by first looking at individuals who already lend their processing power to large organizations. The Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project out of UC berkeley uses a low-tech program developed in the 90’s to link together 1.7 million individual’s home computers to search for possible life on other planets. How much do these people get paid to loan out their processors to SETI? Nothing. These altruistic individuals simply believe in the project so much that they offer their processors to UC Berekely for free.
The Folding at Home ([email protected]) project out of Stanford University does the same thing, but instead of finding aliens, it folds simulated proteins in order to find new cures for cancer, and other diseases. Again, the users (including 15 million PS3 owners) do this free of charge.
What will happen when users can power the same type of research projects, but instead, they can get paid for it? With much of the world living below the poverty line, but still owning a smartphone or computer, there are many individuals who are ecstatic about the possibility of earning extra income on their latent, and otherwise unused, devices. The ability to put that computational power toward something as cool as finding aliens, or fighting cancer, is just icing on the cake.
Now, let’s look at a couple other intriguing technologies: CryptoKitties and Farmville. What do these two online games have to do with Hypernet? The answer is gamification. While we expect the primary motivator for joining the network to be earning Hypertokens, we will also be crafting the community and network participation so that it is engaging and fun to be a part of. Games like CryptoKitties and Farmville have no financial incentive to participate (some may argue they have a financial disincentive), showing that community and social benefits are a strong motivator to participate in large online groups.
To summarize, people have 3 main motivators for participating in online groups: Financial, social, and altruistic. Over time, Hypernet will incoporate aspects of all 3 of these proven approaches while garnering users.
But before any of those users even hear about Hypernet, we already have our early adopter community; we have you. We hope that you will be one of the first people to pledge their device to the Hypernetwork, and help kickstart a revolution in supercomputing. Although we have not yet launched the main net, we are getting closer each day. To keep up with the latest announcements, and to be the first to know when the network launches, please join our Telegram community and sign up for our newsletter. We’ll see you there!
Palo Alto, California