Golem just revealed it’s now running Brass Golem Beta on the Ethereum mainnet. While it’s still in the beta testing stage, this switch from a testnet makes it possible to trade real GNT for computer processing power for the first time.
When Golem launched in November 2016, the team promised it would be “Airbnb for computers”, a supercomputer where users could buy and sell processing power in exchange for its token, GNT. Golem’s token sold out within 20 minutes, raising $8.6 million in Ethereum, now worth $340 million.
A series of unofficial rumors leading up to the launch were enough for Golem’s team to post this response on Twitter.
Golem’s No Stranger to Criticism
Golem has come under a lot of scrutiny for its slow releases, but the larger truth is that a huge amount of ICO projects make big promises and don’t release anything. Golem is focused on the specific use case of rendering CGI graphics at a faster and more affordable rate by becoming the world’s first live decentralized computing market.
While delays are hard for investors looking for fast returns – and frustrating for blockchain enthusiasts looking for real implementations – Golem is hardly the first to delay its promises. Golem wants to make sure it delivers on its product, and that has meant a series of more than a dozen iterations of the beta version alone since 2017, in addition to multiple versions of the alpha before it. On the other hand, it has been two years since funding and there’s still no launch, though it seems closer than ever with this move to the mainnet and the trading of real GNT.
Over this time, developers, graphic designers, and computing power providers worldwide have been testing Brass Golem Beta on Mac, Ubuntu, and Windows. Golem’s developers have been working on security and interface fixes, and they’ve released new software to improve those areas. Golem’s team explained that their reason for sticking to a testnet for so long was to troubleshoot before the actual launch so that Golem can deliver functional software when it’s truly ready.
Until now, Brass Golem Beta had only exchanged a test coin, tGNT, making transactions free as part of the testing. Now that Brass Golem is running on the Ethereum mainnet, graphics artists and computing power providers will exchange real money in the form of GNT.
The last stages of beta development have focused on keeping gas costs low by experimenting with batching transactions, credentialing users, and ensuring the system isn’t vulnerable to Sybil attacks and other security vulnerabilities. Golem recently hired third-party company Trail of Bits to perform an audit report on its smart contracts.
Implications for Ethereum
The launch of Brass Golem has more implications than just cheaper CGI. It will both place more demand on the Ethereum mainnet and potentially raise the price of Ethereum in the process. While Ethereum can reach consensus on simple transactions like exchanging tokens, making sure Brass Golem’s transactions are also confirmed is part of this testing stage.
Ethereum’s price could rise if Brass Golem creates enough interest, since most GNT buyers will have to buy ETH first. Since GNT isn’t offered on mainstream exchanges like Coinbase, obtaining it is often a two-step process. As a result, GNT’s value seems to be linked to Bitcoin and Ethereum, as they are the two cryptocurrencies most people buy first to exchange for GNT elsewhere. Adding GNT to an exchange like Coinbase, for example, would help pair it to the US dollar instead of BTC and ETH. In the meantime, this stronger GNT-ETH pairing could help the price of ETH rise.
As more members of the community test out the mainnet version of Brass Golem, we can expect to see further development to its software, perhaps leading to an official launch in the months to come.