The Opis Hub application is now called Opis Cloud. Here’s a breakdown of where we started to where we’re going.
Inspiring Opis Cloud
We’ve come a long way since the conception of the Opis Cloud app. The application drew inspiration from BOINC, which allows people to help scientific research problems using their computers. The BOINC application downloads scientific computing jobs to run invisibly in the background. Users can select which one they want to help.
As of 16 November 2021, estimations suggested BOINC had about 64,125 active participants and 234,550 active computers processing worldwide, making it the 21st largest supercomputer in the world. There is no reward for using BOINC directly, just the gratification of helping make the world a better place by giving scientists the resources they need. Considering it’s not a business, the number of people contributing to BOINC is admirable. But is 250,000 enough?
Attending a 2018 conference at Oxford University, two founding members of Opis Cloud learned something interesting from a senior researcher. It would take about 5,000 years to solve an equation necessary to get to the next level of his research due to his current computing power.
The issues were that; not enough people were aware of the project, not everyone could afford a computer, and not everyone wanted to do it for free. Opis Cloud considered if they could achieve more with marketing, better incentives for participants, and less of a financial barrier to the technology required.
It was perfect then that the members of Opis Cloud were considering innovative ways to lower emissions in cloud computing with an eye for the benefits of blockchain technology. They realised right there that not only could they solve his problems, but they could also solve another.
Problems and Solutions for Cloud Computing
An issue running parallel to the lack of computing power available for scientific research was and still is the ever-growing carbon footprint of cloud computing. Providing more PC’s for BOINC could be significant. Still, on the other hand, it could be detrimental to the world’s ambitions of lowering emissions.
Using people’s existing mobile devices is a much more eco-friendly way of providing the computing power necessary for research. An average desktop computer will use between 65 and 250 watts subject to use. In contrast, smartphones use approximately 2 to 6 watts when charging.
Additionally, if the application only runs whilst it’s charging, this is much more energy-efficient than leaving a PC on 24/7. According to CNET, their labs ‘tested the energy consumption of a mix of desktops’ and ‘found that a mainstream desktop, on average, uses roughly 100 watts when idle.’
Furthermore, it makes the project almost infinitely more scalable.
According to Bankmycell the number of smartphones that exist globally is 6.64 billion, whereas the number of PCs according to Statista is 1.5 billion. Creating a network of devices that run the application whilst charging and idle delivers a greater, more efficient return than fewer PCs.
Creating a Means to Market and Incentivise
To fund this project, they needed to agree upon a way to generate a profit. Many companies operate on their servers and AWS have suggested that European businesses can lower their energy use by nearly 80 per cent when using applications on the AWS Cloud servers instead. But by connecting mobile devices all over the world, Opis Cloud could provide these platforms with a more eco-friendly decentralised server, lowering their overall emissions.
Therefore, the application would help scientific research and help businesses lower their carbon footprint and generate a profit by selling the greener computing power to those large organisations and giving scientific researchers computing power for free. The only question remained: how to reward those using the Opis Cloud application to share in the profit.
Utilising traditional currencies limits the project in numerous ways. The first issue is that the user base is limited to the company’s expansion. Every person who joined would be another person the company would need to pay for using the application. But the company would need to acquire more revenue to do that. Eventually, waiting lists would be inevitable, so Opis Cloud could pay people and gradually increase this user-base.
The second issue is that paying people in traditional currencies presents a difficulty of adopting a global user base, potentially limiting the application to the UK and any convenient countries.
Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies resolve both problems. Opis Cloud can release a prerequisite amount of tokens and then pay people for using the application. The number of tokens required would be enough to see them expand their user base. In addition, the use of cryptocurrency would open up the application to anyone with a crypto-wallet no matter where they were in the world, and a global effort was the aim.
The adoption of cryptocurrency itself has an appeal, with more and more people wanting to get involved with blockchain currencies. Rewarding people with cryptocurrency is a much greener way to get involved with cryptocurrency than previous alternatives.
To learn more about the Opis Cloud application visit here.