How Our New Cryptocurrency Will Help Us Explore the Universe — And Bridge Blockchain to Traditional Organizations
Today we’re proud to announce CPU Tokens, a new cryptocurrency with a market value attached to a stable, real world resource: Processing power.
We’re equally proud to announce our first real world use case for CPU Tokens: Categorizing deep space photos for researchers at the Space Telescope Science Institute (or STScI), the organization that manages astronomy with the Hubble Space Telescope. Working with our platform partner HADRON, we’re helping STScI astronomers leverage cryptocurrency to better understand the universe, with a process that’s about 10x faster and 90% less costly than typical cloud computing platforms.
A very rough way of describing this project is “SETI@home meets blockchain”, for reasons explained below. It’s made possible through an API using our Open Rights Exchange protocol, which we’ll soon release to all developers who want to experiment with it in our sandbox — starting with a fun bounty program — follow us on Twitter for news of that launch.
What Makes CPU Tokens Unique — And Stable
Most cryptocurrency is still too volatile for everyday business applications, making it difficult for corporations, institutions, and government agencies to use blockchain-based services. The value of CPU Tokens, by contrast, are pinned to (and exchangeable for) computing costs charged by major cloud hosting services like Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud. Our hope is CPU Tokens will become a bridge for the on-chain and off-chain API economy — starting with STScI and HADRON.
To become a HADRON miner, click here to create a free account.
How CPU Tokens Help Astronomers Categorize Hubble Images
Researchers at STScI buy non-inflationary CPU Tokens from AIKON. This is possible through our decentralized marketplace, which is designed to facilitate real money payments for blockchain-based services. AIKON processes these CPU Tokens for pay-as-you-go access to the HADRON platform. This processing is conducted on a pay-per call architecture, so that researchers from organizations of all sizes can conduct small experiments on demand, then eventually ladder up to conduct very large tasks.
HADRON gives micropayments to users who help process Hubble Space Telescope data. Our partner HADRON connects large organizations which have major computation tasks to million of users around the world who want to sell the computing power of their devices to help complete these tasks.
HADRON users help categorize millions of Hubble space photos at high speeds and low costs. This is the “SETI@home meets blockchain” piece: Users run HADRON’s image recognition AI in everyday web browsers to automatically categorize millions and millions of deep space images. HADRON documents completed tasks on its blockchain.
The Space Telescope Science Institute researchers get efficiently categorized image data — and clean, billable invoices from AIKON. This last point may not seem significant at first glance, but this functionality is crucial for building blockchain-based applications that mainstream organizations can actually use — an integrated billing system with invoices.
We’re grateful to STScI’s Dr. Josh Peek for bringing us his team’s novel approach to categorizing structures in deep space captured in the 120 terabytes of Hubble data, and to HADRON’s Cliff Szu, for bringing the massive scale, AI algorithms, and HADRON’s thousands of miners to help process it.
Josh and Cliff will soon join AIKON’s Marc Blinder in an Ask Me Anything to talk about this project, how developers can use the same AI technology they use in our upcoming sandbox launch, and anything related. Until then, keep in touch!
Have an existing API that you’d like to transform into a dService? Send us an email to be considered to become one of our alpha partners. We’re actively seeking companies with APIs for partnership — both in the blockchain/crypto space, the far reaches of the universe, and beyond.