SONM, or “Supercomputer Organized by Network Mining,” announced yesterday that they are applying their distributed computing technology to an upcoming Quake 3 tournament to showcase its effectiveness and the power of decentralized networks and distributed computing.
The upcoming SONM ICO will be covered in-depth over at Hacked.com, but we can give a brief overview here:
- SONM can essentially utilize anything with a processor to add computing power to the network. In this way, it is like SETI @ Home or Distributed.net.
- Those who supply power are compensated with SONM tokens.
- SONM tokens can be used to purchase computing power.
- SONM processing power can be used in a wide array of applications, from advanced scientific applications to excessively-high-end 3D rendering, and the list goes on. A decentralized Web using the Mist browser could be built using it and a mix of other up and coming network technologies.
Quake 3 has never died, and ZeniMax continues to host a few servers for the game. Coinciding with the ICO dates of SONM, users of these servers will be able to join and host games on the SONM decentralized network. That period will last about a month between June 15th and July 15th. After that, the cool thing is that once the network is live, players could revive the servers using the SONM network.
The move is more a publicity stunt than anything, and the SONM team could have chosen any other application to support. Games have wide popularity, especially Quake 3, so picking this purpose to dedicate their network to as a showcase is probably a good move.
The demand for computing power is only going up. One can envision the computing power actually being purchased to mine X-series cryptocurrencies which have complex algorithms not easily-handled by ASIC miners, and this leading to an in-tandem price boost of the token over time. With something like SONM, the possibilities are probably endless if the execution is done right, and if not, someone else will come along and do it better. Distributed computer networks are not new, but incentivizing them in a serious way has only been truly possible in the blockchain era.
The Internet itself is meant to be resilient, peer-to-peer, and decentralized, and despite the best efforts of bad actors, it remains largely such at the protocol level. If you envision a future with all our current technologies plus widely used decentralized storage services like Storj and distributed computing platforms like SONM, you see a world where it will be much less expensive to launch massive projects and compete with big players. And therein lies the real potential with SONM, Storj, and other such projects, after all: providing comparable alternatives to the likes of Amazon Web Services and DigitalOcean, or Dropbox for that matter, represents nearly limitless profitability for both those who bet on these plays and those who participate by building businesses with that in mind.
Featured image from Wikimedia.