ZeroEdge

iExec is a cryptocurrency that solves the problem of decentralizing the cloud. Our daily computing needs continue to rely more on big cloud enterprises to host and act as gatekeepers to our own data. The risks involved with this centralized model are growing. iExec uses blockchain technology to create a marketplace of dApps where anyone can access cloud resources at a fraction of the cost of traditional cloud providers.

iExec Website

As the demand in cloud computing services grows we will see an even greater demand for distributed computing. Internet of Things (IoT) devices will need extra resources available at any time. This can be automated by smart contracts and allow these devices to connect to a resource provider on demand and pay for the facility automatically using cryptocurrency.

Why is Cloud Centralization a Problem?

A number of big cloud hosting providers dominate the market. Their hosting solutions are mostly centralized. A large network infiltration of a single entity can put your personal data at risk. Decentralization means that even if a single network is compromised that most of your digital assets are still safe as the risk is spread over multiple networks. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks can also render a single network powerless but a decentralized cloud of resources is immune to this type of attack. If a single network resource goes offline anyone can simply request the use of another resource.

What Type of Transactions Can iExec Accommodate?

It is built to run on the Ethereum protocol and creates a layer for DApps (Distributed Apps) to execute their smart transactions or contracts as it is known in the Ethereum universe. These smart contracts are predetermined parameters that are programmed into the application and will execute once certain conditions are met. iExec provides two options – to rent resources or to be resource provider. This allows anyone to complete tasks that require huge computing power such as analyzing massive datasets, rendering 3D footage or building AI and machine learning algorithms. The iExec team comes from a research background and have themselves been involved in research that required the use of such resource-intensive services.

How Do You Use the Network?

You can use the iExec network as a resource provider or as a consumer of resources. Developers can register as app providers and publish their apps in the iExec blockchain dApp store.

iExec dApp Store

Anyone can also earn money by renting out their servers to the network when they are not being used and by earning income on their existing infrastructure. Even datasets can be monetized in the future roadmap of iExec.

What Does the Roadmap Look Like?

The iExec website has a clear roadmap of five main objectives. The launch of the iExec DApp store was achieved as its first milestone. The next milestone is the monetization of resources. This is when the iExec network will come to its own and we will see a marked rise in the value of the RLC token as well as greater trading volumes. The next phase is the ability to control public and private use of resources. This will allow providers to create user rights that will give their organizations exclusive rights to a specific blockchain service. Following this phase the HCP objective is key to achieve access to deep learning and GPU rendering services. This will be supported by an extensive network of mining farms to ensure the integrity of the blockchain. The last objective is to cater for new business cases. The most notable outcome here is the Proof of Contribution (PoC) framework that will endorse transactions made on any sidechains.

Roadmap

Is the iExec Team Trustworthy?

The team that heads up iExec has all the right credentials. The business was founded by a group of research scientists and academics. Six of the team members have earned a PhD degree and are supported by a team of seasoned developers and marketers.

The Team

What Other Benefits Does iExec Provide?

The main advantage of iExec is that is much more cost effective than enterprise level cloud providers. High Performance Computing (HCP) becomes accessible to smaller companies and individuals. The underlying technology is based on XtremWeb-HEP, an open-source distributed computing software that has been in public use for more than 10 years. The service is also energy efficient as resources as allocated only when needed and not always on. This allows companies to scale at a relative lower cost. Buying expensive hardware to run a piece of software is feasible when the funds are available but when business is slow they are stuck with the recurring hardware costs and software license fees. It therefore makes sense to rent the extra computational power only when needed.

What is RLC?

iExec introduces its own RLC token which is payment on the network and stands for “Run on Lots of Computers”. It is a cryptocurrency on the Ethereum network that is ER20-compliant. This means that the RLC cryptocurrency adheres to the Ethereum programming protocols and is compatible with Ethereum wallets. This is great for developers as iExec can rely on existing infrastructure. The company is also a member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) which builds trust in a crowded cryptocurrency marketplace. The iExec network has added infrastructure called sidechains to carry out transactions outside of the Ethereum blockchain.

RLC Token

What Benefits Do Sidechains Offer from Being Built on the RLC Blockchain?

The Ethereum blockchain has very limited storage space that is limited to only a few bytes that DApps can utilize for their applications. By using sidechains iExec opens new possibilities to what can be built on the Ethereum network. A sidechain is a blockchain that is specific to the iExec network that runs independently of the Ethereum blockchain. This means that a lot of the heavy lifting is done on the iExec infrastructure creating a parallel network that is more robust and scalable. This also allows for very fast transaction times as only essential transactions are executed on the Ethereum network.

RLC Wallets

There are a number of wallets available to store RLC coins. Ethereum wallets such as Jaxx, MyEtherWallet, Metamask and imToken. Hardware wallets including Ledger or Trezor are also supported.

Ethereum Wallets

How to Buy RLC

You are not able to purchase RLC with “Fiat” currency so you will need to first purchase another currency – the easiest to buy are Bitcoin or Ethereum which you can do at Coinbase using a bank transfer or debit / credit card purchase and then trade that for RLC at an exchange such as Binance.

Register at Coinbase

For first time buyers of crypto currency, we recommend that you use Coinbase to make your first purchase – its easy to use, fully regulated by the US government so you know it is one of the safest and most reputable places to purchase cryptocurrency from. Coinbase offers the ability to purchase Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum with a credit or debit card or by sending a bank transfer. The fees are higher for cards but you will receive your currency instantly.

You will have to carry out some identity verification when signing up as they have to adhere to strict financial guidelines. Make sure you use our link to signup you will be credited with $10 in free bitcoin when you make your first purchase of $100.

Coinbase Website

To get started, click the “Sign up” button where you will be taken to a registration form where you will need to enter your name, email and choose a password.

Purchase Ethereum

For this guide, we will be purchasing Ethereum to swap for our target cryptocurrency. The reason for this is that it has far cheaper fees than bitcoin for sending and the transaction also happens a lot faster. So in Coinbase, visit the “Buy / Sell” tab at the top, select “Ethereum”, choose your payment method and enter the amount you wish to purchase – you can either enter a US Dollar amount or a number of Ether.

Buy Etherum

You will then be asked to confirm your transaction, if paying with a card you might have to complete a verification with your card provider. Once that’s complete, your Ethererum will be added to your account.

Purchase RLC at Binance

You can now send your Ether over to Binance to make your purchase of RLC, take a look at our review of Binance here to see how to signup and purchase on their exchange.

Binance Wallets

RLC is also available to trade on Bittrex, UpBit, Bitfinex, Liqui and HitBTC.

 

How Does iExec make money?

The Roadmap mentions three tiers of iExec – Community, Enterprise and Research Editions. Although there is no mention of costs we can assume that there will be a charge involved to have the full features on offer enabled.

What Does It Cost to Use RLC?

The RLC coin uses the standard Ethereum network transaction fees. The cost to run any transaction on the Ethereum network is called gas. It is a very small transaction fee of about 1/100,000 of an Ether. This transaction fee goes to paying miners for processing the transaction.

Conclusion

iExec provides a unique blockchain solution to the ever-growing need for distributed cloud computing. It has a solid team that comes with a good reputation as well as the added association of the Ethereum Alliance. This makes them trustworthy in the murky emerging world of cryptocurrencies and ICOs. The low cost of transactions as well as the open source nature of the software all add to the fact that iExec is a company that will disrupt the entire cloud computing industry.

Useful links

Posted by Louis Nel

Web developer, blockchain investor and blog writer.

All content on Blockonomi.com is provided solely for informational purposes, and is not an offer to buy or sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security, product, service or investment. The opinions expressed in this Site do not constitute investment advice and independent financial advice should be sought where appropriate.

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