Cryptographic Currencies and Bitcoin
Cryptographic currencies are digital means of payment that are decentralized and secure thanks to the use of cryptography. The first publicly traded currency of this type is the bitcoin, which has been traded since 2009. Bitcoins can be generated by complicated calculations. Since bitcoins have a high value in the meantime, it becomes more and more difficult to mine a bitcoin. The mining of a Bitcoin entails high power consumption. According to estimates, the Bitcoin network could consume as much energy by 2020 as the country of Denmark. A large part of this energy comes from Chinese coal-fired power plants, which gives us an idea of the CO2 emissions associated with electricity production. Nevertheless, cryptographic currencies are a great thing, allowing us to send money anywhere in the world independently of central entities.
Aim of Gridcoin
Gridcoin, like bitcoin, is a cryptographic currency. The goal of Gridcoin is now to use the computing power needed to secure the network, at the same time for a meaningful purpose. Gridcoin rewards participation in BOINC projects. BOINC is a distributed computing platform that enables researchers to distribute complex calculations to volunteers whose computers solve the tasks and return the results. There are BOINC projects of all kinds and with different goals: Cancer research, HIV/AIDS research, the search for a cure for Ebola and Zika, the search for extraterrestrials and much more. By helping to secure the gridcoin network, we are also helping research.