July 28, 2019
By Ivan Tuma
Charity Division Director
Curecoin just did the unthinkable – our team has generated 1 Trillion Cumulative Points on Folding@home’s Protein Folding network! Five years ago, naysayers grumbled it would never last, that it would debase the contribution of 100’s of thousands of volunteers, and would only create a system driven by greed. In fact some of the world’s largest folders for Curecoin also turned out to be the cryptocurrency world’s most interesting philanthropists – leveraging their CURE to subsidise their electrical power in order to complete MORE “protein folding” simulations to help medical science, AND extend their contributions by donating to our Curecoin Project charities.
We hope some of what follows can help answer the question: “What does ONE TRILLION Folding@home Points represent?”
- Scientific Accomplishments of Folding@home
- Commercial Costs of Folding vs Distributed Computing
- Folding vs Mining vs PoS?
- Why Curecoin uses a Hybrid profit/non-profit model?
- Why Simple Profitability Misses the Point
What Does it Accomplish?
Whether you join our team of over 10,000 contributors participating in a broader Folding@home network, OR simply purchase CureCoins – you are supporting research! Over 200 scientific papers related to Folding@home cited in over 3700 related works – part of a broader 34,000 citations outside of the world-wide Folding@home consortium. The works of Pande Labs (Principal Investigators (PIs) Drs. Vijay Pande and now Greg Bowman). We are helping scientists to accelerate the search for cures in cancer, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and infectious disease by simulating up to 12,000(WU)* related protein configurations PER DAY! Notably, the research is increasingly cited in more diverse fields of study beyond medicine. For more information on what protein folding is, its limitations, and how it currently fits into the FDA drug approval process – check out our 2016 Focus on Science article…. Although this cannot be solely attributed to the Curecoin team joining Folding@home in 2014, the average rate of publishing scientific papers by the consortium has increased by 150% (from ~8 per year from 2000 to 2014, to 20 per year since!)
Thanks to the participation of people like you, the Curecoin Team (in collaboration with Foldingcoin via Merge-Folding^) is one of the most powerful Distributed Computing Teams in the world, on the most powerful distributed supercomputing networks in the world – Folding@home!
So why not just pay for supercomputer time?
Why all the layers of PC’s in Distributed Computing Networks, blockchains, folding clubs, etc.? What are these computations actually worth? This has been a long standing question that we will try to answer as simply as possible. What has made direct funding of protein folding research difficult (using government funds or cash donations), comes from the fact that protein folding research is somewhat exploratory and computationally demanding (That said, thanks to a global army of computer enthusiasts, along with AI and Deep Learning techniques – scientists are uncovering new ways to predict protein behaviour in the world’s deadliest diseases).
Even though protein molecules are simulated on computers, they do require a level of “brute force” computation to explore their permutations (or intermediate states). This level of detail would be nearly impossible to produce via physical experimental methods alone. The extensive computational exploration required, combined with uncertain outcomes being a part of the “protein folding problem”, are difficult to justify to government sources of funding, especially while NIH funding is still below 2003 levels adjusted for inflation. It remains a wonder why computational biology (like Folding@home) with computational power being contributed by citizen scientists remains SO underappreciated as a global phenomenon – despite the 19 years of progress.
We can look at the break-even costs of folding One Trillion Points on Folding@home, not including the value of the discoveries themselves OR the tradable tokens secured by a blockchain that represent the simulation data required for the research. Averaging Points over 5 ½ years of Curecoin (including our beta phase), we’ve nearly ~500,000,000 Points-per-Day (PPD) worth of protein folding computations. The Curecoin Team^ has averaged 4.4 petaFLOPS (native) or 8.8 petaFLOPS (x86) on a continual basis. This is the equivalent of using a quarter (25%) of a $97 million IBM Titan supercomputer which runs nominally at 17.6 petaFLOPS) and using 25% of its 8.2 MW of continuous power since the start of 2014!1. Running at nominal levels, the Curecoin team’s equivalent computational output would cost the following using a Titan Supercomputer over 5.5 years:
Estimated payments on a Titan Supercomputer for 5.5 years (using 10 year amortization at 5% APR)……………..
$ (1,028,835 monthly x 12 x 5.5 years) x 25% = $16,975,786
Power consumption using 25% of a Titan Supercomputers 8.2 MW continuous power consumption over 5.5 years …………………….
(8.2 MW x $104.3 Avg. US cost per MWh x 24 hours x 365 x 5.5 years) x 25% ….. $10,301,607
Total cost of generating 1 Trillion Points of research over 5.5 years using 25% of a Titan ………..$27,277,392†
Cost to produce 1 Curecoin^ using a supercomputer ……
$27,277,392 / ~14,000,000 Curecoin^ in public circulation …… $1.95 per token
2. Using the same criteria, the Curecoin team’s equivalent computational output would cost the following using Amazon AWS EC2 Cloud service over 5.5 years:
Estimated cost for producing a continuous ~4.4 native petaFLOPS using AWS g3s.large‡ (containing Nvidia M60 GPUs) instances at the lowest prepaid rate (based on 3 year terms) G3s.large instance cost per 3 years = $10,005 (average over 5.5 years = $18,343) Number of instances required to produce ~4.4 native petaFLOPS = 517 Instances
Total cost of generating 1 Trillion Cumulative Points of research over 5.5 years using AWS EC2 $18,343 * 517 Instances …… $9,483,331†
Cost to produce 1 Curecoin^ using a cloud service:
$9,483,331 / 14,000,000 Curecoins in public circulation….. $0.68 per token
3. Folding@home’s brilliant model – By distributing our team’s cost of folding 1 Trillion Points worth of protein folding simulations across a network of over 10,000 individuals and companies using everything from personal laptops and MacBooks, to high-end gaming PCs – all the way to small data centers owned by VERY generous individuals
Curecoin demonstrates the cost of contributing to Protein Folding Citizen Science can effectively subsidize all (depending on markets), or part of the costs of equipment, electricity and time for those who chose to participate. What makes CURE more cost effective is the utilization of idle personal computers that are already deployed for other tasks (but not all the time)§. The added benefits of participating with our team on Folding@home creates a global community of individuals who trade their CURE rewards in order to subsidise more computational power, donate to supported charities, or simply trade their tokens in a growing digital currency market.
Folding vs PoW vs PoS
Curecoin’s uses less than 5% of the energy required to secure similar hashcash-based blockchains whose mining requires power-hungry PoW ASIC equipment …
… since the vast majority of computational power on our network is directed towards protein folding research (Coins are reserved for protein folders and automatically distributed via a using a trusted oracle on our “folding pool” at Cryptobullionpools.com).
In the original Curecoin 1.0, 20% of the power was needed to secure the network via a combined Proof-of-Stake (PoS) and traditional Proof-of-Work (PoW) mining. Since December 2018, curecoin has leveraged a very energy efficient, pure PoS model to secure the network, with future plans to leverage a novel Proof-of-Proof (PoP) security model based on Veriblock’s 2018 Plan-of-Record.
Our business model focuses on Social Entrepreneurship – helping accelerate research that was once only in the realm of voluntary activity (supporting Folding@Home). We created a Secure Tokenized Incentive with the goal of linking vendors (including our own company store) with our Rewarded Giving model.
Rewarded Giving allows Folding@home protein folding participants, like you, to use our tokens for P2P transactions such as the purchase of products and services OR to donate them to several great causes. This even allows corporations, schools, social clubs and institutes to participate using our Folding Club concept…
“In recent years, Social entrepreneurs have taken the hybrid model to a new level, crafting it into what is in effect a single structure that can operate as both a for-profit and a nonprofit [entities].” – Stanford Social Innovation Review
Some examples of companies with ethical hybrid structures include:
- Toms Shoes
- Triodos Bank
- … and many others (Skoll Awardees)
I’ll buy CURE when it “Hits”
We hear this line of thinking all the time … but it misses key points of what gives Curecoin value to humanity. Curecoin is unlike most tokens; here are some reasons to consider why adding CURE tokens to your crypto portfolio is a great idea:
- Unlike bitcoin, where increased mining competition merely over-secures the network – increased competition among Curecoin network participants actually makes each “token” represent MORE research !!! This is something the markets have yet to appreciate.
- Buying Curecoins actually increases competition and thus research contributions to cancer, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, Infectious disease, Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning, Cloud computing and even touching on origins (astro-, exo- and xenobiology) research using distributed computational biology.
- Unlike most crypto-currencies, Curecoin doesn’t require any special equipment to mine (esp. via protein folding). Even a ten year old laptop PC or Apple Mac can contribute to research, and qualify to win prizes via our Folding Club.
- Curecoins can be viewed through the lens of Carbon Offsets for Bitcoin mining.
† Does not include cost of maintain equipment, or floor space / real estate, or cooling power considerations
‡ The g3s.large EC2 instances were determined to be the most cost effective long-term folding solution on AWS in September 2018. Cost-per-efficiency is subject to change
^ Merge-Folding with the FoldingCoin team allows contributors to earn both coins simultaneously on separate blockchains (adding redundancy and a layers of decentralization)
§ While power-folders continue to dominate the Folding@home landscape, the central idea is to build a world community large enough, where power folder’s are overshadowed by hundreds of thousands+ of casual participants to split the daily rewards more evenly. That’s why Curecoin has promoted the concept of Folding Clubs to get large organizations involved, and allow small folders to win prizes, receive coupons and discounts to their favorite restaurant or online store, OR have their contributions directed to their favorite causes.
List of Edits (pending)