iExec is an innovative French startup which aims to ‘decentralize the cloud’, by creating a global cloud computing marketplace where anyone can rent out their processing power for profit.
What does that mean? What are the challenges of this decentralization?
‘Decentralizing the cloud’ means to move power from the giant companies (Amazon, Google, and alike) which control the cloud computing market today, to a network of smaller companies and everyday users.
It is not easy to explain what is going on behind the scenes, but let’s say that today’s centralized cloud model is slowing down the development of technologies whose demand is increasingly strong: smart cities, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, virtual/augmented reality, etc.
The ‘cloud’ is basically a service, enabling you to buy computing power and storage over the Internet. Instead of buying the hardware yourself, you onlypay for using the hardware. The appeal of cloud computing solves the problem of companies having to buy a set of servers, but not using them to their fullest potential.
iExec, the decentralized cloud
iExec is short for ‘I Execute’, because iExec lets you execute your task in the cloud with competitive speed. Our approach to cloud computing is radically different to how things are done today. There are several reasons detailed below that explain why the model offered by iExec is safer, smarter, greener, and generally more optimized in every way than existing cloud solutions.
A marketplace for computing resources
A marketplace is a place where people can buy and sell things, and there are many different marketplaces on the Internet. By the Spring of 2018, iExec will have set up an online marketplace service which will allow anyone to offer their computing resources and interact directly with buyers. This enables users to trade with each other freely, which was not possible before.
On the provider side: servers and data centers can make their unused computing resources available in return for a fee in iExec’s internal cryptocurrency ‘RLC’. Alternatively, on the buyer side: applications and developers pay in the cryptocurrency RLC to access these resources. The price is negotiated between users: iExec does not intervene and does not receive any commission on these transactions.