Hey guys :) I’m back with another comprehensive Q&A piece, this time for the popular decentralized cloud computing protocol and platform – iExec (RLC).
iExec is a decentralized network that gives distributed applications (dapps) access to trusted off-chain computation and data. It provides dapps with scalable, secure, and easy access to the services, data-sets, and computing resources they need.
Hope you enjoy!
The list of Q&A is kind of long so first comes the list of questions that I have prepared the answers to:
- What is iExec?
- Who and When Created iExec?
- What is iExec token RLC used for?
- How iExec is different from Golem?
- What are notable partnerships & integrations of iExec RLC?
- What are iExec’s biggest milestones?
- What is iExec Marketplace?
- Where to Store iExec?
- Where to Buy & Sell iExec?
1. What is iExec?
iExec website homepage
iExec is a decentralized cloud computing company and cryptocurrency project that’s committed to building revolutionary open-source cloud computing software and protocols that leverage the power of the decentralized Ethereum blockchain.
iExec’s goal is to create the next generation of IT infrastructure by building a new cloud computing platform that provides scalable, secure, and easy access to cloud computing resources for distributed applications (dapps).
Working towards this goal, iExec values and strives to maintain four key principles:
- Decentralization - iExec is building the blockchain infrastructure for a decentralized economy.
- Innovation - iExec’s software, protocols, and algorithms are the foundations for a new Internet.
- Environment - iExec aims to usher in the revolution that will make our digital world sustainable.
- Freedom - iExec stands for the liberty for everyone to create, innovate, and contribute to a better world.
iExec is already a well-established company with multiple working products that scale distributed blockchain applications with open-source software and protocols. See iExec’s products below:
iExec introduces the first-ever decentralized marketplace for cloud computing, where cloud resources can be traded on a global market. It’s a place where businesses and individuals have instant access to large capacities of computing power at competitive rates.
iExec offers open-source CLI and JS libraries and tools for developers that allow their projects to take full advantage of the decentralized Cloud. iExec’s off-chain cloud computing resources can help decentralized applications overcome Ethereum scalability issues.
iExec features its own Dapp Store where decentralized applications powered by iExec are listed. This Dapp Store helps developers monetize their dapps and increase visibility.
iExec’s Data Wallet is essentially a Data Store where developers can monetize their valuable datasets with the highest level of security.
iExec makes it easy for developers to build and deploy decentralized oracles. iExec’s oracles can be used for secure data feeds, to execute on-chain logic for traditional bank payments, to trigger events with cross-chain data, and more.
iExec Enterprise is a consulting and integration service for enterprises to use the iExec stack. It enables enterprise businesses to securely share and monetize their data, applications, and computing power with their customers, partners, or subsidiaries.
2. Who and When Created iExec?
iExec Founders Gilles Fedak and Haiwu He
Some months later in October 2016, the iExec company was founded as a French company, and 1 month after that, the iExec whitepaper was released on November 1, 2016.
iExec’s founders and the core team behind the project are incredibly brilliant with 7 PhDs on the board with similar backgrounds in distributed systems and cloud computing.
iExec’s co-founder and CEO Gilles Fedak holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science and has been working in the realm of cloud computing since the early 2000s. For instance, Fedak wrote a paper describing global computing models and using unused computing resources back in the year 2000 and has dedicated his life to this work ever since.
The fact that Fedak is working on the same concept 20 years later with iExec is very promising for the project.
As for iExec’s other co-founder Haiwu Hu, he’s a professor at the Computer Network Information Center at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and has published more than 30 scientific papers.
All in all, iExec’s founders are both highly sophisticated and dedicated to their work in decentralized cloud computing.
iExec Launch and Issuance
iExec held an initial coin offering (ICO) for its native cryptocurrency RLC on April 19, 2017. iExec raised a total of 2,762 BTC and 17,388 ETH in less than 3 hours (roughly $12 million USD), making it the 5th largest ICO at the time.
The maximum total supply of iExec is 87,000,000 RLC and the project has a circulating supply of 80,070,793 RLC.
Following the ICO, RLC got listed on Bittrex on April 20, 2017 and some months after that, iExec’s smart contracts were deployed on Ethereum’s mainnet for the first time on December 21, 2017.
3. What is iExec token RLC used for?
iExec’s RLC is a cryptocurrency that provides standard and secure payments, meaning it serves as a medium of exchange. The RLC token was designed from the ground up to enable the exchange of computing resources in a decentralized manner.
RLC is an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain.
RLC - A Medium of Exchange
The primary use case for RLC is as a medium of exchange on the iExec Marketplace. All payments on this marketplace are settled in RLC tokens.
Workers on the iExec Marketplace – which are essential actors of the iExec Network in charge of computing tasks sent by requesters on the iExec Marketplace – are rewarded with RLC tokens for every properly computed task.
That said, RLC tokens can be spent in exchange for renting someone else’s computing resources (this includes CPU, GPU, applications, or datasets).
RLC - Alternative Use Cases
In addition to RLC’s primary use case as a medium of exchange for decentralized cloud computing resources, RLC has some alternative use cases being:
- RLC Staking
- RLC liquidity mining
- RLC liquidity pooling
RLC tokens have to be staked by iExec’s workers during the execution of a task. This is to prevent malicious workers as it works as a sort of security deposit. Workers who act maliciously or compute a false result will lose their stake.
RLC Liquidity Mining
iExec has partnered with Hummingbot to enable anyone with enough RLC to leverage it by acting as a market maker in exchange for a share of the rewards provided by exchanges and token issuers.
RLC Liquidity Pooling
iExec holders can become an RLC liquidity provider on certain decentralized exchanges such as Uniswap and Bancor.
Liquidity providers deepen the liquidity of an exchange and participate to reduce slippage. In return for their services, RLC liquidity providers can earn a percentage of trading fees collected by a smart contract.
4. How iExec is different from Golem?
iExec and Golem logos
The primary difference between iExec and Golem is:
- Project Focus - Golem’s focus is on digital rendering, iExec’s focus is on off-chain computation for decentralized applications.
iExec has created a decentralized marketplace where dapp developers can pay people to leverage their cloud computing resources for off-chain computations. This helps dapp developers to circumvent Ethereum’s scalability problems and create more scalable dapps.
While Golem is similar to iExec in that it enables users to rent out their machines computing power in exchange for GNT, Golem’s focus is on digital rendering rather than off-chain computations for dapps, as seen with iExec.
5. What are notable partnerships & integrations of iExec RLC?
iExec is partnered with multiple noteworthy companies and is integrated with many important projects in the realm of Ethereum DeFi.
Notable iExec Partnerships & Integrations
- IBM Cloud
- Alibaba Cloud
- Genesis Cloud
- + Many more
During an annual startup program hosted by Ubisoft, the leading entertainment company supported iExec in its efforts to build virtual cloud computing infrastructure that can prove to be useful in the areas of AI and big data.
iExec partnered with Intel, the multinational corporation and technology company, to improve its decentralized cloud security by leveraging Intel’s SGX technology to improve security and provide privacy-preserving off-chain computing.
iExec has collaborated with IBM Cloud, an advanced cloud computing platform, to help deploy IBM’s Cloud Data Shield Technology that helps companies to deploy decentralized cloud solutions with state-of-the-art security. iExec’s Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) played an instrumental role in securing the IBM Cloud Data Shield product.
iExec has collaborated with Alibaba Cloud, a global cloud computing service, so that iExec’s TEE can be run on the Alibaba Cloud trusted worker pool to allow for the monetization of data sets.
iExec and Genesis Cloud, a leading cloud computing company, have partnered together to provide companies with reliable cloud computing, particularly for machine learning, visual effects rendering, big data analytics, and cognitive computing.
6. What are iExec’s biggest milestones?
iExec’s roadmap can be broken down into 5 important milestones, iExec V1 to iExec V5:
- November 2017 - iExec V1 (SDK 1.0 Release)
- May 2018 - iExec V2 (Market Network)
- May 2019 - iExec V3 (Hybrid Public/Private Infrastructure)
- December 2019 - iExec V4 (High-Performance Computing)
- December 2020 - iExec V5 (Beyond the Decentralized Cloud)
iExec V1 was announced during Devcon3 in Cancún, Mexico. It included the release of iExec’s first Software Development Kit (SDK) product which enabled blockchain applications to access iExec’s affordable, scalable, transparent, and secure off-chain computing cloud.
iExec V2 was announced during Blockshow Europe 2018. Included in the release was the iExec Marketplace, the first-ever decentralized marketplace for cloud computing. The iExec V2 release made it possible to buy and sell computing power on a dedicated market just like any other commodity for the first time in history.
iExec V3 included a series of upgrades including a new Data Wallet that makes secure data renting possible; security, speed, and flexibility improvements to the decentralized cloud marketplace; and key features to allow enterprises to widely adopt the iExec network.
iExec V4 included key improvements for the scaling and adoption of iExec. iExec V4 is faster, cheaper, and easier to use than previous versions. It included features such as Bag-of-Tasks, sidechain implementation, GPU integration, TEE, UX and UI improvements, and more improvements for enterprise and mainstream adoption.
iExec V5 will be released at the end of 2020 with the goal to allow new usages of iExec beyond the Decentralized Cloud. With this release, iExec will serve new markets, specifically for applications involved with IoT, Fog/Edge Computing, and Smart City technologies. Additionally, decentralized governance and an energy positive worker will be included in this release.
7. What is iExec Marketplace?
The iExec Marketplace is the first-ever blockchain-based decentralized marketplace for cloud computing resources. It enables anyone to monetize their applications, servers, and data sets through a globally decentralized market.
Developers can use iExec Marketplace to overcome blockchain limitations by executing computations off-chain on a new distributed infrastructure.
Providers can rent out their machines computing power and monetize it by executing tasks for computation heavy applications.
Token Holders can get involved in the crypto economy by trading their RLC tokens whenever they want or exchange them for cloud resources.
The iExec Marketplace enables cloud resources to be traded on a global market, just like any other commodity. Users benefit from on-demand cloud computing resources at competitive rates with a “Pay-per-Task” pricing model and the marketplace is accessible for all.
How iExec Marketplace works:
The iExec Marketplace leverages state-of-the-art public blockchain technologies that offer a high level of trust, transparency, and security. It connects users/applications with cloud providers called “workers”.
Users/applications place bids “work orders” for their tasks to be executed based on pre-selected criteria.
Workers then place a sell order defining the price at which they are willing to execute the work. Each time they successfully fulfill a work order, they receive RLC in return.
8. Where to Store iExec?
iExec (RLC) is an ERC-20 token residing on the public Ethereum blockchain and is therefore supported by many reputable cryptocurrency wallets. In fact, RLC can be stored on the most trusted, tried, and tested wallets including:
- MyEtherWallet [MEW] (web)
- Trust Wallet (mobile)
- Atomic Wallet (desktop, mobile)
- Coinomi (mobile)
- Ledger Nano S (hardware)
In addition to the above-listed wallets, iExec (RLC) can be stored on a wide variety of other reputable ERC-20 token supported wallets. However, when choosing a wallet to store RLC, keep an eye out for the following features:
- RLC compatibility - ERC-20 token support
- User control of private keys - not your keys, not your coins
- Active developer community - up-to-date maintenance
- Back up & security features - pin codes, seed phrase
- Good reviews - highly recommended
9. Where to Buy & Sell iExec?
iExec (RLC) can be bought and sold on a peer-to-peer (P2P) basis but the most popular way to buy, sell, or trade iExec is through cryptocurrency exchanges.
You can buy RLC with cryptocurrency or fiat at the following top exchanges. In most cases, you will have to fund your account with fiat, buy Bitcoin or Ethereum, and then use BTC or ETH to buy iExec (symbol RLC).
- Binance - BTC, ETH, BNB, USDT
- Bitfinex - BTC, USD
- Bittrex - BTC
- UniSwap - ETH
- Kyber Network - ETH
In addition to the exchanges listed above, iExec (RLC) is also traded on a wide array of other exchanges and platforms that enable people to buy, sell, or trade cryptocurrencies.
Hope you enjoyed that read :) Let me know if I have missed something in the comments.