Sirwin
Sirwin

Using GetGrass.io to sell your unused bandwidth


Hey folks, I’ve written about several different DePIN projects in the past, but a barrier to entry for many of them are upfront costs. And whether it be buying a Helium miner or a Hivemapper Dashcam which can literally costs you hundreds of dollars — these usually cause investors to hope (or pray) that they’ll at least one day be able to break even on their initial investment, let alone actually make a profit.

In today’s article I’ll be doing a deep dive about another DePIN project — GetGrass.io, which unlike most DePIN (and AI) projects, offers the opportunity to take part without any additional costs (or at least no additional costs if you have an unlimited data plan with your internet connection), breaking down some of its pros, cons, and potential risks.

But first, what’s DePIN?

#DePIN, or Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Network, is currently one of the top-trending crypto narratives that fuses web3 and cryptographic technology into a serviceable product. Perhaps the most popular DePIN project from last cycle was Helium miners, which was a crowd-sourced network where people could mine $HNT if they setup personal network hotspots.

GetGrass in similar fashion is a crowd-sourced network of that allows people to essentially sell their unused internet availability to suit a variety of needs, most notably for AI data repositories. To put it simply, Grass uses the bandwidth to scrape data from the internet, then cleans and processes it so that it can be used to help AI to become better and more sophisticated.

Grass’ Data-Layer Rollup

Although Grass gathers data from people’s unused internet connections, it doesn’t actually use people’s hardware to store the data, nor does it take private data from its users. Instead, public data is scraped from public websites, which in turn is sent to Grass’ in-house data repository called Socrates:

Apart from simply storing data, Socrates acts as sort of a data indexer that organizes raw public data from public websites into something that’s useable for AI learning models. In fact, Grass reportedly doesn’t have any interaction with your hard drive at all, nor does it tap into any of your private data (i.e., password, search history, etc.). This public data is essentially filtered via its data layer into a form that’s usable for AI model training:

https://medium.com/r/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.getgrass.io%2Fblog%2Fgrass-is-the-data-layer-of-ai

Yet apart from just having a data repository, Grass aims to be an actual Layer-2 data rollup, which will essentially exist as a data ledger tied to Zero-Knowledge (ZK) proofs onto its L1 settlement layer (Solana). I’m by no means a developer, but my understanding that an L2 is necessary in order to Grass to scale, as the data it seeks to collect into the “tens of millions of web requests [that will be] performed every minute.” Speaking of scaling…

Growth and Expectations

If you’ve been in the DeFi space awhile, then Grass’ business model may not seem very novel, as there are many other DePIN-related internet projects out there including Honeygain (an app that pays out an advertised 20 cents per gigabyte shared) and Presearch — a DePIN node project that seeks to decentralize internet searches. However, where Grass differs is through its integration with the AI-narrative, which by far is one of the hottest trends we’re seeing this current bull cycle.

Additionally, Grass has so far been able to raise approximately $4.5 million dollars after its pre-seed and seed round, raising money from the likes of Polychain CapitalTribe Capital, and No Limit Holdings.

Grass also announced in November 2023, that a mobile app would at some point be introduced, but as far as I’ve gathered it hasn’t been made public yet. Even without a mobile app, Grass’ user base has seen parabolic growth, rising from about 500k a few months ago to nearly 2 million nodes (accounts) which is where it stands at time of writing. At an ETH Denver presentation given last month, founder Andrej Radonjic reported that Grass had already been downloaded in 190 different countries, with more than 1 TB scraped per day. Although Grass has grown more than 1000% over the past several months, for comparison’s sake, Honeygain, another app that pays out credits for your internet usage, advertises around 12 million users, which indicates that Grass could still have a great deal of room to grow.

Risks, and other things to consider

After sorting through several reviews and discord comments, there are a few risks that are important for potential users to consider.

Location: From what I’ve gathered, the biggest privacy concern that may be at risk is that is your location. Verified by the Chrome Web Store, location is the only privacy concern that’s listed under the extension’s privacy practices section:

This matches the rhetoric that the Grass team has stated as its supposed to have “no idea what you’re doing on the internet,” has “no interaction with your local hard drive,” and no actual data being scraped from users.

Transparency, or lack thereof: One of the criticisms of Grass is their relative lack of transparency — there’s nothing on their github and none of their code is open-sourced. Since Grass (or Wynd, their parent company) is a private company there’s also been no public information about who exactly is purchasing/using scraped data, and it’s not clear how/if Grass intends on being profitable, or if it already is. I don’t think that this is need for any alarm, but regardless, it still means that there’s a level of trust required with how your data/bandwidth is being handled, who it might being sold to, and that it’s not being misappropriated by bad actors.

All that being said, Wynd does have their own linkedin page, with 5 of their reported 30-or-so employees doxxed, and as I mentioned earlier, their founder Andrej Radonjic (who is also doxxed), gave a presentation on Grass during ETH Denver earlier this year.

Running multiple nodes or accounts: For those of you that are already scheming about how to game as many grass points as possible, the total amount of grass points one can accrue is capped at 2400, no matter how many devices you use, depending on the internet connection.

Additionally as you can see in the graphic above, trying to run multiple accounts on the same network will get your IP address banned, which I’m assuming is difficult to circumvent seeing as how you can only run your node if you’re not using a VPN.

How profitable is running a Grass node?

There’s a lot of speculation about how profitable $GRASS can be, with some people running several accounts in hopes of it leading to something big. If we once again compare Grass to other similar projects such as Honeygain, it too, also pays out on a basis of direct utilization with a set amount per gigabyte of data that has been downloaded. For Honeygain in particular, most of the payouts I’ve read about have been anecdotal, but at most it appears that you’ll be at most earning $1–2 dollars per device per week (that’s a generate estimate, even if you’re running the device 24/7), or in other words $5–10 dollars a month. Taken straight from Honeygain’s website, they reportedly have more than 12 million users, although it’s uncertain how many are active — roughly a 6x compared to how many who are currently using Grass.

Additionally for Grass, it’s a bit unclear for how much your network(s) are being utilized, and instead users accrue points based on network quality and uptime, with a reported maximum earning of 2.4k points per day. Personally I’ve been using Grass for nearly 3 weeks now and I’m averaging roughly 1.3k points per day with a Network Quality rating of 100% on one device:

Seeing as how a $GRASS token hasn’t been released yet, we can speculate by looking at points markets that currently there’s orders for Grass points that have been filled for slightly more than $0.002 cents per point:

If these fill orders are any indicator of what $GRASS might be worth in the future, then currently my 1.3k Grass points might be worth roughly $2.60 worth of daily $GRASS, or roughly around $75 dollars worth of $GRASS a month. If you were earning the maximum 2.4k Grass points, you could potentially be earning roughly $5 dollars a day or roughly $150 dollars a month — not bad for doing absolutely nothing.

Conclusion

Personally I’ve been using Grass for nearly 3 weeks now, and nothing has changed out of my routine — I don’t leave my device on 24/7, I haven’t noticed any lag in my normal internet usage (i.e., streaming videos, music, website loading times), and personally I consider the risk vs. reward worth it…for now.

If you’re interested in trying out Grass yourself, consider supporting this blog and using my referral link to get started: https://app.getgrass.io/register/?referralCode=B-ebiz_ZesNLAZa

And albeit probably not as profitable, if you’re also looking to try out Honeygain as well, get a $2 bonus for using my referral link as well: https://r.honeygain.me/JAIK8F3E7C

And as always, thanks for taking the time to read this and be sure to follow me on twitter (https://twitter.com/CryptosWith) to get all my latest updates. Also, looking for a gift for your Crypto-loving/hating friend? Give them a REKT journal to cheer them up!

 

Disclaimer: And as a final reminder, this is not financial advice and this is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Please as always, do your own research and find what investments are best for you. Cheers everyone! allocation, but I’m also earning some pretty significant yields on my assets at the same time.

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Messin' With Cryptos
Messin' With Cryptos

I've made a ton of mistakes along the way in the world of Defi and cryptocurrency. Hopefully by taking some of the lessons learned and cues i've went through, you'll be a bit more success


Messin' around with Crypto's
Messin' around with Crypto's

Follow me on twitter! @CryptosWith https://twitter.com/CryptosWith

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