As the fight against COVID-19 rages on, people of all walks of life have contributed their time and talents to finding a solution. We have seen the news stories of nurses and doctors working overtime and volunteering to travel to "hot spots" to support overloaded healthcare systems, and companies have given up their normal business to produce masks, hand sanitizer, and ventilators. For those of us who aren't medical professionals or scientists, there is still a way that we can contribute to the fight against COVID. The Folding At Home application allows us to lend our idle computing resources to scientists and help them discover a cure for many of the world's most destructive diseases. I briefly skimmed over Folding At Home in my Banano article, but I felt that with everything going on right now, Folding At Home deserved its own dedicated article/video to show people how they can help.
The Folding At Home application is incredibly simple to use and it has a clean GUI that allows you to control how much computing power you wish to lend. You don't have to have a super powerful computer to contribute, and you don't even have to know anything about crypto. That being said, I will also show you how to monetize your efforts through Banano if you want. Now that the background info is out of the way, lets get started.
Getting started with Folding At Home is incredibly easy. Simply download the installer from their website. Once you have downloaded the file, install it and launch the application. Once you launch the application, your browser will show you the GUI control screen.
The GUI allows you to select how much power you want to lend by selecting light, medium, or full on a sliding scale. More importantly, it has the option of always running or only running when your computer is idle. Fair warning, the folding process is computationally intensive, and it WILL slow down your computer if you are trying to game or edit videos. If you do a lot of editing, its probably best to select only when idle. That way, you can fold full power when you are taking a break from the computer, but you won't slow down your workflow while you are editing videos or gaming. Most of my time on the computer is spent just reading articles or watching videos, so I usually leave it on and just manually pause when I want to take a quick gaming break. The choice is yours. You can also select which diseases you want to contribute your computing power to, or you can let Folding At Home send you projects that they believe have the most urgency. That's all you need to get started folding and using your computer to contribute to medical research!
I want to be clear that the steps below are NOT required to fold and contribute. They are simply a way to get a little bit of free crypto as a reward for contributing to Folding At Home. You are not mining crypto when you fold. Rather, the Banano team is giving you Banano as a way of expressing appreciation for lending your resources to Folding At Home.
If you want to earn Banano, you will have to navigate to Banano Miner and generate a user id and team id. All you have to do is click on "Start Now!" and paste your public key from your Banano Wallet. If you don't have a Banano wallet, you can easily generate one here. Entering the public key will give you a user id and a team id which you will then copy and paste into the "Change Identity" section of the Folding At Home GUI.
Simply click on "Change Identity" and enter your user ID as the name and the team id as the team number. This was a bit confusing for me as I tried to enter my public key as the name. Don't do that. Simply copy and paste the user id that you were given from the Banano website. It isn't required, but you can generate a Passkey to add security and earn bonus points.
As I said, Folding at home is NOT mining Banano, but it is nice to earn a little bit of crypto to offset some of your electric costs. The amount of Banano you can earn depends on the power of your computer, but I'll share my info just to give a ballpark estimate. I have an i7-7700 processor and a GTX 1050 GPU that I run at least 20 hours per day (paused for video editing, gaming, etc). After about a week, I have earned about 1,700 Banano or about $1.58. Folding At Home isn't going to get you rich, but it is nice to get some crypto while simultaneously supporting medical research.