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IBM Joins iExec as a Cloud Provider

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IBM Joins iExec as a Cloud Provider

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Frequently asked questions

All you need to know about iExec, the RLC token and the potential impact of a decentralized  cloud network can have on the future of the internet.

If your question is not answered on this page, feel free to contact
us directly.

General

What is iExec?

iExec wants to decentralize cloud computing market by building the future of the Internet infrastructure. We are developing the first blockchain cloud computing platform.

 

iExec aims at providing to companies scalable, secure and easy access to the services, the data-sets and the computing resources they need. Our technology relies on the Ethereum smart contracts and allows for a virtual Cloud infrastructure that provides high-performance computing services on demand. Located in the area of Lyon, the project is based on the research work of Gilles Fedak, Haiwu He and Oleg Lodygensky.

 

These three are all accredited researchers at INRIA, CNRS and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. They have been active since 2000 in researching grid-computing, the technology which enables to decentralize computing.

You can have a look at the Marketplace, the Dapp Store and the worker pools catalog.

What’s the vision of iExec?

At iExec, we believe in a future of decentralized infrastructure and market network, where big data and HPC applications, highly valued data-sets, and computing resources (storage, CPU, GPU) will be monetized on the blockchain with the highest level of transparency, resiliency and security. This virtual cloud infrastructure will be made possible by iExec’s unique innovations: iExec Core, the Proof-Of-Contribution (PoCo) protocol which allows consensus of off-chain computations directly on the blockchain. iExec will act as a new form of distributed governance, challenging key HPC, Big Data and Cloud industry leaders.

 

For a complete understanding of iExec’s vision, please read the iExec White Paper that was recently updated.

What’s the background of the team?

iExec is built upon work carried out at the INRIA and CNRS research institutes in the field of Desktop Grid computing since 2000. The founders were instrumental in establishing the European Desktop Grid Infrastructure, transparently executing millions of jobs of over 200,000 nodes, working with organisations such as Large Hadron Colider, IPF Energy, Orange and many more. Since the beginning of 2016, the team has expanded to to include blockchain hackers, cryptography experts, business developers and marketing specialists – a full overview of the core iExec team can be found here.

 

Now a company, iExec’s are headquartered in Lyon, France with a subsidiary in Hong Kong. You can read the full team bios in the iExec whitepaper (p. 35).

Technology

Where can I get started using iExec as a developer?

Whether you are a developer looking to build your application to be powered by the decentralized cloud or you are a worker looking to monetise computing resources, everything you need to get started can be found in our official documentation.

 

Have a look at the iExec SDK Github repository, try out this tutorial to discover iExec in a smooth way. We’re very reactive in the #beta-testers chan in Slack. Don’t hesitate! We also invite you to browse our Dapps of the Week series where you can find examples of decentralized apps in the fields of machine learning, fintech and scientific research.

What is the iExec Marketplace?

The iExec Marketplace is the first ever decentralized marketplace where computing power can be traded as a commodity. In the same way we think about commodities such as oil, for example. By paying in RLC to access these resources. This is the live marketplace this the webpage explains this in further detail.

What is the iExec Dapp Store?

On the Dapp Store, users can directly access and use available applications registered on the network.

How can I list my application on the Dapp Store?

Go to this page and follow the instructions.

Where can I find examples of Dapps built on iExec?

You can read the Dapp of the Week series on our blog, Websensors (ML), Open Mole (ML) and Jupyter (scientific research) are great examples of decentralized apps running on iExec.

What is ‘PoCo’?

Contributions within iExec platform, actions that happen out of the blockchain (such as performing a computation) will lead to token transactions between participants. This means that a protocol is required to prove the fact that these contributions actually happened correctly and and that the corresponding token transaction can then take place on the blockchain. For this, iExec have designed a consus protocol called Proof of Contribution protocol or ‘PoCo’. Due to the fully decentralized nature of iExec, no single agent needs to be trusted and while each agents requires incentives to contribute correctly.

 

PoCo is a protocol developed by iExec, which describes the interactions between the different agents and leverages features such as staking and reputation to provide incentives. Detailed documentation on the PoCo protocol can be found here.

How iExec is using SGX Hardware Enclaves?

iExec use of Intel SGX technology allows for applications to be run in a decentralized fashion without worrying about ‘untrusted’ nodes. The information involved in a Dapp’s computation will be protected as the application will still remain under the control of the initial user. Hardware enclaves enable applications to be run in an inaccessible part of the CPU. In this case, even the owner of the CPU who is executing computation (the decentralized node) is not able to access the data processed inside of the enclave, which can be described as an inaccessible “bubble”. A detailed breakdown of how iExec has integrated SGX Enclaves can be found in this article from our ‘PoCo’ series.

Business

At what stage of development are you at right now and what is coming next?

The technical roadmap can be found here: iExec also has consistently published Development Reports, Project Updates and general informative articles on a weekly basis since since late 2016. All publications can be found here.

What other businesses are iExec partnered or collaborating with?

iExec is partnered with a number of different organisations. Product collaborators: IBMIntel, Ubisoft, RSK. Resource Providers: Genesis Mining, Cloud&Heat, Stimergy, TF Cloud, Nerdalize. Consortiums and Working groups: Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, Ubisoft Incubator, OpenFog Consortium, China Computer Federation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, INRIA, CNRS.

Are Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Google Cloud competitors for iExec?

No, although being the leading cloud service providers, iExec’s offers a completely different proposal. The case with these centralized services is that you must rely on a third party and trust that your computation will be executed properly and on time. This centralized structure results in possible single points of failure. iExec’s distributed cloud, made possible by the blockchain and their consensus protocol provides this trust, without the need to place trust in a third party. iExec offers the chance avoid the high cost of computations on the blockchain yet still get a blockchain-level verified result . Of course, the two centralized giants are welcome to participate in the iExec network as server providers.

How does iExec differ from Golem or SONM?

Golem, SONM and iExec have their own visions for the common goal for a new Internet enabled by the blockchain. However, their respective go-to-market strategies differ. Golem’s network aims to attract regular 3D rendering by supporting computations for Blender 3D rendering software. SONM aims to approach fog and edge computing from the beginning.
At iExec, we invision an ubiquitous decentralized cloud where developers deploy their legacy application on top of iExec using our SDK. With this, the possibilities are endless.

Research

What are iExec working on with Intel?

The next step for our work together is to present a proof-of-concept on the topic of how SGX enclaves can be used in combination with blockchain consensus protocols, specifically iExec’s own ‘PoCo’ algorithm, in order to maximise security within the emerging distributing cloud industry. You can read more on this here.

Is iExec working on a sidechain solution?

We have already started research into sidechain solutions for a more efficient experience for iExec users. We will be able to give further updates on our progress before Devcon4.

What is iExec's collaboration with Ubisoft?

iExec was selected to participate in Ubisoft’s accelerator program at Station F in Paris. iExec had the opportunity to share our experience and expertise with Blockchain and explore how it could be integrated into Ubisoft’s future products. Ubisoft recently covered the collaboration in this interview.

What Ethereum research and development is iExec involved with?

iExec is heavily involved with supporting the general Ethereum ecosystem. Being a member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, iExec is also chair of the Trusted Execution Working group, which defines standard that are implemented by companies with Ethereum-based platforms. iExec also regularly participates to hackathons, workshops as well as offering sponsorship or grants for coding contests and tech-oriented events.

RLC Token

Was the RLC tokensale successful?

The iExec crowdsale opened on April 19 2017, 13:00 UTC and ended at 15:45. making it the 6th largest ICO at the time. In total 86,999,784 RLC were been issued and distributed to 1100 contributors.iExec celebrated the one year anniversary of the RLC token in May 2018. You can read more about the project’s kick-off budget here.

How do people use RLC tokens?

RLC is used to access the resources in the market network. It is the unique method of payment between application providers, server providers and data providers.

iExec- RLC can of course be be traded on major exchanges for fiat or a variety of other crypto assets.

On which exchanges the token is listed?

iExec’s RLC token is listed on the following major exchanges: Binance, Bittrex, ETHFINEX, Changelly, Liqui, and many more.The full list of open and active markets is available here.

Will more RLC ever be distributed?

The RLC is an ERC 20 token. The ERC 20 Token Standard ensures a fixed supply. This is written into the smart contract and it is not possible to distribute something we don’t have.

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