What is Render Token?
In a white paper released by well-known cloud rendering provider, OTOY, we are introduced to the Render Token, or RNDR for short. As its name suggests, the goal of the Render Token project is to provide distributed graphics rendering power to customers and use RNDR as a currency for the up and coming rendering market. The minds behind the token refer to this as a “photon driven economy”.
OTOY is not only known for cloud rendering but also its work in AR and VR development. They have been on the forefront of GPU rendering, which is greatly increasing the efficiency and throughput of graphics and animation rendering.
Render Token vs. Golem
When I first read about RNDR, I immediately thought that this would be a direct competitor to Golem and its GNT token. The Golem Project has stated that its first real use case will be to provide distributed computing based rendering services.
Does this mean that RNDR and GNT will be in direct competition for the same market?
In my opinion, and as stated by the OTOY official Reddit account here, Golem and RNDR are meant to “address very different (but complementary) things.” In other words, no, they will not be direct competitors. Let’s dive into that statement a little further.
The most important point to consider is the overall goal of the Golem project, which is to be an all-purpose supercomputer, of which requestors (buyers) can rent computing power for any purpose that that platform will eventually support.
This could include any number of use cases such as neural network machine learning, scientific computing, image recognition, or almost anything else that can be written into the platform’s code.
To quote the official Golem website, “Anyone will be able to use Golem to compute (almost) any program you can think of, from rendering to research to running websites, in a completely decentralized & inexpensive way.”
When discussing rendering on Golem, we need to remember that rendering (with a CPU) is almost more of a proof of concept than anything else. The team behind Golem wants to have a demonstrable use case for the network up and running before they try to branch out into other, potentially more complex fields of distributed computing.
Render Token on the other hand, has stated its use case is exclusively for GPU based rendering. OTOY states that their target markets are light field rendering, cinematic CG rendering, and arch-vis and panoramic rendering, of which a project budget for rendering could range from $5 to $150,000.
Render Token Use Cases
On the RNDR website, they also include gaming, medical rendering, and several other examples. OTOY itself is already quite successful in their industry, so it’s safe to say that they know their market well, and they already have open channels to reach the proposed market, which is of critical importance for widespread adoption.
Aside from cinematic style rendering, in which the rendering is done all in advance, the RNDR token could also have a fascinating use case in the worlds of gaming, AR, and VR.
In today’s hardcore gaming world for example, if one wants to play the latest games, they need to own the latest hardware, and that hardware is expensive. Top of the line graphics cards often cost in excess of a thousand dollars and have even faced massive supply shortages due to various cryptocurrency miners buying them all in bulk.
The Future of Graphics Rendering
Imagine a near future where instead of needing to buy advanced graphics hardware that becomes obsolete in a matter of months, one could instead subscribe to a gaming service that is powered by RNDR.
For a fee, such a gamer could play any game they wanted at the highest levels of graphical performance available, all without investing in any graphics hardware up front.
Is such a future possible? At this point, it’s hard to say. Not only would the distributed rendering network need to be extremely powerful, it would also have to be lightning fast with both its rendering speed and its network speed. In five or ten years, this could be the standard for game graphics rendering, and a market worth billions, or it could be just a cool idea that never panned out. Even if live game rendering doesn’t work out, RNDR has more dozens of use cases that still make it very exciting.
I also suspect that Golem will see more and more of these sorts of specialist cloud computing competitors as the cryptosphere grows.
Not long ago, Anryze started it’s currently ongoing ICO for its cloud-based speech recognition platform. It’s only a matter of time until more of these specialist platforms appear on the market. I have no doubt that they will compete with Golem to at least some degree, so as a Golem supporter I hope that they will have enough of a market share to keep up with these specialist platforms or offer services that are unique to or better on Golem.
The ICO for RNDR starts next month.