I hope you’ve been staying safe, healthy, and sane during a time of unprecedented global uncertainty and transformation. Our families and communities have been impacted, and the way we live and work will never be the same. At Akash, being a distributed team has made it a little easier to transition to what is becoming “the new normal”.
What’s happening in the world today has made our team more committed to building the world’s first decentralized cloud computing marketplace, and the first viable alternative to cloud service providers (CSPs). Cloud costs from the major CSPs make running machine learning, deep learning, and artificial intelligence workloads increasingly expensive and cost-prohibitive for startups, academic institutions, researchers, and clinicians who need to accelerate critical research to fight COVID-19, and develop life-saving treatments.
Q1 Progress to a Faster, Better, and Lower Cost Cloud
Our world won’t be the same after the virus, and we’ll see an even greater need for cloud compute and services, as the ways we work and play transition even more to the cloud. By leveraging the power of a free market and a permissionless, open cloud, Akash Network unlocks 85% of cloud compute capacity in 8.4 million data centers currently underutilized. 90% lower in cost, Akash is a faster, better, more secure, and lower cost alternative to cloud service providers.
Despite the global volatility of this past quarter, our team has remained focused and diligent in the progression of our mission. I wanted to share highlights of what our team has been working on this past quarter across product, partnerships, people, and promotions. I’m excited to unveil our new website and our new Supermini portable supercomputer, as well as update on what’s to come in Q2.
Migration to Cosmos SDK: In Q1, we migrated to Cosmos SDK and in the process, we reduced our codebase by a massive 150,000 lines.
Incentivized Testnet: We made big strides in the development of our incentivized testnet–stay tuned for an announcement this week.
Supermini Portable Supercomputer: We’ve significantly progressed design, technical specifications, and production on Supermini. We worked with design duo Guillermo Sanchez del Corral and Rafael Sanchez of debuti, and industrial designer Sungbum Park, to come up with Supermini’s distinctive chassis and infinity mirror design. After much research and prototyping, we amped up the specs to a 512-core Volta GPU with 64 Tensor Cores. Production is underway for a limited launch later this year. Check out our new Supermini below.
Decentralized Cloud Standards: We put together a design repository for the Testnet Alpha that we released last November, in order to provide a framework for others to create and run their own testnets. With input from our community we decided to name it Decentralized Cloud Standards.
Akash Economics: We evolved our Akash Network Token Economic Model. We introduced two additional powerful drivers for growth and income generation in the ecosystem–the allocation of subsidies, in the form of a Subsidy Pool, and the distribution of a network dividend from a portion of the lease fees, Take Income.
Solana: Our goal is to provide developers with increased access to decentralized services. Last month, we announced that we were partnering with Solana to bring web-scale smart contracts to Akash Supercloud. Akash users will be able to run secure and scalable smart contracts on Solana’s hyper-performant platform and pay using Akash Token (AKT). Solana’s users will soon be able to run distributed applications (like machine learning or web apps) and settle using Solana Token (SOL) on Akash. Our partnership will also give Solana Validators the ability to run their nodes on a truly decentralized cloud and significantly decrease their cloud costs.
The Unstoppable Cloud: This past quarter, we expanded our ecosystem by partnering with a number of data centers, a Telco provider, and continuing to build partnerships with storage, security, and DNS providers who share our vision for an open, safe, and “unstoppable” cloud that unlocks capabilities for the data-driven technologies of the future. We can’t wait to announce these and many more partnerships in Q2.
Our First Stablecoin: We’ve been working on a key integration and partnership to bring a strong stablecoin into our multi-currency ecosystem that will be used for payment and settlement on our platform. We’re looking forward to announcing this partnership in the coming weeks.
Jack Zampolin: We’re fortunate to have Jack join as an advisor. As cofounder of Pylon Validation Services and former Director of Product at Tendermint / Cosmos, he is renowned as one of the top Cosmos validators and instrumental in developing Cosmos’ Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) protocol. Jack provided valuable insights and guidance on our migration to Cosmos SDK.
Chris Remus: Chris has been validating since the Cosmos validator working group formed in October 2017. He has project and product managed crypto projects like ENS and Aragon, managing Mainnet launches. He’s advised networks such as Solana, Nucypher, and Regen, and he’s currently working with Akash on validator program development and incentivized testnet design.
Vitwit Technologies: We came to know the Vitwit team from our last testnet challenges. They’ve helped global companies across AI, blockchain, and cloud build applications, with a focus on tools for the Cosmos ecosystem. The Vitwit team has been working with us on testnet development and support. They’re currently validating Regen Network, E-Money (mainnet), Kusama, and Oasis.
Cheng Wang: With a background that includes extended tenures with Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and the Royal Bank of Scotland, Cheng Wang has joined our team as CFO to scale finance and operations. Prior to Akash, Cheng served as CFO at Refereum, a blockchain startup. His financial expertise includes both equity and debt valuation, derivative instruments, treasury management, and portfolio management.
Josh Roppo: Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Josh just joined our team as Senior Software Engineer. Prior to Akash, Josh served in lead infrastructure and senior development roles at ShiftLeft and Lytics. Creative and curious, he’ll be leveraging his experience in infrastructure, distributed systems, and containerization to help us build the foundation for the world’s first Supercloud.
New Akash Website & Blog: To better share and engage with our audiences, we worked with design firm Abeck Inc. to update our visual brand and website. I invite you to visit our new website and learn more about what we’re up to.
OKCoin Podcast: OKCoin, one of the world’s leading crypto exchanges, invited me to speak on their popular OK Let’s Chat Podcast. On the podcast, I discussed everything from Akash’s unique value proposition, to Akash economics and Gangnam Style.
Hashing It Out Podcast: In January, I joined the Hashing It Out podcast on its 70th episode to discuss our tokenomics, permissionless trust, and the Akash Supermini. Hosted by Dr. Corey Petty and Colin Cusce, Hashing It Out is a podcast that covers tech innovators and decentralized networks.
How to Get Crypto by Staking Crypto Panel: Our CMO Maly Ly and advisor Jack Zampolin joined The Crypto Underground’s panel on staking “How to Get Crypto by Staking Crypto” moderated by Cointelegraph’s Rachel Wolfson, and including Coinbase’s Luke Youngblood, Solana’s Stephen Akridge, and Tezos’ Kevin Nielson.
Articles: If you missed them, check out some of our favorite articles launched on our blog this past quarter:
ACCELERATING IN Q2
As we continue to assess COVID-19’s impact on global markets and communities going into Q2, our team is committed to accelerating efforts to get closer to our vision of a distributed open cloud that enables innovations that save lives and improve the human experience. We’ll be continuing to grow our network of validators and delegators to secure our platform, while focusing on our incentivized testnet launch.
Since I first unveiled the supermini on stage at IFX, it has come a long way in terms of technical specs and design. With the Supermini, you can plug in and run your favorite blockchain node or machine learning workload, and offer your Supermini’s unused compute on Akash to earn crypto.
I’m excited to introduce to you the new Supermini, the most powerful portable supercomputer.
Production on the Supermini is underway, and we’re only producing 300 units for a launch later this year. We invite you to be one of the first 300 people in the world to reserve and own this powerful in-home supercomputer, before we launch our online pre-order campaign in a few weeks.