Over the years, many projects have promised to ‘level up’ our web browsing experience, whether by enhancing privacy (Brave, Tor), facilitating the circumvention of geo-restrictions (VPNs), or improving data management (NetToken). The emergence of such startups is really no surprise: with over 62% of the world’s population now using the internet, there’s a hell of an incentive for those who can eliminate pain points and generally make life easier for the web’s various stakeholders.
Gather Network is the latest project attempting to do just that. A blockchain-based digital monetization platform committed to elevating user experience. Gather was founded in 2018 and has already onboarded over 300+ publishers, including several high-profile partners from different industries. The next step is to raise $5 million of venture capital, giving the Dubai-based company a cool $20 million valuation.
Blockchain Meets Browsing
Built around a hybrid Proof-of-Work (PoW) and Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain protocol, Gather works by running in the background of websites and, with the consent of internet users, aggregating their idle processing power before distributing it to enterprises for cloud computing – as well as to developers for crypto mining.
Thus, publishers can generate revenue without bombarding you with intrusive ads; enterprises can obtain access to reliable processing power at a lower cost than existing cloud solutions, and end-users get to freely browse the web without being constantly pestered by spam. Everyone, as they say, is a winner.
Like many blockchain-based ventures, Gather Network has its own native token, $GTH, which is used to incentivize browsers to supply processing power for the hardware layer. Currently conforming to Ethereum’s ERC-20 token standard, but with plans to transfer to Gather’s own chain in the near future, $GTH gives holders rights over the future direction of the platform and is used for gas fees and network interaction charges within the ecosystem.
According to Gather founder and CEO Reggie Jerath, the upcoming Series A funding round will also see $GTH listed on a tier-one cryptocurrency exchange – a major milestone for any crypto project.
Structurally, Gather Network is a three-tier ecosystem comprising a hardware layer (layer 0) called Gather Online, a protocol layer (layer 1) named Gather Network, and an application layer (layer 2), Gather Cloud. Of these, the latter is perhaps the most unique. After all, while creating an ad-free browsing experience is a noble endeavor, several projects are already working in this area.
Challenging the Cloud Cartel
A $250 billion industry, cloud computing is expected to triple in value over the next seven years, vesting ever more power into the hands of centralized behemoths such as Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL), and IBM (NYSE:IBM). This cloud cartel presides over an extensive network of remote servers to host, manage, and process data for countless businesses, governments, charities, and apps around the world.
Gather Network proposes an alternative through a clever solution that reduces the costs of processing data both on-premise and in the cloud, while also allowing PoW blockchains to integrate with Gather without needing to source a new community of cryptocurrency miners.
Gather’s Cloud solution tackles two key problems with the existing cloud computing model: its expensiveness (organizations spent $107 billion on cloud computing in 2019) and its centralized nature. By leveraging idle processing power, Gather’s solution is far cheaper than what is currently available – and it also significantly reduces the risk of power cuts associated with major cloud service providers.
Through Gather Cloud, enterprises can adopt a private cloud environment by leveraging the processing power of their existing infrastructure. Ostensibly, this allows them to enjoy the security and functionality of a traditional private cloud without tying themselves into contracts with centralized corporations.
The team behind Gather Cloud expects it to be fully ISMS compliant (information security management system) by the end of the year and is already working with a certification body to attain ISO 27001 & SOC2 certifications.
Image Sourced from LaunchTeam