Step into the captivating world of “Crypto Insights,” an illuminating blog series brought to you by Venionaire’s pioneering Tigris Web3 team. Venture into the frontiers of the Web3 landscape and decentralized finance (DeFi). We unveil the freshest blockchain innovations and unveil the hidden treasures nestled within the heart of the Tigris Web3 fund portfolio. For example, last edition was about two prominent players in our Tigris Web3 fund portfolio: THORChain and THORSwap. In this edition of “Crypto Insights” we turn our attention to one of our fund portfolio investments with Akash Network. This permissionless and decentralized marketplace for cloud computing resources is gaining significant attention in 2023 due to the growing demand-supply gap for high-performance computing power in an increasingly AI-driven digital environment. Let’s dive into what makes Akash Network unique.
Paving the Way for Decentralized Web3 Cloud Services
Akash‘s vision aligns well with the Web3 vision and thus with Venionaire’s strategy for the Tigris Web3 Fund. It is improbable, that the majority of Web3 will rely on AWS servers. A shift towards more decentralized, censor ship resistant services with reduced counter party risk fits the narrative much better. Combine this with lower costs, full flexibility, more efficient hardware resources and Akash becomes a strong contender in the cloud market. The founding and core development team around Greg Osuri bring strong conviction and extensive experience to the project. Initial traction since launch has been undoubtly promising, indicating early product-market fit. As a Web3-enabling technology, Akash is in a very good position to onboard customers in the Web3 space. Revenue and adoption might therefore grow in tandem with the adoption of Web3 services and products. Meanwhile, convincing and onboarding typical Web2 customers might be more challenging. Moreover, it requires further improvements in user experience and smoothness of onboarding to the service.
Challenging the OG Web2 giants.
Internet Pioneers might remember the time when personal dedicated machines hosted websites. These times are long gone. Cloud Computing, once an innovative and revolutionary technology has become the norm. It replaced personally owned and operated servers and data centers for the vast majority of websites and web apps. Today, nearly everything we interact with on the internet is hosted. The three major cloud computing providers: Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure store all data, including yours and mine. These internet giants have a firm grip on the most important single mean of collaboration, communication, knowledge sourcing and commerce platform of the 21st century. Paying for digital services, be it your company’s B2B CRM platform, your project management tool or your favorite music or video streaming platform, has become normal. But many people are not aware that a significant portion of every dollar spent on any of these services goes directly to one of our three cloud giants.
If one of these (or even worse – all three) went offline, the internet would effectively stop functioning. Furthermore, this would have massive repercussions across various fields of society. The dominating providers may also decide to blacklist certain services, apps, websites or organizations from using their services. As a result, this effectively cuts them off from the internet.
Akash Network: Democratizing the Internet
This is where Akash Network comes into play, aiming to disrupt the status quo by challenging the OG Web2 giants. Imagine that Amazon, Microsoft and Google are the “hotels” of the internet. They are highly specialized and asset and capital intensive offering massive capacity etc. Akash Network then is the Airbnb alternative.
It allows anyone to rent out their unused computing power through a reversed auction system on a permissionless, sovereign, decentralized governed and open-source blockchain based network. Millions of PCs and servers sit idle or underutilized. Akash enables their owners to convert this idle infrastructure into passive income streams. The network is governed by the AKT token stakers in a typical delegated proof-of-stake governance DAO. This and the permissionless nature of offering and acquiring computing space severely limits the influence single parties have on the network, potentially making the internet more censorship resistant. Bad actors can be held accountable, as providers are incentivized to not be associated with these parties. In severe cases the AKT governance has the possibility to step in. AKT stakers receive rewards containing a share of the revenue generated by the network. They are also rewarded for securing and validating the blockchain.
Expanding to GPU Computing and introducing the AI Supercloud
In Q3 2023 Akash Network launched its GPU computing marketplace. The growing demand for AI-powered, cloud hosted applications such as Bard, Chat GPT, Dall-E, Midjourney, et al., has led to a surge in research and development for all sorts of Artificial Intelligence services. Training and furthermore running these models, require a completely new and unprecedented level of computing power. As demand exceeds supply, prices for AI specialized GPU computing resources skyrocketed. Sometimes they are rarely available at all for smaller companies and startups. With the introduction of its GPU „AI Supercloud“, Akash is addressing this market opportunity. Especially the thousands of GPU crypto miners, which partially became obsolete with Ethereum’s shift from proof of work to proof of stake, might be interesting targets for this new GPU marketplace.
If you would like to know more about Blockchain innovations, Tigris Web3 or other Fund Portfolio Investments David Teufel, our investment director at Venionaire Capital, can contact you. Just fill out the form below.