GPUs are used in computers, phones, and other devices to efficiently create and manipulate images and graphics, which empowers various use cases from video games to augmented reality experiences. GPUs can also be used by crypto users to mine many proof of work cryptocurrencies.
Despite their usefulness, GPU computing power often goes unutilized. That is because most people are not continually using their computers to render complex graphics for video processing, playing games, making NFT collections, or building in the metaverse. Meanwhile, those who frequently perform these tasks may be constrained by their own hardware limitations. This imbalance is an inefficiency that Render hopes to improve.
Render connects users requiring more GPU power with those who have idle or seldom-used, GPUs. This is similar to projects like Storj which allows users to “rent” their extra digital storage using blockchain technology—but instead of hard drive space, Render users distribute processing power.
Users who request processing jobs effectively make payments in the form of the RNDR token to the users processing the jobs.
How was Render developed?
Render was founded in 2017 by Jules Urbach, who serves as Render’s CEO. Render was originally built on Ethereum and was introduced as a democratized, peer-to-peer way to support the building of mixed reality experiences, streaming 3D environments (like the metaverse), and more.
Previously, Urbach founded the cloud graphics company OTOY, whose products have been used by filmmakers to make movies, by developers to make video games, and by those on the forefront of virtual reality and metaverse technology. OTOY is backed by major motion picture companies like Disney and HBO.
Render has been run by OTOY since its inception and was designed as a blockchain-based solution that mirrored its centralized, cloud-based offerings. However, in January 2023 it was announced that the newly formed Render Network Foundation would be taking over the strategic management of the project and coordinate its community. OTOY, along with other supporters like Swatchbook and MR Studios, would still be involved with engineering, development, and other services.
How does Render work?
The Render network pairs computers (nodes) which have GPU power to spare with creators who need rendering work done. In this way, it can be seen as a matchmaking service where users submit jobs on Render and commit RNDR tokens according to the demands their jobs will require.
Typical completion of a job
When a creator wants to tap into the GPU power of the Render network, they submit a request along with their intention to use a certain pricing tier. Render offers three pricing tiers, and creators can pay more for faster and more reliable GPU usage, or else accept slower completion of a job with a discounted price.
Jobs are then assigned to node operators who have GPU processing power to spare. This assignment is based on:
- the reputation of the creator for their previous jobs using Render, and
- the reputation of the node operator for completing jobs quickly and accurately.
Completed jobs are returned to the creator for approval, and if the work does not meet the creator’s expectations, they can submit a dispute to the network.
It is important to note that while the payments and transactions on the Render Network are recorded on the blockchain, the details of jobs and their actual completion occur completely off-chain.
Burn and mint equilibrium (BME)
In January 2023, the Render community voted to implement a burn and mint equilibrium mechanism (BME).
All Render jobs are priced in fiat. Creators purchase the equivalent value of RNDR tokens from liquidity pools when they submit a job to the network (alternatively, they can use RNDR tokens directly). Of these, 95% are burned (destroyed) and 5% are sent to the Render Network Foundation to support development of the network. On the other side of the transaction, the protocol mints new tokens (called emissions, or inflation) which are used to pay node operators for their work. As opposed to direct payment, through this model RNDR can be considered a commodity asset, and its supply—and thus, inflation and/or deflation—can be controlled more tightly.
How is the RNDR token used?
The RNDR token is primarily used to pay for jobs on Render’s Network through the BME mechanism, allowing nodes to be paid for their work in RNDR. It is also used to participate in community governance of the protocol through voting in a DAO.
Token economics and distribution
RNDR was originally created as an ERC-20 token on Ethereum. There is a theoretical maximum supply of approximately 644 million RNDR tokens, with set emissions of new tokens (inflation) that decrease over time. Introducing the BME in January 2023 implied that Render’s community and development team intended for RNDR to become deflationary in the future, though this would depend on the use of the network.
Of the original ~536 million RNDR created (this was later increased in March 2018 to the aforementioned 644 million), 25% were sold in private and public sales to investors in 2017. There has been no report regarding how many RNDR are held by the team and developers.
- Render is peer-to-peer network used to connect users requiring graphics computing power with those who have spare unutilized GPU processing power, facilitating the creation of videos, NFT collections, video games, and more.
- The project was founded by the same founder as cloud computing company OTOY, which has had a hand in developing its crypto-based cousin.
- The RNDR token is used to pay for jobs on the Render Network, and a burn and mint equilibrium (BME) mechanism implemented in 2023 intends to strengthen its token economics.