Perlin is a new startup that is fusing blockchain with AI to enable working with redundant power in common smart devices. Think cryptojacking - making use of the extra power that your smartphone can provide - only not in an illicit fashion.
The technology still only runs on testnet, as it has been since earlier in 2018, but for a newcomer, Perlin is making its name quickly. The startup just welcomed Global Brain as a new strategic funding partner.
Global Brain is a Japanese venture capital based in Tokyo, Singapore, Seoul and San Francisco.
The VC firm was funded in 1998 but has since only invested in a handful of companies. The philosophy of Global Brain is to be very selective about their investments and to accelerate their growth in a long run by providing not only capital, but also supports to build strategies, partnerships and a team to achieve milestones.
This partnership could be dealbreaking for Perlin - startup that sports the slogan “Airbnb of cloud computing”.
Perlin works with common smart devices that everyone has, but not everyone is willing to rent them out to an unproven startup that still lacks credibility on the scene. But now with the backing of Global Brain comes not only funding, but also a large network of Global Brain’s partners that will be open to Perlin’s innovative applications.
Perlin expects to acquire a major share of the Japanese and global cloud markets, which is estimated to be worth over $300 billion by 2021.
Cloud Computing Marketplaces
Takashi Sano, Partner in Charge of Blockchain at Global Brain, says the disruptive potential of Perlin on the cloud computing market is very realistic. “We were also very impressed by the Perlin team and its industry-leading distributed technology. The cloud computing market is lucrative and rapidly-growing, seamlessly matching suppliers and consumers of computational power could disrupt it the same way Airbnb did with the real estate market,” he adds.
Indeed, we see marketplaces built around this idea in other fields as well. Securing the trustless connection of two parties, such as supplier and consumer, is one of the applications of blockchain technology that is becoming established by now.
Perlin’s Next Steps
At first, Perlin will focus on providing firms using AI with cloud compute power. This will over time train the AI models and mine valuable insights from vast volumes of data.
The projected use cases are not clearly defined, but in theory there is a vast range of them - commercial applications (image recognition for autonomous vehicles, predictive maintenance for manufacturers, etc.), environmental impact (climate change impact modelling) or medicine (e.g. cancer research).
Perlin itself is a project that aims for some level of social impact: Renting a device’s power will be a source of passive income for device owners in impoverished communities around the world. Working closely with the Indian Government and Telkom, Indonesia’s largest telecommunications company, Perlin will provide struggling communities in those countries with the ability to rent out their idle compute and substantially increase their overall earning capacity.
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