Producing and distributing video is anything but cheap. As blockchain technology is hailed as the go-to solution for a host of today’s technological problems, decentralization mania couldn’t have come at a better time for video. Why? Because the enormous amount of energy required to store, compute, encode, network and stream video is massive. Halsey Minor, the CEO of the VideoCoin Network, has harnessed this market by finding a way to reduce these distribution costs, all the while boosting innovation. That will benefit content producers, investors, and ultimately consumers. Minor, who is the founder of CNET and the driving force behind Salesforce.com, brings his knowledge of technology and publishing into the realm of cloud computing and blockchain innovation.
Welcome To The Revival of Zombie Servers
Since the advent of high definition, 4K, and virtual reality, media and broadcasting companies have been plagued by the exorbitant costs associated with producing, encoding, and distributing digital content. “By creating a ‘sharing economy’ around the commodity of global computing, we can harvest the many data centers and machines that go unused,” explained Minor.
As consumers, we don’t see what happens on the back end of video applications, whether it’s NBC, YouTube, or Facebook. We have the applications on our devices to watch our content, but we don’t see what costs and resources go into pushing that content out to us. If you’ve ever taken a 30-second video on your phone and then tried to send it to a friend, you’ve encountered this problem. “It’s massive amounts of energy,” emphasized Minor.
Utilizing ‘Zombie’ Energy
Unlike Bitcoin’s model for cryptomining, the VideoCoin Network recognizes there is already a costly and time-consuming process for achieving “efficiency”. “Bitcoin mining has been connecting computers to the Internet, which allows these devices to run software, providing miners with the ability to get paid in cryptocurrency,” said Minor. That payment allows them to then buy more hardware, with the end goal of expanding and growing mining operations.
There is a huge market for energy and power disruption, as we’ve already seen in places like New York state, where the city of Plattsburgh has temporarily banned all crypto-mining until a more effective mining operation presents itself, one which doesn’t aim to disrupt community utilities and energy consumption. Another example comes from Iceland, where HS Orka estimated that data centers mining cryptocurrencies will use more electricity than the country’s entire population consumes in a year to power their homes.
“While disruptive to communities, the general nature of computing requires low-cost power to make money, shifting into an area of hyper-efficiency. That is VideoCoin’s end-game,” Minor stated.
Overcoming Technical Hurdles
The biggest challenge the industry faces is a technical one. While companies are still hesitant to migrate their data from physical servers over to cloud-based platforms, the more alarming factor is that there are hundreds of promises being made that aren’t being delivered or executed.
“The only way to ensure people know what they are getting into, and [understand] the potential risks, is by selling to those who can handle that work and deliver,” said Minor. He indicated that his company is only availing itself to sophisticated institutions, and not undergoing any public sale.
“The market is there. The demand is there. The need is there. But, there’s a big technical hurdle that needs to be overcome.”