At any one time, there are millions of machines mining Ethereum, contributing to network security and validating transactions in exchange for the chance to earn some ETH. But to make mining profitable, most people need expensive hardware with lots of computing power.
Golem Network, an Ethereum-based platform for sharing unused computing power, has a small solution for those who want to contribute to the network without going all in.
Today, it announced Thorg, a free Ethereum mining app for PCs. Though it's been built for gamers and other folks such as miners who already have powerful home computers, Golem is promising the app "will support more machine types in the near future."
While there are other ways to passively mine ETH on a home computer, leveraging the Golem Network can help people quickly scale up their resources without filling their room with hardware. "Since it’s not a regular miner or mining scheme, but a different proposal towards idle machines and their computing power, there are no direct competitors so far," Golem Network CEO Piotr Janiuk told Decrypt via message.
Golem is analogous to Filecoin, the decentralized network that allows people to sell and buy computer storage via the FIL token. Only, instead of storage, Golem facilitates the buying and selling of computing power that would otherwise go unused. If you're a gamer by night and have extra power to share by day, you can get compensated in the Golem token, GLM, for renting it out.
Thorg uses Polygon—a layer-2 scaling solution—to facilitate payments, thereby avoiding the high fees associated with Ethereum. However, that results in an indirect way of mining ETH as Thorg users receive a different asset—GLM—for their troubles. And, as the product page notes, if you want to move that GLM off of Polygon and onto Ethereum, you'll have to pay fees in Polygon's native MATIC token to cover the cost.
Still, that should be fine with those who aren't hell-bent on receiving ETH and just want a low-intensity way of making some crypto income. Said Janiuk in a press release, "Thorg enhances the Golem platform as this mining use-case opens up new and exciting ways of creating a healthy and efficient market by providing additional tools for optimizing passive income."
Golem's market cap has more than quadrupled in the past year and stands just shy of $500 million. Its token is priced near $0.50.