What Is IO.NET? Decentralized GPU Network for the AI Boom
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What Is IO.NET? Decentralized GPU Network for the AI Boom

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A deep dive into IO.NET, a decentralized GPU network designed to power machine learning and AI applications.

What Is IO.NET? Decentralized GPU Network for the AI Boom

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Ever since the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in November 2022, the world has been captivated by the power and potential of generative AI and its use cases. It is no surprise that AI has also permeated the world of crypto, manifesting in projects looking to integrate the two nascent technologies together.

With the increasing focus on machine learning and AI development, the demand and need for compute capacity has surged. The shortage in cloud GPU capacity is projected to be about 2-3x from the current global capacity. As such, several crypto projects have emerged to tackle this issue, to democratize the supply of decentralized compute capacity for the burgeoning AI economy.

One of these projects is IO.NET (IO).

Source: IO.NET Docs

What Is IO.NET?

Built on the crossroads of crypto, AI and decentralized physical infrastructure networks (DePIN), IO.NET is a decentralized GPU network designed to provide the computing power necessary to power machine learning and AI applications.

IO.NET’s thesis is built around the idea that a significant portion of GPU computing power in the world is being underutilized. Given the looming global shortage of computing power and the long lead time required to develop GPU supply, IO.NET aims to gather underutilized computing power from independent data centers, crypto miners and consumer GPUs, enabling the increase in supply of GPUs.

Since its launch in November 2023, the network has gathered almost 19,000 GPUs and just over 6,000 CPUs that have passed Proof of Compute and are ready for deployment. Additionally, IO.NET has partnered with other decentralized compute networks, Render Network and Filecoin, to integrate 2,000 of their GPUs into the IO.NET network.

Source: IO.NET Explorer

How Does IO.NET Work?

As a GPU supplier, users provide their computing power through IO Worker, an interface for suppliers to manage their computing power to meet the demands of IO.NET’s users. IO Worker automatically manages the network’s computing power, ensuring cost-efficient use of the provided GPUs while scaling to meet the network’s needs.

Source: IO.NET Docs

On the end user front, users interface with IO.NET’s GPUs through IO Cloud to manage on-demand decentralized GPU clusters. This allows them to quickly and efficiently manage GPU resources without investing in expensive hardware or infrastructure management. IO Cloud is deployed on Ray, an open-source unified compute framework used by OpenAI to train GPT3 and GPT4.

Source: IO.NET Docs

Payments made by end users to GPU and CPU providers can be done through crypto on the Solana blockchain or via credit card. Suppliers may choose to receive payments in USDC or IO.NET’s native token, IO. When using IO, no transaction fees will be levied on the payment while USDC incurs a 2% fee. Similarly, for the end user, payments made in USDC are subject to a 2% facilitation fee.

Currently, the network supports a range of GPUs from Nvidia as well as a selection of CPUs from Apple’s M1-M3 CPU models and AMD’s Ryzen product line. More supported devices will be included over time as the network matures.

The IO Token

As a DePIN project, IO.NET’s token, IO, is key to ensuring the long term sustainability of the project through incentivizing suppliers and safeguarding the network.

Source: IO.NET Docs

Payments in the IO ecosystem are all made using the IO token behind the scenes. While users are able to pay for their resources used in USDC or other supported tokens, this creates a demand for the IO token as GPU suppliers are paid in IO tokens.

Additionally, for IO holders, they can stake IO tokens, up to the maximum stake per node, to earn IO rewards for securing the network.

IO Tokenomics

On May 21, the IO.NET team announced the IO token airdrop for users that participated in their Ignition Rewards Program which spanned three seasons from April to June 2024. Users who supplied GPUs to the IO.NET network as well as users who participated in IO.NET’s Galxe campaign were rewarded with their respective allocations of IO tokens. 25M tokens from the first two seasons of the Ignition Program and another 7.5M tokens allocated to Galxe participants will be distributed as part of the genesis airdrop.

The remaining tokens are allocated to investors, core contributors and future research and development needs. The biggest allocation still remains to the community, with 50% of the token supply allocated for the sustainability of the protocol.

Source: IO.NET Docs

The initial circulating supply is 95M tokens or 11.88% of the total token supply. 500M tokens will be generated at the token generation event (TGE), while the remaining 300M tokens will be emitted over time as rewards to GPU suppliers and IO stakers. Investors are subject to a 1 year cliff, after which their tokens will vest monthly over the subsequent two years. Employees are similarly restricted, with a one year cliff and subsequent monthly vesting over three years.

Source: IO.NET Docs

Rewards paid out to suppliers and stakers are released hourly over 20 years. The inflation rate of the token starts off at 8% for the first year, with a 1.02% decrease monthly or 12.25% a year until the total token supply cap of 800M tokens is achieved.

Source: IO.NET Docs

Beyond adopting a disinflationary token model, the IO token will also be bought back and burnt using IO.NET’s revenues which are earned from fees charged to both GPU suppliers and end users. This reduces the overall token supply, creating a deflationary pressure on the token.

Binance Launchpool and Token Launch

Binance announced the launchpool for the IO token on June 6, as the 55th launchpool project. Users can now stake BNB or FDUSD in separate pools for four days to farm for IO tokens, with the pools opening on June 7. The IO token has since gone live for trading as of June 11.
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