What is Akash Network: A beginner’s guide
The Akash Network is a platform that connects cloud compute providers directly with cloud compute tenants in the growing trend of the shared economy which is set to disrupt the oligopoly of Amazon AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure by providing a number of unique and advanced features.
Akash Network, the world’s first decentralized and open-source cloud, accelerates deployment, scale, efficiency and price performance for high-growth industries like blockchain and machine learning/AI. — https://akash.network/about
With a lot of terminology for newcomers to understand including validators, delegators, staking, providers and tenants to name a few, let’s have a look at an analogy to help understand how everything connects together.
Imagine Akash is Uber.
So the Akash blockchain is the Uber software that knows how to connect nearby drivers and passengers together, calculate the trip fee and co-ordinate the payment from one to the other. It has all the smarts built in.
Now the Uber passengers are the Akash tenants and the Uber mobile app is the Akash Deploy UI. Since this isn’t completely finished yet, it’s like saying that only people who can use a command line interface (CLI) are able to take a trip.
Also, the Uber drivers are the Akash providers and the Uber mobile app is the Akash Provider UI, so again only drivers who can use a command line interface will ever be able to find a passenger.
So what is validating?
Validator infrastructure is equivalent to the servers around the world that run the Uber software that can connect drivers and passengers. Now since Akash is a decentralised project, instead of being run by the Akash team, validator infrastructure is run by professional service providers from different locations all around the world who come to consensus on the single blockchain that runs the Akash Network and makes sure that nobody can manipulate the system for free rides.
So how can I get involved?
For the majority of the population, validating or providing compute is currently out of reach. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t get involved in the movement.
Buying AKT and delegating (i.e. staking) to a validator (or couple of validators) is kind of like being a seed investor of Uber (prior to IPO as AKT is not so widely available yet).
Now while barely anyone is taking a trip, you’re not earning any income from the rides, but you’re invested as a share in the project and as the project grows, so does your share. But more than that, as a reward for being an early investor, the shares currently pay dividends at 50–70% APY too (depending on how often you reinvest your rewards which are paid every 6 seconds)!
Note: Use this guide to learn how to buy AKT and delegate:
How to Delegate your $AKT via Keplr, Cosmostation, Ledger wallets & Staking FAQ
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Note: Use this guide to help decide which validators to delegate to:
How to check the technical competence of a validator
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In fact the more people that stake their AKT, the more safe and secure the network will be (thanks to the Proof of Stake technology) so you’re supporting the software and project by doing so.
In time as the software and UI mature and everyone is able to start taking rides, the dividends will drop away and instead you’ll earn income as a share of everyone’s ride fees (expected to be 20%ish depending on final design).
Now what does this make the Supermini?
The Supermini is the sexy Tesla Model 3 that you’ve been on the waiting list for, which will have self driving capabilities and take passengers where they want to go, automatically generating you income.
Exactly how much income? I guess that will depend on exactly how good the software in the Tesla is. Will you need to configure its parameters yourself or will it be smart enough to do everything including following surge pricing and finding longer trips? We’ll have to wait and see.
But what is clear is that most of the drivers we will see in the network, at least initially will be ex-taxi drivers looking for a better deal or people who just love driving and are looking for some extra income.
Whoever you are, we’re glad to have you here and we’re just thankful to be part of such a disruptive technology at such an early stage!