Crypto Meets Science: Discover Gridcoin, the Altcoin Empowering Scientific Research

Mining is such a revolutionary process and, as such, there must be a way for it to be used for something even greater than finance, especially since it requires impressive computational power. Right?
That’s correct. Although there are several cryptocurrencies that award science projects, that’s not their primary goal. But there is an altcoin designed specifically for the purpose of helping science and its name is Gridcoin.
Let’s find out more about it.

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Illustration: MilicaM

Gridcoin in a nutshell   

Let’s start with this: first, we’re going to explain Gridcoin in a simple way so that you can understand the basics of it. Then, we’ll expand your knowledge of how Gridcoin works and what’s so unique about it. 

The World Community Grid (WCG), after which Gridcoin is named, is an initiative that uses crowd-sourced computing to study how genes and health are related. It has found 26 new genes associated with lung cancer, for example. 

This type of discovery requires a lot of computational power. That’s why they tend to last so long and be machine-exhausting. Luckily, someone came up with the idea to include crypto miners in this process who already have powerful machines used for creating new blocks. 

For ten years already, Gridcoin (altcoin) and BOINC (open-source platform) have been paying miners to take their spare processing power and give it to scientists instead. In exchange, miners receive Gridcoin (GRC) for their efforts. 

In 2015 already, Gridcoin switched from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake, which is known to be more sustainable and environment-friendly. Not only that, but it also means that all its computational power goes toward scientific research since it doesn’t need so much power to secure the blockchain anymore. 

And that’s the essence of it. 

Now, let’s dive in a bit deeper. 

How does Gridcoin help science?   

By November 2021, WCG volunteers donated over 800 million work units for research into multiple types of cancer, with 193, 379 and 245 million work units crunched for lung, ovarian and sarcoma cancers, respectively. 

To date, over 810,000 years of computational research have been donated to the Mapping Cancer Markers project, with close to 240 years generated every day. 

As one Reddit user pointed out: 


Solving real-world problems is such a better use for the crypto space than the endless financial shenanigans it has so far been plagued with.

As a matter of fact, there’s even a rumor going on that Biden’s new tax policy on cryptocurrency won’t apply to Gridcoin specifically because it’s used for scientific purposes. 

So, how does one become a part of this initiative? 

By simply installing the BOINC software, which stands for Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, and works with all types of computers and hardware (PC, Mac, Linux, GPU Support). By doing so, you can choose a project to attach to that resonates with you the most. 

Similar to miners in PoW or validators in PoS, what you’re doing with Gridcoin when you’re processing for these projects is called “crunching”. You don’t have to be tech-savvy to set up your computer or crunching itself. 

And if you’re worried that crunching will slow down your computer or whatever you’re doing at the moment, you’ll be thrilled to find out that you can actually set crunching to run only when your computer is not in use. It’s a win-win, right? 

Crunching results 

Blockchain is known for its transparency and decentralization, and Gridcoin is no exception. Its results are easily accessible so everyone who’s interested in joining in, or willing to make sure they didn’t participate in vain, can make sure that crunching has actually accomplished something. 

For example, hundreds of scientific papers have been published thanks to it and can be seen on the official BOINC website

It has also led to the production of new drugs and vaccines, such as the IPD vaccine, as well as several databases of stellar projects. 

However, a huge part of computing goes to foundational science. 


Foundational science is particularly hard to fund as VC and angel investors see no way to make a return on it, yet it is critical to the advancement of science.

Source: BOINC 

Keep in mind that profit isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you mention Gridcoin. So, if you expect it to make you rich, you’ll end up being disappointed. On the other hand, it may help you to break even when it comes to electricity costs. 

If this article got you interested and you wish to learn more, make sure to check out Gridcoin’s official website

A journalist by day and a podcaster by night. She's not writing to impress but to be understood.