Evolve Markets

CGI Disrupted: Meet the Players Who are Out to Decentralize Graphics

Soon, these companies become the only cost-effective way to mine cryptocurrency.

GPUs have long been recognized as an efficient way to process parallel functions on multiple data sets when 3D graphics rendering. More recently, GPUs have been harnessed for other operations, most notably in support of cryptocurrency mining. For a time, GPUs were so integral to any blockchain operation that GPU facilities with enormous processing power were cropping up anywhere that offered affordable electric power.

With cryptocurrency now mined by more efficient ASIC hardware chips, now available to both Bitcoin and Ethereum miners, GPU power is a thing of the past in the cryptocurrency space. However, in their typical fashion, blockchain enthusiasts are inventing new GPU harnessing methodology, and they are doing it in big ways.

Leonardo Render

Computer-generated imagery (CGI) provider Leonardo Render is one standout in this emerging crew of decentralized, GPU harnessing innovators. Their product rapidly produced CGI, is one that is used across multiple disciplines. It meets a long-standing need in the CGI industry by speeding up the graphics rendering process enormously.

While CGI rendering for a single still image can take up to 24 hours on a PC, Leonardo Render’s cloud-based solution allows rendering to happen in real time. With the ability to link an infinite number of PCs into their blockchain technology in order to harness unused GPU power, the Leonardo concept is highly scalable. It is also cost-effective; existing mining providers such as Giga Watt have already partnered with Leonardo Render, offering vast GPU power to meet rendering needs.

This is a fantastic value proposition for miners like Giga Watt and other providers. Leonardo structure is incompatible with ASIC and other high volume mining-specific hardware. What they need is GPU power: a single render miner GPU earns about $0.50 per hour, as opposed to the $0.027 per hour they previously made mining ETH. This 1,752% increase is undeniably attractive to mining hosts who were utterly unable to compete with ASIC mining technology.


OTOY, another company offering rendering services in a GPU-rich, blockchain format, provides a similar CGI rendering service. Unlike newcomer Leonardo Render, however, they have been a rendering service provider for almost a decade and have simply altered their service offerings to keep up with new technology by moving from a supercomputer-based rendering structure to a cloud-based GPU system.

Otoy’s user base, already 7 million strong, will grow. The CGI industry is set to expand by an estimated 25% by 2025 according to market research group Transparency.


Another newer entry into CGI rendering is broad spectrum computing power provider Golem.

The major difference between Golem as opposed to Leonardo Render and Otoy is the fact that they still call themselves a supercomputer system. However, they do actually operate off CPU/GPU sharing and they do provide an array of interesting services in addition to CGI rendering, including machine learning, another technology high in GPU requirements, and they are, of course, a decentralized solution. The Golem initial premise is the same: to offer real-time photorealistic still and video rendering services.

Golem has already developed an app for GPU providers to download, through which they can join Golem’s GPU network with their PC. While they currently only offer Blender and LuxRender support, their roadmap is broad and ambitious. Expect to see more from this company.

The Future

For most GPU providers, the wisest option is to follow in Leonardo Render’s footsteps and quickly form a partnership with a mining service like Giga Watt. However, tremendous potential exists for other companies like Golem (and Otoy, whose stated goal is to utilize mobile PC systems such as iPads) succeed in their goals to build user-friendly applications for the average blockchain enthusiast wanting to earn extra income in the most passive sense possible, by “renting” a daily portion of their PC’s GPU power.

Token sales for all three companies have ended or are ending soon, and with their product already up and running, they are poised to see excellent industry recognition and growth in the coming months.