VideoCoin taps zombie servers for video processing

VideoCoin will match under-utilized computing resources with developers who do video processing such as file encoding and livestreaming. (Getty Images)

One of the co-founders of CNET, Halsey Minor, is getting into the video encoding, processing and distribution business via a new venture that uses blockchain technology.

The VideoCoin Network, which launched its commercial product today, was developed by the VideoCoin Development Association and is being implemented by services provider Live Planet. The startup has raised $55 million to date, according to Crunchbase.

Minor, who is founder and CEO at Live Planet, told FierceVideo that VideoCoin will compete against other video processing companies, large and small. But he hopes that it will also take market share from the big cloud boys AWS and Google Cloud. He sees VideoCoin as a contender against the cloud players because the company uses “decentralized’ video processing infrastructure, tapping idle and under-utilized computing resources in data centers around the world. 

VideoCoin Network intends to establish a global network of data centers and computers.

Minor said a lot of companies have “zombie servers” with loads of unused computing, and cloud companies still have unused capacity as well. “This is a thing now, where you turn over your extra capacity, making money from your data center,” said Minor. “This is what people who have data centers do now.”

VideoCoin will match these decentralized, under-utilized computing resources with developers who do video processing such as file encoding and livestreaming.

This decentralized video infrastructure will result in video processing services that are inexpensive compared to centralized providers, according to Minor. “Everybody has a problem around the cost of video streaming,” he said. “All companies have a goal to reduce the cost of moving the video to as small as possible. The money you save on streaming distribution, that can go into your content. These distribution costs are huge elements in the overall equation in the streaming wars.”

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Devadutta Ghat, CTO at Live Planet, said VideoCoin’s competitors are encoders, including AWS and Google. “If you want to start encoding and transcoding livestreams you have to land in one of the large clouds. We have a drop-in comparable API. The VideoCoin network picks the worker, assigns the job, and submits proofs.”

Although VideoCoin is based on native blockchain software — and blockchain is most often associated with cryptocurrency — VideoCoin will pay its workers and stakeholders in global currencies such as U.S. dollars, rather than crypto tokens. And customers of VideoCoin will pay in global currencies, as well.