What does a private computer do when its owner isn’t using it? Usually, nothing. The Munich tech startup Hivenet wants to change that and is working on a solution so everyone can rent out their computer’s processing power. CEO and co-founder Maximilian Pinker answered our 7 Questions.
Munich Startup: Who are you and what do you do? Please introduce yourself!
Maximilian Pinker: Hivenet is a Munich-based hightech startup. Our team currently includes ten people with lots of experience in the fields of software development, research, finance, project management and marketing.
Munich Startup: What problem does your startup solve?
Maximilian Pinker: What does your computer do when you’re sleeping? Most often, nothing. Most private and work computers aren’t being used more than 80 percent of the time. Their computing power goes unused and is lost during that time.
And all the while, the cloud computing industry has already generated around 250 billion US dollars in 2020 by renting out computing resources — with a strong upward trend.
Hivenet takes advantage of this maldistribution of computing resources that are available but unused on the one hand and those that are used but expensive on the other. We make it possible for computer owners around the world to safely rent out their unused computing resources to paying customers.
When computer users aren’t using their computers, they simply start the Hivenet software and Hivenet takes care of the rest.
Hivenet monetizes a familiar concept
Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!
Maximilian Pinker: It actually doesn’t exist yet. The idea of taking advantage of unused computing resources is nothing new. The first internationally known “Distributed Computing Network” was SETI@home, which launched in 1999 and was exemplary for many similar systems. But they always had some limitations: On the one hand, computer owners weren’t paid, but instead made their computers available mostly “for fun”. On the other hand, the systems were always optimized for a very specific application, which made them very inflexible and completely unsuitable for paying customers.
Hivenet integrates cutting-edge knowledge from cloud computing with artificial intelligence and blockchain technology. That allows us to not only safely and fairly pay computer owners, but also provides a high degree of flexibility for customers and their applications without having to accept any drawbacks in terms of security.
Munich Startup: What imminent task do you find most daunting at the moment?
Maximilian Pinker: After just recently publishing the alpha version of our software, we’re now in the midst of financing the next project phase. We plan to implement it with a crowd sale of our cryptocurrency.
Our cryptocurrency and its associated system are one of the highlights of Hivenet. After all, it’s a should and must for Hivenet to attract customers and computer owners all over the world. The resulting problem, however, is that international payments involve an array of transaction and exchange fees charged by banks and financial service providers. Because these payments are what are known as micro-transactions, the fees would completely eat up the revenue. To avoid that, we came up with our own system at Hivenet of integrated cryptocurrency, which allows us to reduce transaction fees to zero.
With our crowd sale, we’ll be able to basically kill two birds with one stone: On the one hand, we’ll be able to cover our own financing needs. On the other hand, anyone who is interested in Hivenet can purchase part of the ecosystem and share in Hivenet’s success.
Munich Startup: Where would you like to be in one year, and where in five years?
Maximilian Pinker: In one year, we’ll already be preparing for our open beta phase, which will be followed by the launch of Hivenet.
We expect that in five years it will be completely normal to loan your computer out to customers for their computations for a fee when you’re not using it. Our goal is for customers and computer users to use Hivenet to do just that.
Red tape costs time, money and energy
Munich Startup: How do you view Munich as a startup location?
Maximilian Pinker: Munich certainly has its strengths and weaknesses as a location.
It has is a very large number of highly qualified experts, who make up the basis for tech startups like Hivenet. Moreover, Munich is positioned very well internationally in the specialist areas that are important for us. For example, Munich is an important hub in Europe for blockchain technology with many ambitious startups.
You do, however, often get the impression that the German government has created an environment that discourages innovation and new endeavors instead of promoting them. The amount of red tape and apparently pointless effort that public authorities and other institutions confront us with still continues to amaze us. That takes work time, money and energy that you could have used elsewhere. Here too, it would be desirable for politicians to at some point actually act on their decade-old promise to reduce the amount of red tape.
Munich Startup: Quick exit or staying power?
Maximilian Pinker: Definitely staying power. “Distributed Computing” is an inevitable element of the future and we want to be a major part of it.