RLC is the native cryptocurrency of iExec, a decentralized computing platform built on the Ethereum blockchain that allows users to make money on their spare computing power by renting it out to others.
This computing power can be used to power decentralized applications, run off-chain computations or perform a range of other functions.
The native token RLC – which stands for “Run a Lot of Computers” – powers iExec. Users can exchange the RLC token for computing power on the platform.
iExec’s token sale in 2017 raised $12 million, the sixth-largest sum for a token sale at the time. According to iExec’s blog post, iExec’s total supply is capped at 87 million RLC tokens. Sixty-nine percent of the tokens go to the crowdsale participants, 17.2% to founders and early investors, 6.9% to bounties and research and development, and 6.9% to “contingency” needs.
RLC’s price hit a peak of $3.80 in 2018, roughly half a year after the token was introduced, according to price data provider CoinMarketCap. Between 2019 and 2020, RLC’s price bounced around in the $0.18 to $1.80 range. In 2021, RLC’s soared amid the crypto-wide bull run, hitting its all-time high of $11.65 in May. RLC’s price dropped drastically afterward, falling to a low of $2.13 in July.
How iExec works
iExec acts like a computing power marketplace where people who need to run decentralized applications (dapps) on top of Ethereum can rent computing power from other users. Dapps are supposed to provide a similar user experience to centralized apps like Twitter and Venmo. The big difference is that they don’t rely on intermediaries to run them, because they are controlled by computer programs.
Ethereum has limited space for computations in its blockchain, and so to become a “world computer,” it and other blockchains must source computing power from a pool of providers.
In the old days, administrators needed to set up their own servers when deploying websites on the internet. But a new “cloud” computing system emerged over time, offloading the management to services such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft’s Azure. But developers crafting dapps on blockchains can’t use those platforms because they are controlled by a central entity. iExec offers cloud computing using “off-chain” decentralized computing power to get around that problem.
Because performing tasks on iExec is expensive, users need to pay RLC tokens in order to use the platform. Users can use their RLC tokens to pay for many computing needs – from servers to graphic processing units.
Key events and management
Based in France, iExec was founded by GiIles Fedak and Haiwu He in 2016.
In 2019, iExec announced a partnership with EDF, one of the world’s largest electrical companies by market cap, as EDF launched a visual simulator on iExec for modeling fluids, useful for research into water dams and lava cooling, as examples.