It is estimated that bitcoin is using approximately 23,312 megawatt hours per day (see electric consumption at blockchain.info/stats (24 hour stats)) of electric for block solving algorithms.
The aim of the gridcoin project is to shift the computational power primarily to Boinc projects while the mining operations become a second priority - so as the network is scaled up, boinc utilization is scaled up in tandem.
The coin miners will be rewarded with a small token subsidy if they fail to mine boinc shares, but a much larger subsidy when mining with boinc.
This digital cryptocurrency allows instant peer to peer transactions, worldwide payments and very low processing fees. The source code is open source and allows everyone to take part in the success of the currency.
Gridcoin is based on the Bitcoin protocol but differs from Bitcoin in that it can be efficiently mined with consumer-grade hardware, therefore is not as likely to be replaced by specialized ASIC mining chips in the future.
Gridcoin provides faster transaction confirmations (2.5 minutes on average) and uses memory intensive scrypt-based proof-of-work algorithms to verify transactions.
Algorithm: Scrypt, Re-target: 30 minutes with 2.5 min block targets, Block reward: 5-150, 5 GRC wihtout Boinc, 6-150 - receiving a calculated subsidy based on boinc utilization.
Total coins: Gridcoin is scheduled to produce approximately 336 million currency units (based on a maximum block subsidy of 150GRC per GPU miner and 150GRC per CPU miner).
Official Mining Launch Date: 10/16/2013 @ 11:00PM CST
Its free, and harnesses the unused clock cycles from PC and Video cards to aid in the research for the project goal.
Some of the major projects that you can participate in:
Miners are currently awarded with 5-150 new gridcoins per block, an amount which gets halved roughly every 4 years (every 840,000 blocks). The gridcoin network is therefore scheduled to produce approximately 168 million gridcoins (based on an average subsidy of 100grc), which is 8 times as many currency units as Bitcoin
Wallet encryption allows you to secure your wallet, so that you can view transactions and your account balance, but are required to enter your password before spending gridcoins.
This provides protection from wallet-stealing viruses and trojans as well as a sanity check before sending payments.
Not sure where to start? Visit the forum.