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RNDR: what is Render Network and how it works

December 6, 2023

6 min

RNDR: what is Render Network and how it works

Render Network is a blockchain protocol to democratise access to resources needed for content rendering, predominantly video cards (GPUs). It acts as a bridge, connecting those in need of GPU computing power with those who possess it. Let’s delve into what RNDR is and how it functions.

What is Render (RNDR), and how did it originate?

The Render Network project was founded in 2017 by Jules Urbach, then CEO of OTOY, a company specialising in rendering and computer graphics. This solution was born from an idea as ambitious as it was potentially revolutionary: leveraging blockchain technology to transform graphics rendering.

To fully grasp what Render (RNDR) is and how it operates, it’s essential to understand the rendering process at a basic level.  Rendering is the technique of creating highly realistic artificial images from 3D models. However, it is a process that is not only time-consuming but also demands substantial hardware resources, particularly for content meeting today’s high graphics standards, including virtual and augmented reality applications.

This challenge led Jules Urbach to explore blockchain technology to harness excess computing power and offer decentralised access. Render Network selected the Ethereum blockchain as the virtual “place” for GPU owners and creators to meet and collaborate, using the RNDR token as a medium of exchange. The protocol’s primary strength is its ability to democratise access to the necessary resources, enabling independent creators to produce high-quality 3D content without expensive hardware.

Having understood the primary mission of this project, let’s move on to explore how Render (RNDR) works in practice.

How does Render Network operate?

Understanding the essence of Render Network, we can now focus on its technical functioning. The process begins with creators uploading their designs to the network, along with the required data and specifications. These designs, once rendered, result in high-resolution images or videos.

A dynamic pricing system then evaluates the GPU workload required for rendering. Following the project submission, the network distributes the workload among the available GPUs. This process, although complex, is efficiently managed by a sophisticated algorithm that optimises project allocation. The selected GPU then renders the design, producing the required output, which is subsequently verified by a validation system. This step, known as “Proof of Render,” mirrors the consensus algorithms used in blockchain transaction validation.

The final stage, particularly awaited by hardware providers, involves fee payment. Content creators compensate GPU providers in RNDR tokens, with the amount reflecting the complexity and resource usage of the rendering task.

The RNDR token and the rendering economy

Now that we understand Render Network and its operation, let’s examine its RNDR token, which is crucial for utility and governance. Unlike some blockchain projects that do not necessarily require a native token, Render’s ecosystem and rendering economy fundamentally rely on RNDR.

RNDR is an ERC-20 token developed on the Ethereum blockchain, primarily used to access the platform’s decentralised rendering service. This service is categorised into different tiers based on the quality and speed of service GPU owners offer. Currently, only Tier 2 and 3, known as ‘Priority’ and ‘Economy,’ are operational. Tier 1, which involves work by ‘Trusted Partners,’ is yet to be launched. After selecting a tier and uploading their project, creators pay in RNDR tokens and await completion.

Reward System and Governance

Render Network also incorporates a reward system for GPU providers, similar to validator nodes in a blockchain. These users contribute unused video cards to the network and receive RNDR tokens as compensation, with the amount depending on the job’s level, duration, and complexity.

The network’s governance mechanism, accessible via the RNDR token, follows a standard decision-making structure. RNDR holders can submit improvement proposals, known as Render Network Proposals (RNPs). These proposals undergo two rounds of user voting and a team review before implementation.

Roadmap and migration to Solana

Render Network is an ever-evolving ecosystem, partly due to its efficient governance process. Currently, the team is considering RNP-006, a proposal for migrating the platform and its RNDR token to Solana. This change, aimed at enhancing interaction efficiency regarding fees and speed, involves transitioning from RNDR (ERC-20) to RENDER under the SPL standard (Solana’s token standard).

The proposal outlines how RENDER tokens will be distributed within the network, detailing allocations for node owners, partners, creators, and liquidity providers. If approved, this update will significantly impact Render’s roadmap, expanding the network’s capabilities to support a broader range of applications and services. The overarching aim is to equip the network to manage a diverse range of workloads, particularly those generated by artificial intelligence.

This update, if approved, will be a game changer for the Render roadmap and will enable the network to support a broader range of applications and services. Indeed, the ultimate goal is to enable the network to handle a broader range of workloads that meet the needs of a new content frontier, particularly those produced by artificial intelligence.


Returning to the initial question about Render Network’s identity and functionality, it is best described as an innovative project leveraging blockchain technology to democratise access to content rendering.