Render Could Transform Into an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Powerhouse. But Is It a Buy?

The GPU-driven token could benefit from the growth of the AI market.

Render (RNDR -2.55%) represents a unique way to invest simultaneously in the booming cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence (AI) markets. It was launched in 2016 as a distributed graphics processing unit (GPU) rendering network, which ran atop the Ethereum blockchain to process complex 3D graphics and animations.

That approach enables creators to render their graphic projects remotely without installing high-end GPUs in their own PCs. They pay for those transactions with the network’s native cryptocurrency, the Render Token, and the rendering process is outsourced to owners of high-end GPUs through the OctaneRender platform.

Image source: Getty Images.

But over the past few years, high-end GPUs have been increasingly used to process machine learning and AI tasks. That’s why Nvidia‘s revenue surged 126% in fiscal 2024 (which ended this January), and why analysts expect another 98% growth in fiscal 2025. According to Grand View Research, the global AI market could still expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 36.6% from 2024 to 2030.

That explosive growth is causing the market’s demand for Nvidia’s data center GPUs to outstrip its available supply, and it’s becoming prohibitively expensive for smaller developers to purchase high-end GPUs to create AI applications. Faced with those challenges, it makes sense for more developers to turn to decentralized “GPU compute” solutions like Render. That demand lifted Render’s price by more than 225% over the past 12 months — but should investors chase that rally?

How Render differs from other Ethereum-based tokens

Render fulfills its transactions through Ethereum’s smart contracts, which are broadly used to develop other decentralized apps (dApps), games, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and other crypto assets. Unlike other Ethereum-based blockchains which encourage developers to develop more of those fragmented projects to expand their ecosystems, Render focuses primarily on providing decentralized GPU power to content creators and developers.

Many blockchains either commit to the older proof of work (PoW) mining method (which is used to mine Bitcoin), or the more energy-efficient proof of stake (PoS) method (which has powered the Ethereum Network since “The Merge” in September 2022). But Render uses a combination of both methods: It uses the PoW method to mine its tokens and verify that all of its projects have been properly rendered, and it uses the PoS mechanism to process payments and stake tokens for rewards.

The bull and bear case for Render

Render’s simplicity differentiates it from other altcoins and meme coins, which are largely driven by supply, demand, and market hype instead of longer-term tailwinds. As long as the AI market keeps growing, more GPU owners should rent out their systems as “nodes” as more content creators and AI developers use its rendering services.

The Render Network is already gaining more mainstream attention as an alternative to on-site GPUs. It’s been used to render content for TV shows like The Peripheral and Westworld, as well as game trailers for upcoming video games like Marathon.

However, Render still competes against other decentralized GPU Compute networks like Golem, iExec, and SONM, as well as centralized GPU rendering services from Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft‘s Azure, and other cloud infrastructure giants. Furthermore, Render’s rising price is actually a double-edged sword: Its GPU owners are making more money, but it could narrow its moat by jacking up the prices of those rendering tasks.

What will happen to Render over the next few years?

The price forecasts for Render are overwhelmingly bullish, but they’re all over the map. For 2030, CoinPedia and Coin Price Forecast set average price targets of $52.45 and $29.19, respectively, for the token. That would represent a multibagger gain from its current price of just over $6, but it probably won’t dazzle investors who are looking for much bigger gains.

Render seems to have a brighter future than many other altcoins, but I’m concerned about the competitive threats. Nvidia’s GPU prices also won’t stay elevated forever, and a supply glut could suddenly make it cheaper to process those tasks locally instead of outsourcing them to a decentralized network. So for now, I’d personally stick with big cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or leading AI stocks like Nvidia instead of trying to straddle both booming markets with Render’s speculative token.

John Mackey, former CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Leo Sun has positions in Amazon. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Amazon, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Microsoft, Nvidia, and Render Token. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2026 $395 calls on Microsoft and short January 2026 $405 calls on Microsoft. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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