DePIN and AI: booming markets

Since 2024, the DePIN and AI sectors have been booming. In fact, they have been the best-performing asset classes during this cycle behind memecoins. Our survey explores the specifics and opportunities around these different narratives.

Introduction to DePIN and AI

At a time when network infrastructures are mostly managed by large groups, DePIN (Decentralised Physical Infrastructure Networks) is taking this sector in the opposite direction by proposing a novel operating model.

Similar to crowdfunding, DePIN operates on a participatory model.

Users are encouraged to lend some of their resources (computing power, storage, various information) to a network, in exchange for financial compensation (often expressed in tokens). These resources are pooled to run an infrastructure.

Unlike a system managed by a single large company, DePIN networks are based on the sum of the players who individually share their resources.

This innovative model now allows private individuals to access certain areas exclusively reserved for professionals.

DePIN fits perfectly with the field of AI, particularly in the context of performing complex calculations. By relying on the infrastructures provided by DePIN, AI-based applications can be more efficient, resilient and privacy-friendly.

The DePIN sector is very broad and comprises a large number of categories. All have their own specific features.

Decentralised data storage projects: Filecoin, Arweave, etc.

Storing data is currently quite expensive. The market is dominated by a few giants (AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform) who often charge users high prices.

In response to these problems, decentralised storage solutions have been developed. Filecoin and Arweave are the main projects in this niche.

Filecoin allows unused storage space to be rented to other users via a blockchain.

Renters are incentivised via a double reward in FIL, the platform's native token, in addition to payments from customers who rent storage space.

Thanks to these incentives, the project benefits from DePIN's "flywheel" concept: storage providers' participation responds directly to demand, offering a better overall service that attracts more renters (thus creating organic demand from providers).

This system also offers greater transparency, security and resilience compared with centralised solutions. Transactions and storage management are carried out by smart contracts, allowing for greater efficiency.

Arweave focuses instead on permanent data storage, allowing users to pay once for lifetime storage (which is also feasible on Filecoin).

The fact that information is stored permanently in Arweave allows some decentralised projects to build on this data.

This is done, for example, by the lossless lottery PoolTogether, which uses this service to store the results of prize draws immutably and transparently.

Computing power rental platforms: Akash, Render,, etc.

As mentioned above, DePIN is particularly useful for performing specific tasks that require a lot of computing power.

Akash is a decentralised marketplace that allows anyone to buy or rent this power. Unlike other services, Akash benefits from a diversity of data providers. These are incentivised by token rewards.

Render, meanwhile, is a project focused on rendering. By pooling the computing power of all network participants, users wishing to render can do so at a moderate cost. They are no longer limited by the capacity of their own machines or by the high costs of centralised rendering services. They benefit from the computing power of the network.

This model also allows GPU owners to monetise their unused resources, creating a circular economy that benefits all participants.

AI projects: Fetch AI / Ocean Protocol / SingularityNET, etc.

AI is also at the heart of DePIN projects: Fetch AI, Ocean Protocol and SingularityNET are among the most important in their category (see our dossier on the subject).

Through the creation of decentralised artificial intelligences, these projects aim to optimise the use of resources to offer innovative and efficient services.

Fetch AI focuses on the creation of a platform to foster the development of a decentralised digital economy.

To do this, the protocol relies on autonomous agents that interact with each other and optimise development processes.

Ocean Protocol focuses on the exchange and monetisation of data via tokenisation. The protocol allows users to share data with increased security and transparency.

Finally, SingularityNET offers a platform for interconnected AI, enabling developers to create, share and monetise AI services.

These three projects have decided to join forces to create the largest research foundation in the field of AI. Called the Artificial Superintelligence Alliance, this alliance aims to create general artificial intelligence, and eventually artificial superintelligence.

This transition is being managed in two phases (we are currently in phase 1). Phase 2 will take place in mid-July and will result in the merger of the three tokens (which will be combined into a single token called "ASI").

By integrating artificial intelligence with decentralised infrastructures, these projects are helping to create a more autonomous and resilient ecosystem.

The Helium network projects, Wifi Map, etc.

Finally, DePIN makes it possible to contribute to certain common problems. This is the case with the Helium and Wifi Map projects.

By pooling bandwidth, these projects create decentralised wireless networks, providing a low-cost global IoT connection.

By participating in these initiatives, users can not only benefit from better network coverage, but also be rewarded for their contribution in tokens.

The Big Whale's view

By including AI applications in the DePIN infrastructure, protocols can now benefit from a more robust, decentralised and resilient architecture.

These two areas, which synergise perfectly, now provide access to AI for individuals, often requiring colossal resources.

At a time when these sectors are booming (they represent more than $42 billion on the crypto market), it would be relevant to continue to follow this narrative closely, particularly through major projects such as ASI.

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