For Beginners

What is DePIN?

DePIN stands for Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Networks.

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DePIN stands for Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Networks. It is an innovative concept within the blockchain and cryptocurrency domain that focuses on developing, maintaining, and operating physical infrastructure in a decentralized manner. DePINs leverage blockchain technology and cryptocurrency tokens to encourage the construction and management of real-world infrastructure, spanning areas such as transportation, energy, wireless connectivity, and more. This approach fosters the creation of community-driven infrastructure networks where contributors and users collectively contribute to and benefit from the system.

The DePIN Flywheel

The DePIN Flywheel is a concept that illustrates how DePIN networks grow and sustain themselves. It starts with token incentives that attract participants to contribute to the network's physical infrastructure. As more providers join and the network expands, it becomes more valuable, which in turn can increase the value of the native tokens. This creates a positive feedback loop: the growing network attracts more users and providers, further increasing the network's utility and token value. The flywheel effect demonstrates the self-reinforcing growth mechanism inherent in DePINs, leading to rapid scaling and potential market disruption.

Source: CoinGecko

The sub-sectors of DePIN

In 2023, the DePIN ecosystem, according to Messari, spans over 650 projects:

  • Wireless Networks: Focus on decentralized connectivity solutions, often through crowd-sourced networks for IoT and cellular devices.
  • Storage Networks: Involves decentralized data storage solutions, providing alternatives to traditional cloud storage with enhanced security and distribution.
  • Compute Networks: Offers decentralized computational resources, creating marketplaces for shared computing power.
  • Bandwidth Networks: Focuses on optimizing content delivery by decentralizing bandwidth resources, often leading to more efficient and cost-effective media streaming services.
  • Geospatial Services: Involves the use of locational data and mapping services, often crowd-sourced, to provide valuable geographical insights.
  • Mobility: Includes decentralized solutions for vehicle management and data monetization, transforming how we use and manage automobiles.
  • Health: Encompasses projects that integrate health and fitness data with blockchain, offering rewards for health-related activities and data sharing.
  • Energy: Focuses on decentralized energy networks, often leveraging renewable sources and smart grid technologies to revolutionize energy distribution and management.

Top 10 DePIN projects by market cap

For detailed information on the top 10 DePIN projects by market cap, including project bios, you can visit the CoinGecko's DePIN category

Source: CoinGecko

A decentralized storage network based on the Interplanetary File Storage (IPFS) protocol. It is designed to utilized unused storage globally into an efficient storage market for users to pay for low cost storage. The objective is to ensure file storage is permanent and distributed across the web. Contrast this with centralized cloud storage solution such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, or Dropbox, where data are stored in servers owned by these private corporations.

Render Network Foundation (The Render Network®)
The leading provider of decentralized GPU based rendering solutions, revolutionizing the digital creation process. The network connects node operators looking to monetize their idle GPU compute power with artists looking to scale intensive 3D rendering work and applications to the cloud. 

Theta Network
A decentralized video streaming network that is powered by blockchain technology. Theta allows users to watch video content and get rewarded with tokens as they share their internet bandwidth and computing resources on a peer-to-peer (P2P) basis.

Focused on decentralized wireless networks, enhancing connectivity and communication. Helium has created The People's Network, providing secure and cost-effective connectivity for IoT and cellular devices. It's based on Proof-of-Coverage and rewards miners in Helium tokens. The network supports a variety of use cases in sectors like smart cities, agriculture, and logistics​​​​.

Works on decentralized networks for data exchange and secure communications. IOTA's Tangle technology enables fast, feeless transactions suitable for IoT. It's developed for seamless micropayments and machine-to-machine communication, focusing on scalability​​.

A project for permanent, decentralized data storage with a focus on data archiving. Arweave’s endowment model ensures data is stored forever without ongoing costs, and its blockweave technology facilitates sustainable and permanent data storage​​.

Akash Network 
A decentralized cloud computing marketplace, challenging traditional cloud services. It aims to provide developers with lower costs, higher flexibility, and freedom from cloud monopolies, offering a secure, transparent, and efficient alternative​​.

Offers decentralized cloud storage solutions, competing with mainstream cloud providers. Siacoin ensures security and privacy by encrypting and distributing files across a decentralized network, providing a private and secure storage alternative​​.

Develops decentralized networks for the Internet of Things (IoT), enhancing connectivity between smart devices. IoTeX combines blockchain with IoT, focusing on privacy, scalability, and decentralized identity for devices​​.

Pocket Network
Provides decentralized infrastructure services for blockchain networks and applications. It incentivizes coordination between developers and node operators, reducing reliance on traditional infrastructure providers and promoting a distributed internet​​.

Sushi and DePIN

Integration with Filecoin
Sushi has engaged with the DePIN ecosystem, notably through its deployment on Filecoin. As the first decentralized exchange (DEX) on Filecoin, Sushi is set to introduce both its version 2 automated market maker (AMM) and the version 3 AMM with concentrated liquidity pools. This will allow users to trade and provide liquidity on the Filecoin network. Sushi’s unique cross-chain swap, SushiXSwap, will also cover Filecoin soon, facilitating token swapping between Filecoin and 30+ networks natively via Sush UI, including familiar names such as Ethereum, Arbitrum, Polygon, Optimism, BNB Chain, and Avalanche, etc. SushiXSwap is the easiest way for users to explore Filecoin with no bridging or native Filecoin tokens needed.

DePIN Meetup @ETH Denver

We are hosting a DePIN meet up at EthDenver with with Halborn, Sushi, IoTeX, Borderless Capital, join us!

DePIN Resources

CoinGecko DePIN Category : Lists and ranks DePIN projects based on market cap

DePIN Ninja: Provides analytics and insights on DePIN projects.

Messari DePIN Screener: A tool for analyzing and screening DePIN-related cryptocurrencies.

Proof of Coverage Podcast: Discusses blockchain and DePIN-related topics.

Messari State of DePIN Research Paper: A break down, analysis and future outlook of DePIN