DePIN use cases and best synergies with other cutting-edge technologies

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Top DePIN use cases

The DePIN trend is definitely one to pay attention to in 2024. Decentralized physical infrastructure networks are experiencing a great period and there is plenty of interest in such projects. In this article, we’re getting all practical, as we are taking a closer look at some of the strongest DePIN use cases right now. But first, let’s see what makes DePINs so intriguing!

A brief refresher on DePINs

As we’ve discussed on these pages, DePINs are networks designed to facilitate networks of physical devices and channel the collective computational power of their members toward accomplishing a common goal. It’s a particularly powerful form of crowdsourcing that can have a wide range of applications. Blockchain protocols are particularly well-suited to be the foundational layer of DePINs, because they are specifically designed to facilitate large peer-to-peer networks of physical devices.

Now, let’s see what some of the strongest DePIN use cases are.

Top DePIN use cases

Here are some of the best use cases for decentralized physical infrastructure networks right now.

Decentralized storage

Decentralized storage solutions were one of the earliest applications of the DePIN concept, with some of them preceding the emergence of the DePIN narrative in its current form. Today, decentralized storage solutions like Filecoin and Storj are standout examples of how DePINs can serve very practical, useful applications.

This category of DePIN solutions aim to provide a decentralized alternative to established cloud storage providers like AWS. Typically these networks feature their own native tokens that are used to facilitate payments for storage and reward individual nodes for maintaining the network. Decentralized storage networks can also sport advanced Web3 features – for example, Filecoin supports smart contracts thanks to the Filecoin Virtual Machine.

Decentralized computing

Cloud computing has been a true game changer especially for small and medium businesses which may not have the necessary capital to acquire expensive computer hardware. However, under the current status quo, cloud computing services are almost exclusively owned and operated by big tech corporations like Amazon and Microsoft. By harnessing the power of crowdsourcing, DePINs have the potential to produce powerful decentralized computing services capable of challenging that model. Some prominent DePIN networks, such as the Internet Computer, are already taking great strides towards realizing that potential.

Decentralized file-sharing

Decentralized file-sharing has been a well known and understood use case for peer-to-peer networks for quite some time. As peer-to-peer networks backed by blockchain technology, DePINs are perfectly suited to provide the underlying infrastructure for a new wave of robust file-sharing and data-sharing solutions. Not only can a DePIN connect its users directly with one another, but it also can incentivize participation through flexible and versatile tokenomics models.

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things has been increasingly utilized in recent years, as advances in computer hardware and consumer electronics have made it easier than ever to imbue everyday appliances and other devices with computational capabilities and connectivity. It’s easy to see how DePIN solutions can help us to make the most of the IoT concept – after all, they are specifically designed to facilitate networks of interconnected physical devices.

This is why IoT is one of the most potent DePIN use cases. DePIN infrastructure can accommodate both small and large networks of interconnected IoT devices and can support a wide range of IoT projects. An incredible variety of possible applications and solutions can arise from the intersection of these two highly complementary concepts.

Decentralized A.I.

A.I. has been arguably the hottest tech trend for the past couple of years and for a good reason. There are numerous potential applications of the technology and we are already seeing its incredible impact in areas like content creation, graphic design and others. As the technology matures, it has the potential to become even more impactful.

DePINs can help the tech reach that maturity by providing the infrastructure for decentralized A.I networks designed to make it easier for people to contribute to the creation of improved machine learning models.

Conclusion

One of the reasons for the strong momentum behind DePINs that we currently see is that it feels like we’re scratching the surface when it comes to potential DePIN use cases. Their greatest strength is their versatility and the wide range of applications that they could enable thanks to their ability to leverage and incentivise crowdsourcing. Furthermore, the potential synergies with other exciting technologies such as the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence create even more opportunity for powerful DePIN applications. Watch this space!

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