News Feb 20, 2024 12:26 PM EST

DePIN: How to Invest in the Next Tech Revolution

By Isaiah McCall

Crypto has no remaining narrative.I dare you to name one.

It's over. We're just a bunch of dorks with heavy bags, slowly realizing no one to dump them on. Is any of that true? 

(Photo : Canva) DePIN Crypto

I've been around crypto long enough to see DeFi, NFTs, gaming, and community tokens rise and fall in hype. Now there's a new buzzword going around: "DePIN."

Is DePIN the next catalyst that brings crypto to the mainstream, or will it be forgotten in a few months?

What is DePIN?

DePIN stands for Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Networks and represents any cryptocurrency that has real-world use.

Real-world use. Have you heard that one before? The key difference here is that DePIN is a confluence of physical devices, decentralization, and blockchain. More buzzwords!

It works like this: you're surfing the internet, streaming your favorite show, and suddenly, you get a notification that you've earned some money. DePIN is supposed to make the users the master of the networks they use - whether that be 5g, WiFi, or IoT - and reward them for doing so. You do the heavy lifting of providing your own server and earn money for doing so.

Here are a few DePIN projects you might find interesting:

  1. Filecoin, Storj: Projects that store data and users earn for storing data on their devices. Both are supposed to be AWS competitors.
  2. Chirp Wireless, Helium: Each provides devices that promote connectivity for IoT devices, Wifi, and 5G. The latter, Helium, even has cheap cellphone plans and is one of the best crypto use cases to date.
  3. Theta: Decentralized streaming service; faster than Netflix.
  4. Hivemapper Network: Decentralized Google Maps that you get rewarded HONEY tokens for using your dashcam to map streets.

Is DePIN categorizing existing products under an umbrella of hype?

Could be.

All of these projects have existed for years now.

I interviewed the creator of Chirp Wireless last year, and before then, I wasn't even that familiar with the term "DePIN." Now, it's everywhere.

New crypto narratives, like AI, DePIN, socialfi, and gaming, pop up like mushrooms after rain. Many of these buzzwords generate hype that leads to scams, leading to a stagnate clandestine industry. But in the middle are a lot of great projects, too.

DePIN makes more sense to me than NFTs or even Web3. In Miami right now, Helium is offering cellphone plans that are much cheaper than competitors, and users can earn money by buying a modem that provides coverage. That's a good thing for crypto. That's a good thing for life.

Chirp Wireless is working on an IoT network on an international scale. 

"By leveraging a network that's owned and operated by individuals rather than big corporations, Helium Mobile can significantly reduce costs to deliver nationwide service with unprecedented pricing. "- Helium Mobile

"Real world assets" used to be like scratching your nails on a chalkboard, but it's finally gaining traction under DePIN.

Other DePIN Projects to Check Out

Here are a few 

  • 2Blox: They're an app available on Android and IOS that shares local road traffic, and rewards users with crypto. This not only enhances the reliability of traffic data but also engages the wider community.
  • Silencio: They employ 35,000 smartphones to report how noisy a restaurant or venue is to alert other users; they also had some cool ads during Valentine's Day. 
  • Natix: Earns crypto for users sharing their driving reports (i.e. accidents, potholes, traffic reports) and benefits various industries like automotive finance and insurance. If you're already losing your data, why not get paid for it?

The Future of DePIN

Crypto was meant to be a middle finger to the global currency system, which is being held down by governments and regulators. That goalpost has shifted tremendously. Nothing is 100% decentralized, not even Bitcoin

In light of all this, there are still several crypto projects that significantly outshine their counterparts when it comes to liberty and fiscal rewards. will be a better IoT and 5G provider; Theta will shake up the streaming service hegemony; Bitcoin is gold 2.0.

As I sit here sipping my morning coffee (black, no sugar), I can't help but feel a sense of excitement for what the future holds. With DePIN, we're not just talking about a new sector in the crypto industry - we're talking about a revolution in how we build and manage real-world infrastructure.

It should be pretty cool.

Related Article: Wall Street Gets Shaken: First-Ever Major Bank Unionization Vote Rocks Wells Fargo  

The team at The MoneyTimes consists of passionate financial enthusiasts, but it's important to clarify that we are not certified financial advisors. While we strive for accuracy and present information based on thorough research, we strongly recommend that readers conduct their own independent research and consult a professional financial advisor before making any investment decisions. Nothing contained in this publication should be interpreted as investment advice. 

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