DePin Your Hopes on This: The Source of DePin

// February 08, 2024

Ask any project lead, developer, data hygiene analyst, industry risk profiler - anyone - if they would ideally want their entire tech stack, all their data, their IP, and their corporate intraweb in one single place - all with one attack vector, and governed by one centralized custodian they have to pay every single day. They will answer: of course not. Redundancy, in life as in software, is king. You need backups. 

Yet ask if that’s exactly what they do with their entire operation. Many will answer ‘of course, there is no other way’, while others will say ‘there is no other solution’. 2024 though, has created a marked sea-change in thinking. 

DePin: Back-Pocket Infrastructure

Decentralized Physical Infrastructure (DePin), Edge computing, and the concept of hardware networks sustaining a decentralized web is in vogue right now. People, cross-sector and cross-expertise, are waking up to the idea that every single one of us has a powerful supercomputer in their pockets - and that’s just the very start of it.

The Internet of Things - so called because it’s made up of, well, things, physical pieces of hardware connected to the internet - is far more than Google trying to sell you its new in-home spy gizmo. It’s an understanding that there is now so much hardware out there, and that, we as a species, can and will produce so much more at such an alarmingly cheap price (a Raspberry PI starts at around $15, or the price of a good pizza), that the opportunity to crowdsource every aspect of our entire digital architecture is now feasible.

Why DePin’s Time is Now

Why do this? Because DePin means the computing power and resources allocated to a task or service scales infinitely as more hardware enters the collective pool. Because rather than brutal upfront capital investment that is slow, cumbersome and seeks return, things build over time - forever. Because if your database is scattered across 7,000 different computers and geographic locations, instead of one, then it’s not going to evaporate from one attack or outrage. 

With DePin, innovation is organic, and anyone can enter their device into these networks to build utility. People, not corporations, build it. Rent-seeking becomes minimal, service-delivery more efficient, and censorship non-existent. Didn’t pay for your restaurant to be featured on Google Maps? Shame, no customers for you.

Analysts at Messari break it down into six parts: Wireless, Computing, AI, Energy, Sensors and Services. That is, the internet. Mediated by crypto, with value locked and burned for services, and value paid for resources, all of us can participate in a hardware economy that is more efficient, publicly owned, and delivers novel utility to end users. Sensors on every street tracking delivery drivers, computers all over the world collectively contributing processing power to our new machine god, a datacenter in every pocket.

Yet this proliferation of DePin hardware could pose existential threats to both data integrity and data management. Unintended data-leakage between compatible devices could expose DePin networks to unseen attack vectors that, if substantial or exploitative enough, could damage them significantly just as they are getting on their feet, as well as breaking trust in networks that expressly deal with storage and file retrieval - especially if those files must pass through a centralized conduit to be repackaged. DePin networks need decentralized infra with sovereign and secure database tooling to truly become the scaffolding on world systems run.

Source Network Helps DePin Thrive

Source is the decentralized infra DePin needs. 2024 will herald a massive change in how we, the human race, sustain the internet on which we’ve all come to rely, and implement decentralization that allows Web3 to truly take off, breaking custodial strangleholds and building networks that are permissionless, censorship-free, and trustless. A truly open internet. 

That’s our goal here at Source, so it’s no surprise that we are thrilled that the mainstream is beginning to take notice of DePin’s potential. Yet right now, it’s still potential. Why? Because Decentralized Physical Infrastructures need decentralized databases, decentralized key management, decentralized blockchains (you’d think that’s a tautology, but believe us it isn’t), and decentralized trust layers. Source Network is building the decentralized software tooling that makes decentralized hardware work. 

DefraDB and DePin

DefraDB is a decentralized infrastructure database that is deployable anywhere, and by anyone. It creates interoperable data models that work on any application and any device. It confers true ownership over data to its users, both app and end-user, and is secured from the ground up by unimpeachable secure crypto-primitives. 

The data isn’t precompiled off-chain then hashed for some performative cryptographic effect. Instead, data on DefraDB is created, stored, transformed and accessed through layered cryptographic primitives using peer-to-peer mechanics to ensure content addressability, local storage, and universal accessibility. Redundancy too, as we opened with, is key. DefraDB empowers these networks with it. The data living on the edge of these hardware constellations can use DefraDB’s replication capabilities to secure and reproduce data on all the connected edge devices without any additional risk factor, as the database inherits all privacy and security guarantees thanks to Source’s tech. 

If that sounds like exactly what you need to store, share, and secure data between 7,000 Raspberry Pis and sensors running a DePin network helping people get home safe, or between 30 enterprise operations collectively building their own AI model, or run a decentralized energy grid powering your home town - you’d be absolutely right. 

DePin only works because crypto can mediate access control to various services and the user devices that build these networks, and ensure owner economics throughout the system. Otherwise, hardware gifted to a network really just becomes a tendril node operated by a central brain, with all the problems that come with it. Using crypto, devices can instead function fully autonomously, and whose data and utility can be harnessed by using these access-control tokens we call crypto. In doing so, it creates the incentive to build out DePin networks in the first place. 

Without having locally-stored data, sovereignty, and interoperability between devices however, such a dream falls short. Data is at the heart of these networks. How we send it, how we store it, and how we use it is the fundamental goal of Web3 itself. DefraDB gives pioneering DePin use-cases a way to create sovereign hardware within the system and impel those seeking to contribute to building the network. It builds a way to keep their autonomy, a way for data to flow securely between every nodal point of the system, and for providers to locally operate their own services and contribute their hardware as part of the greater good without sacrificing the sanctity of their data.

Pin Your Hopes on Source

By the end of 2024, DePin will be everywhere. In a very literal way, that’s the point. DefraDB will help these networks build in a truly decentralized fashion, with a rigorously adherent tech-stack that is interoperable with other devices no matter what they are, or what software runs on them. Ownership economies only exist when everyone can add to the whole in their own way, and in which the central point of failure is removed. With DefraDB, that’s exactly what they can do. Source Network is confident that, once DefraDB is used by every dApp developer, DePin’s true rollout will commence, with everyone having a stake in our new, open internet.

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