In a nutshell: DePIN is a new name for a long-time trend in the Web3 space — one that peaq was built for. Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Networks crowdsource infrastructure projects like power grids and telecom networks, using tokens as the incentive for people to participate. Such projects are what peaq was built to power with its dedicated tokenomics model and functionalities meant to make life easier and incentivise both builders and users. 

To sustain the growing electric vehicle (EV) market, Europe would need 3.4 million public charging points by 2030, McKinsey estimates in a recent study, — about a tenfold increase from what’s available now. In other words, while EVs grow more popular by the day, the infrastructure is not even dragging behind, it straddled away in an unknown direction and threw itself a nice picnic while it was at it.

Now, since most Europeans tend to recharge their EVs at home or at work, one would assume there’s quite a lot of private charging points around, sitting idle for a solid part of the day. They hardly count in millions (yet), but making them accessible for any driver in need of juicing their ride up (for a fee, of course) would surely help. On top of that, it would also give charger owners an extra revenue stream, which is rarely something to complain about.

DePINs, or Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Networks, aim to do just that — make private physical infrastructure, from chargers to servers and routers, a public good that anyone can access at a fee. They use blockchain and tokens to incentivize individuals and businesses to invest in the infrastructure delivering real-world services and grant them a peer-to-peer marketplace where they can sell these services. The credit for this name goes to Messari. If you’re curious to learn more about DePINs, here’s a blog post we put up the other day, check it out.    

So here’s the thing: DePINin’ ain’t easy. And a lot of this has to do with how difficult it is to find a good home for such projects.

Can’t you just Ethereum it?

Yes, you could technically build a DePIN on any smart-contract platform. You could technically build anything on any smart contract platform. But there’s a strong case to be made for why you should build a DePIN on a smart-contract platform that’s tailor-made for DePINs, over a general-purpose layer-1. It’s kind of like with Lego: Yes, you build a shuttle with it and send it into space, but this apparently wasn’t good enough for SpaceX. 

Jokes aside, to be able to scale fast, DePINs need advanced:

1) economics

2) tools & interfaces

3) functionalities

which all work to enable smooth operations and onboarding for new manufacturers, machines, and users. Unde(r)pinning all of that, DePINs require an economic system that incentivizes both new physical infrastructure to be added and new users to join the network, while also sustaining itself. 

peaq: A layer-1 network for layer-2 DePINs

peaq hasn’t used the term DePIN before February 2023 because DePIN wasn’t really a term before, but peaq was essentially built from the ground up as a layer-1 platform for DePIN networks. Its machine-focused design and tokenomics aimed at real-world value work as a power multiplier for any DePIN within the greater vision of enabling the Web3 Economy of Things. After all, connected infrastructure very much fits the bill for what we’ve been calling “machines” or “Things” all these years.

Let’s dive into what makes peaq the perfect home for DePINs.

peaq’s tokenomics: the reward-ception

A DePIN wants to incentivize new participants with token rewards. Joining in, after all, is a risk to reward calculation: You invest in the infrastructure and its maintenance to earn on its use. A DePIN wants to make sure that the “earn” part is enough to make the “invest” part make sense. So far, so good. 

So it’s quite handy that peaq’s tokenomics model allocates a part of network revenue and block rewards to beef up the earnings of machines connected to the network. 

A note: we use ‘machines’ as short-hand for any connected device, robot, sensor, vehicle, or machine, or in DePIN-speak, physical infrastructure.

In other words, peaq literally adds more rewards into your rewards, as the ancient Yo Dawg memes hath foretold. This adds an extra incentive for bringing more devices — servers, sensors, routers, vehicles, robots etc. — into the ecosystem. On top of that, the network also features rewards to dApps running on top of it as an extra tool supporting DePIN projects, providing them with a sustainable revenue stream.      

Machine DeFi

Another series of core incentive mechanisms baked into peaq fall under the umbrella term; Machine DeFi. Machine DeFi, you may have intuited, is essentially decentralized finance for machines in the Economy of Things. Machine DeFi is concerned with financing the deployment of new machines to the peaq network via crowd-funding and community-voted subsidies, and enabling increasingly autonomous machines to sustain themselves financially.

From a user’s perspective, Machine DeFi gives you more options for handling your infrastructure. Machine DeFi enables communities to leverage borderless fundraising via the blockchain to cover the upfront costs of purchasing hardware, which enables DePINs — and the people backing them — to enter markets where no traditional firm would set foot. Financing real-world value creation will hopefully silence the DeFi critics.

If you want to dive deeper into peaq’s economics, here’s a more detailed overview, and here’s a video explaining how peaq’s economic model works.  

Tools to build any Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Network 

Let’s take this a step further and look at how peaq’s design makes life easier for DePINs on the technical level. Here, peaq provides three core functionalities that any DePIN needs: identity, access, and payment.

peaq ID: Self-Sovereign IDs for machines 

Every machine, device, or piece of physical infrastructure needs an ID to be able to interact with other network participants, whether people or machines. peaq ID provides decentralized identities that enable direct, peer-to-peer identification and interaction without being dependent on centralized third parties. Read more here and check out the documentation. peaq ID is being continuously developed further in alignment with the Gaia-X 4FM moveID project led by Bosch and including an array of leading Web3 projects alongside top industry names such as Continental, Airbus, and Denso.

peaq access: Role-Based Access Control 

Most machine-powered applications require role-based access control (RBAC): After all, you want a driver to be able to drive the taxi, but that’s not necessary for the passenger role. peaq access enables RBAC logic for any dApps and DePINs on peaq. Efficient role-based access logic, for its part, has to leverage digital identities, which is where peaq ID comes into play again. Head here to learn more about peaq access, and here’s the documentation for the techies.

peaq pay: Machine-to-X payments 

peaq pay sets out an effective and scalable peer-to-peer framework for payment and settlement transactions without the involvement of trusted third parties. It enables developers building on peaq to create secure transactions between two parties by utilizing multi-signature escrow wallets for supporting in-dApp payments for goods and services. Here is more on this, and here are the docs.

Edge data authentication (Coming #soon)

Ensuring the authenticity of data coming from machines, devices, robots, vehicles, or sensors is a critical task for any DePIN project. This is particularly important when it comes to billing for goods or services, as well as validating the data being sold as a service. To this end, we are exploring a range of solutions, including software-based generic data authenticity verification as well as more complex methods that involve hardware. These methods will provide a secure and tamper-proof way to validate data, ensuring that it can be trusted and relied upon by DePINs.

Geolocation (Coming #soon)

Geolocation is a crucial functionality that DePINs rely on for a wide range of use cases. By accurately determining the location of a machine, device, robot, vehicle, or sensor, DePINs can optimize processes, improve efficiency, and provide more reliable services. We are looking into a variety of options for providing a trusted and reliable geolocation service to projects on peaq. The network is committed to ensuring a holistic approach to making geolocation accurate, secure, and transparent. 

Interfaces & dApps

peaq control: command and control center for connected machines

With peaq control, users can connect any machine, device, vehicle, or sensor can with peaq network, enabling it to join one or more DePIN networks. This creates a stacking effect, enabling DePIN builders to tap into an already existing machine pool on the network, as linking a machine with their project is as easy for the supplier as making just a few clicks. You can try the dApp here, read more about it here, and check out the documentation at this link. And if you’re more of a visual person, we’ve also made a few videos to help you get started with peaq control.

peaq app: economic hub for DePINs (Coming #soon)

The peaq app is the community’s one-stop hub for managing their digital assets on peaq and take part in the various activities concerning the network's development and ecosystem growth. Its future updates will enable peaq token holders to vote on what machines should be subsidized when joining the network, helping DePINs scale up. Token holders will also be able to vote on what dApps and DePINs should get a larger share of the network revenues, amplifying their growth, and provide capital for subsidizing and deploying machines through Machine DeFi mechanisms. Read more on this here and check out the app’s current version here

Have more ideas for essential functionalities and features? Please let us know! 

krest: The world’s first and only layer1 blockchain for DePIN testing

You may be aware that peaq will run as a parachain on Polkadot. You may also be aware that Polkadot has a ‘live-fast, die-young’ cousin called Kusama. Kusama, Polkadot’s canary chain, enables developers to test their decentralized application on a network designed for trying (and breaking) things. The peaq community will be able to connect their devices to krest, peaq’s own canary chain on Kusama, and earn from their use and other activities on the network as developers use these devices to simulate vehicles, robots, and machines creating value within the Economy of Things. 

The krest network will enable the peaq community to develop and test DePINs, decentralized applications (dApps) and tools in a real IoT environment to simulate the behavior of all kinds of machines, vehicles, robots, and devices before they go live on the peaq mainnet. The krest network will go live in 2023, becoming the world’s first and only Economy of Things simulation network, and the world’s first and only production blockchain for DePIN testing.

You can read more about krest on the launch blog here, or on its webpage, here.

That brings us to a close on this one. If you know of a DePIN project looking for a new home? Put this blog on their radar. You can start building on peaq today, or get your idea funded., or even join in building peaq. Last but not least, the community channels are always open.