March 1, 2023

peaq: A Layer-1 Purpose Built to Power DePINs (Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Networks)

In a nutshell: DePIN is a new name for a long-time trend in Web3 — one that peaq was purpose-built to power and enable — the intersection between the connected real-world and Web3. 

Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Networks, or DePINs, use tokens to incentivize people to offer services to other people using physical hardware — like earning money for offering WiFi or 5G to people in the street via a router. Such projects are Web3’s best ever shot at real-world adoption, and peaq is designed to be the perfect home for DePINs. 

In this piece we’ll be running through all the different aspects to a layer-1 blockchain that DePIN builders should be taking into account when deciding on which chain to build.

If you’re curious to learn more about DePIN before understanding why peaq is the best place in Web3 to build on, here’s a blog.   

Remember Yahoo?

If you’re a zoomer (Gen Z), chances are you don’t.

In the late 1990s, Yahoo was the kingpin of the internet, offering a range of services from search to email, news, and even horoscopes. It was a general-purpose solution doing a bit of everything.

Until Google and Facebook came along, and we all know how that story goes.

We've seen this play out many a time in recent history. Kodak was the one-stop shop for all things photography — until Canon and Nikon came along. IBM was the one-stop shop for all things computers — and then came Microsoft and Apple. 

The moral of the story – organizations focusing on a specific niche have an unfair advantage over organizations that take a more general approach. 

In the Web3 space, most people are used to layer-1 blockchains being ‘general purpose’, meaning suited to anything and everything — but the tides are starting to turn. 

peaq is an example of a specific-purpose, or niche-focused, layer-1 blockchain. peaq is designed from the ground up to be the best possible layer-1 blockchain for real-world applications, now known as DePINs.

Everything about peaq is focused on being the best possible blockchain for real-world applications — from its fundamentals to its functions, tools, interfaces, economics, incentivise mechanisms, communications, community, enterprise collaboration, partners, integrations — all the way back to the reason it exists in the first place. Just check out peaq’s vision video and vision deck — DePIN is peaq’s raison d’être.

DePINin’ ain’t easy…

…and a lot of the reasons why have to do with finding a good home for your DePIN.

Yes, you could technically build a DePIN on any general-purpose smart-contract platform — but a network tailor-made as a layer-1 for DePINs will serve you better than a general-purpose network built with little to no concern for your specific needs. And that’s just the thing: DePINs have specific needs.

No matter how many cool NFT and gaming projects a given layer-1 ecosystem is home to, it doesn’t mean it will make just as good a home for projects building intricate networks to power real machines serving real people in the real world. DePINs are different.

Let’s dive into why DePIN-specific layer-1s, in this case peaq, have an unfair advantage over general-purpose layer-1s. We’ll consider the many aspects DePIN builders consider (or may wish to) when choosing a backbone for their project. 

Network Fundamentals — Scalability & Transaction Costs 

Let’s start on the ground floor — with network fundamentals, which are twice as fundamental for DePINs. Why? DePINs deal with high numbers of users and machines, sending high volumes of transactions per second. A network’s throughput and transaction fees are thus crucial to their ability scale.

So how does peaq fare?

10,000+ Transactions Per Second (TPS)
The peaq network allows for high throughput via asynchronous backing, capable of handling upwards of 10,000 transactions per second — with the ability to scale 50x (yes, 50x, to 500,000, and, hypothetically, even beyond that) — by 2025. More on that in the coming months. 

$0.00025 per Transaction
Enjoy swift, dependable transactions at as little as $0.00025, enabling frictionless operations for any DePIN. 

Nakamoto Coefficient: 90
peaq's current Nakamoto Coefficient sits at 90, one of the highest one across the Web3 space, granting DePINs a high degree of decentralization and security.

Affordable node hardware
Renting hardware to run a peaq node would only cost about $3,000 per year, making participation accessible to anyone. 

A block every 6 seconds
peaq's starting block time is 6 seconds, and it has the potential to go down all the way to 0.25 seconds in the future.

Developer Base & Technology Stack 

How many people are building in an ecosystem, and what programming language are they building in? These aren’t trivial questions: A bustling developer community means potential for growth and synergies, as well as a vast talent pool to tap into, and the popularity of the languages used defines the entry barrier for non-Web3 developers.

Here’s how peaq fares:

Maximum Developer Friendliness
peaq caters to Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and Substrate developers, two of the most popular Web3 developer ecosystems featuring the first AND second most active developer communities. Read more.

peaq supports ink! & EVM Smart Contracts and Pallets
Build with flexibility and convenience, using Rust for Pallets or ink! Smart Contracts or Solidity to create EVM-compatible smart contracts. Read more.

Above are what you could consider the standard, more obvious comparison points. It’s key that any blockchain – DePIN specific or general purpose – has fundamentals up to standard if it's to have any chance of being considered as a home for a DePIN.

But it’s from here on in that the advantages for DePIN-specific chains start to get really unfair.

Modular DePIN Functions – Ready-to-Use DePIN Backend

As a DePIN-focused layer-1, peaq equips DePIN builders with all the decentralized backend logic you need to build record-breaking DePINs in record time. peaq is the only blockchain in the world offering such a wide range of out-of-the-box Modular DePIN Functions 

Machine IDs
The first and arguably most important function is peaq’s Multi-Chain Self-Sovereign Machine IDs. You can think of these as passports for machines, sculpted over years of work with the EU-funded Gaia-X moveID consortium with the likes of Bosch, Airbus, Continental, and others.

With peaq ID, you can create unique self-sovereign IDs for machines, robots, and devices to enable their secure interactions within the DePIN and from DePIN to DePIN.

You can read more about peaq ID here, or in peaq’s docs here.

Let’s dive into the other Modular DePIN Functions peaq offers builders out of the box.

Role-Based Access Control
Efficient access management with peaq’s role-based control ensuring secure and authorized operations. Read more.

Enable seamless, secure, and autonomous transactions between people and machines on the DePIN you’re building. Read more.

Data Storage
Store and exchange data securely and efficiently, enabling effective communication and information flow within the DePIN. Read more.

Data Indexing
Organize and retrieve data with the data indexing feature, enhancing usability and accessibility of information within the DePIN. Read more.

AI Agents
Leverage autonomous AI Agents for advanced operations and interactions on the DePIN or dApp. Read more.

DePIN Data Verification
Tap peaq's three-tier data verification framework to ensure peer-to-peer data integrity and security for your DePIN. Read more.

peaq will be rolling out more DePIN-specific functions, such as Data Verification,  in the coming months. 

Web2.5 vs. Multichain Web3

Interoperability is key in Web3. It’s what Web3 is all about. To live up to its true potential, Web3 has to give up the one-chain-to-rule-them-all mentality. Instead of taking a Web2 approach and walling up their native ecosystem, layer-1 blockchains must strive to link with as many peers as possible. This would result in one open, seamless Web3 brimming with innovation, value, and opportunity for all. peaq’s push for a Web3 Economy of Things is rooted in this vision, which impacts its core architecture and integrations.

We’ve written a whole blog on that if you’re interested.

peaq integrates seamlessly with the two leading multi-chain networks, as well as some of the world’s most used general-purpose layer-ones. When you build on peaq, you build for all of Web3 — important when you’re trying to reach as many people and machines as possible. 

EVM compatibility: peaq supports EVM and thus lets you leverage all the opportunities the Ethereum ecosystem offers. Read more.

Any DePIN/dApp on peaq is interoperable with the Polkadot ecosystem via Cross-Consensus Message Format (XCM). Read more.

Exchange data and establish cross-chain identities with AI agents in the Cosmos ecosystem, fostering a truly interconnected ecosystem. Read more.

BNB Chain
peaq's Multi-Chain Machine IDs are now natively compatible with Binance's BNB Chain. Read more.

peaq's Multi-Chain Machine IDs are also compatible with Solana, making it easier for DePINs from the ecosystem to build on peaq. Read more.

peaq's integration with Wormhole bridges it with dozens of Web3 ecosystems, giving DePINs on peaq access to liquidity counting in billions and unlocking the APY-generating machines on peaq for the entire Web3 space. Read more.

And more in the works.

Ecosystem & Composability

A thriving  layer-1 is a trusty backbone for its ecosystem, a vibrant tapestry of projects, innovations, and collaborations. If a layer-1 provides the core baseline functionality for DePINs, its ecosystem works as a power multiplier by enabling synergistic growth and collaborations.

In DePIN terms, a vast ecosystem sets the stage for cross-DePIN collaborations, enabling DePINs to leverage each other's strengths, share resources, and co-create solutions that are greater than the sum of their parts.

This leads us into the topic of…

Machine Composability

In software development, ‘composability’ refers to the ability to freely combine applications and their components to create new products. Web3 takes this notion to its extremes because of its open-source nature. Anyone is free to pick up an open-source application or its components and use it to create something new.

At peaq, we’re taking the concept of composability even further by applying it to the connected machines, vehicles, robots, and devices you see in DePINs.

Machine Composability refers to machines being able to operate and transact across multiple apps (dApps/DePINs) seamlessly, facilitating the exchange of different services, resources, and information in a decentralized ecosystem.

Long story short: this is all about the ease with which machines can offer their services via different DePINs, and DePINs can collaborate with one another, boosting both their own growth and growth of the entire ecosystem. 

peaq coined the term, was built with it in mind, and has a whole piece dedicated to it, here, in case you’d like to dive in deeper.

Ecosystem Grants

The Peaq Foundation supports teams building Economy of Things projects on peaq with grants, and DePINs are a key focus area for this program. Besides token grants, the program can include assistance with development from peaq builders as well as introductions to major Web3 investors, top industry consortia, and leading enterprises. To date, 14 projects have enrolled with the program, and more applications are under review by the Grant Committee, which includes representatives of some of the top Web3 investor organizations. 

A new and updated version of the Grant Program is already in development. Besides the key features of its first rendition, such as financial support and networking access, the new program will also help DePINs with branding, marketing, hardware, building and managing their communities, hiring, fleshing out their tokenomics, and public relations. On top of that, it will include a matchmaking feature, with intros to relevant ecosystem members to explore synergies between different DePINs. With its all all-around approach, the next version of the grant program will be more akin to a full-fledged accelerator, giving DePINs all the resources they need to build, deploy, and scale at the speed of light.  


Innovation is key, and incentives? Even more so.

At the heart of any layer-1 lies its economic model, a delicate balance of incentives, rewards, and strategies that governs its ecosystem. Economics and tokenomics not only determine the viability and longevity of the network but also shape stakeholder behavior, drive adoption, and ensure security. 

General-purpose layer-1s, while revolutionary in their design, often cater primarily to human users — because of course they do. However, as we enter the Age of Automation (we published a piece on that, here) it's evident that the users of tomorrow's decentralized networks won't be solely human. 

Machines, with their distinct operational paradigms and value-generation mechanisms, are rapidly becoming integral participants in these networks and our economy. These machines, be they robots, sensors, or any other connected devices, have needs and behaviors distinct from us humans. Aligning them to a network requires a unique blend of economic incentives and structures.

peaq has crafted its economics with this very future in mind. We're not just preparing for a world where machines play a role; we're envisioning a world where machines dominate the workforce, spearhead tasks, generate unprecedented value, and operate autonomously. 

peaq’s economic model is intricately designed to cater to this imminent reality, ensuring that as machines become more prevalent in our daily lives, they seamlessly integrate, operate, and thrive within the peaqosystem.

peaq not only incentivizes node hosts, but also machines, DePINs, dApps, Liquidity Providers, and communities connecting their devices to the network. The rewards for all of these network participants will come primarily from transaction fees and block rewards. 

DePINs want to incentivize new participants with token rewards, rewarding them for creating value. peaq amplifies this incentivization with its own rewards for all machine owners who connect their devices to the network.

In other words, peaq literally adds more rewards to DePIN rewards, by design. Besides that, the network also channels rewards to DePINs as an extra tool supporting them with a sustainable revenue stream.      

Machine DeFi

Another array of core incentive mechanisms baked into peaq falls under the umbrella term of Machine DeFi — another term introduced by peaq. 

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 crowdfunding and community-voted subsidies, enabling increasingly autonomous machines to sustain themselves financially.

Machine DeFi amps up the versatility of the DePIN model, allowing DePINs to scale even faster. It enables communities to leverage borderless fundraising via the blockchain to cover the upfront costs of purchasing hardware, which makes it possible for DePINs — and the people backing them — to enter markets shunned by traditional firms. 

Enterprise Access & Adoption

As a DePIN builder, you understand that while the digital realm provides the foundation, it's the real-world infrastructure that breathes life into it. The success of a DePIN hinges not just on innovative coding but on seamless integration with physical infrastructure. 

Manufacturers, with their vast expertise in producing machines and devices, stand as invaluable partners in this journey. The relationship between DePIN builders and manufacturers is inherently symbiotic.

For DePINs, collaborations with manufacturers can ensure a smoother, faster adoption curve, with real-world applications becoming more accessible and efficient. 

Conversely, manufacturers benefit from a new avenue to optimize and monetize their products, ensuring they remain at the forefront of technological innovation. This relationship paves the way for a decentralized future where machinery and DePIN logic intertwine seamlessly.

peaq recognizes and champions this synergy. By providing the tools, collaborations, and integrations necessary, peaq aspires to be the catalyst that accelerates the fusion of the physical and digital in the Economy of Things. Collaborations with industry-leading consortia, such as the EU-funded Gaia-X consortium, and partnerships with world-leading manufacturers like Bosch, underscore peaq's commitment to co-creating the future of industries like smart mobility, energy, and connectivity. Rest assured — more are in the works.

Here's a clip from our Web3 parking and charging demo at the IAA Mobility conference in Hamburg with Bosch-led Gaia-x.

‍Energy Efficiency

The topic of energy consumption has surged to the top of Web3 agenda in recent years, fuelled by debates around Bitcoin’s environmental impact. While there may have been misconceptions about Bitcoin's energy footprint, the overarching message is clear: We need to be guardians of our environment. Every byte and transaction has a real-world echo, and it's our responsibility to ensure it's a sustainable one.

DePINs, by their very nature, intersect with tangible real-world infrastructure, vehicles, and machines. The teams and communities behind these DePINs are constantly innovating and strategizing with energy efficiency in mind. They understand the gravity of their work's environmental implications. 

Building a decentralized electric vehicle-sharing DePIN, for instance, loses its luster if the DePIN runs on as a power-hungry behemoth. Sustainable DePINs need eco-friendly layer-1 backbones to make sense.

peaq recognizes this environmental imperative. Our commitment to energy efficiency isn't just a nod to current trends, but a deep-seated principle. To this end, peaq leverages the most environmentally-friendly blockchain technology in Web3. 

And we’ll be clear — this isn’t some net-zero scheme by means of purchasing carbon credits — this is the real thing. Better not to spill the drink than to wipe it up perfectly.

Interfaces & Tools

In the vast realm of decentralized networks, it's the tools and interfaces that bridge the gap between intricate technology and user-centric applications. These elements serve as the conduits, enabling smooth interactions, streamlined processes, and intuitive engagement. As we delve deeper, we'll explore how the right set of tools and interfaces can elevate the experience for DePIN builders and users alike, making the complex world of blockchain accessible and efficient.

peaq control: command and control center for connected machines

With peaq control, users can connect any machine, device, vehicle, or sensor can with peaq, enabling it to join any number of DePINs. 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 control (Beta)

peaq portal: economic & governance hub for DePINs 

peaq portal 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 which DePINs should get a larger share of the network revenues, amplifying their growth, and provide capital for subsidizing and deploying machines through Machine DeFi. Read more on this here and check out the app’s current version here

peaq portal (Beta)


Sandboxes are a fancy word for ‘a place to test’. They provide a safe space where ideas can be tested, tweaked, and perfected without any real-world repercussions. 

As Web3 ventures deeper into the real world, ensuring the reliability and robustness of systems becomes paramount. Human lives, after all, hinge not just on the integrity of funds but on the flawless functioning of these systems. Here’s what peaq has on offer to make sure innovation is as safe as it is groundbreaking — and to take a peek into the future.


With a live-fast-die-young spirit, krest is a production-grade network for DePINs to do DePIN-dry-runs, a network for beta-DePINs, and for peaq’s own testing ahead of mainnet updates. 

krest enables the peaq community to develop and test DePINs, decentralized applications, and various layer-2 tools in a real environment by simulating the behavior of all kinds of machines, vehicles, robots, and devices before they go live on the peaq mainnet. 

The krest network is live, making it the world’s first and only Economy of Things simulation network, and the world’s first and only production blockchain for DePIN testing, or ‘beta-DePINs’.

You can read more about krest on its webpage, here, or in peaq's Docs section, here.

We’re also exploring real-world sandboxes, more on this in the coming months.


For a prospective DePIN builder, the community represents a wellspring of potential collaborators, advocates, and, most crucially, users. With a DePIN-specific layer-1 like peaq, you're not just entering a network; you're joining a collective of individuals who inherently understand the nuances of what you're building. They grasp the challenges, appreciate the innovations, and resonate with the vision.

Being part of such a specialized community means that the barriers to adoption are significantly lowered. The people who form the bedrock of peaq's community, as well as those engaged in projects already flourishing on the platform, are primed to become your early adopters and most vocal champions. 

For those ready to immerse themselves in peaq’s dynamic community and tap into its vast potential, you can connect and engage with the passionate members through peaq's community channels. Join the conversation, share your vision, and let the collective energy of peaq's community and fellow builders propel your DePIN to new heights.

Vision & Mission

We normally start with why. Today we’re ending with it.

DePIN builders — does the vision for the future that the chain you’re building on align with your own, with that of your project? How much, or how little?

The closer your vision and mission align with that of the chain you’re building on, the more synergies, opportunities, and symbiosis you can expect with the chain and its ecosystem in the short term, but especially in the long term.

The inverse, of course, is also true.

We’ll bring this piece to an end by putting our vision on full display.

Don’t just take it from us

Here’s a video series dedicated to hearing from DePIN founders. 

Join the Economy of Things


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