January 30, 2024

peaq launches peaq verify, the DePIN data verification framework

What’s happening? 

peaq is launching peaq verify, a three-tiered DePIN data verification framework that taps cryptography, machine learning, and trusted oracles to verify data from devices, with Silencio and NATIX already integrating it.

Why is it important? 

Peer-to-peer data exchanges are a DePIN’s lifeblood, but in Web3, trustless data verification is a major challenge — and peaq’s framework offers projects a comprehensive and powerful tool for solving this problem, with the first tier already released. 

What does it mean for the community?

peaq’s data verification framework is another key reason for DePINs to build on or migrate to peaq, enabling DePINs to successfully compete with Web2 rivals, driving wider adoption and creating more value for all stakeholders.

Why “trust but verify” won’t fly for DePIN 

If you’ve been around Web3 long enough, you must know that the space really loves anything trustless – ‘don’t trust, verify’ – as the famous saying goes. It’s one of the blockchain design staples, really. In a peer-to-peer world, you shouldn’t have to blindly rely on the good will of any given entity (hi, Web2 with all your centralized middlemen). The system has to include all sorts of precautions meant to eliminate any odds of foul play so thoroughly that nothing comes down to sheer trust. 

Now, consider a decentralized physical infrastructure network (DePIN), let’s say a network of community-owned weather sensors. Thousands and thousands of them, in fact, scattered all around the world to provide maximum coverage. Each of these devices is recording valuable data, which earns its users tokens for the trouble. So far, so good. 

Here’s the thing, though: Malicious actors of all sorts really like tokens. So much so, in fact, that they would be down to set up a virtual sensor, which would only exist in the depths of their computer. What if it still earns tokens, despite generating false data? Or what if there is a physical sensor — but its readings are inaccurate, whether by accident or intentionally? Accurate weather data is the DePIN’s core mission, if it’s not there, the project’s ability to outcompete Web2 rivals flies out of the window. The same is true for all other real-world applications. 

The point of all of this is quite simple. Data verification is a major challenge for DePINs, and it even made it on a16z’s Nakamoto Challenge, which features some of Web3’s largest problems to tackle. As the home for DePIN, peaq had to take this on — and today, peaq’s Data Verification Framework goes live.

Introducing peaq verify — peaq's data verification framework for DePINs

Data exchanges are a DePIN’s lifeblood, whether it’s about booking car-sharing vehicles or collecting noise pollution data. So it’s beyond important to verify that behind every datapoint is a real device that provides an actual, legitimate service. Web2 faces this challenge with centralized platforms and embedded controls, but in Web3, this won’t do. It has to be trustless and peer-to-peer.

The challenge is that there isn’t a simple one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to decentralized data verification. Where one size doesn’t work, though, three tiers do the trick. So peaq is introducing peaq verify, the framework for decentralized data verification that includes three vital tiers, complementing one another to create a robust system for trustless peer-to-peer data verification. 

Tier-1 verification, already available on peaq’s Github, allows devices to sign data using their own private key and store it on the peaq blockchain. Anyone is able to use the device’s public key to verify the cryptographic signature, confirming that the data has been signed by the device and hasn’t been tampered with. This enables DePINs to source data from millions of devices from all over the world without sacrificing integrity.

Tier-2 verification will use machine learning to seek out and recognize patterns in data in order to flag anomalies. It will merge blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) to unlock the network’s ability to mark the data that fits into the pattern as Tier-2 verified, which adds an extra layer of security. Tier-2 verification would help DePINs weed out abnormalities in dataflows, allowing them to spot instances like faulty hardware or malicious actors.

Tier-3 verification will include a trusted oracle to cross-reference data against. In other words, a DePIN could set up a trusted sensor in a specific location to work as an oracle for temperature and humidity in the area, and check the readings reported by community devices in the area. The data with an unusual deviation wouldn’t be marked as Tier-3 verified, which introduces another safeguard for the framework.

A breakdown of peaq's 3-tiered Data Verification Framework for DePINs and real-world dApps.

To understand the point of the two additional layers, consider an example shared by one of peaq’s enterprise partners. Imagine a cargo truck shipping goods that have to stay under a certain temperature for the entire journey. There’s a sensor monitoring that, but some drivers tamper with it to make it think the temperature inside is cooler than it is — that’s easier than actually making sure the temperature is right.

A sensor that’s been tampered with will still dutifully sign the data with its key. However, the data that’s being signed is inaccurate, and the sensor cannot independently figure that out. This is where the rest of the tiers kick in, though. Because of the tampering, the sensor’s readings deviate from the pattern of non-affected devices: The temperature it records doesn’t change the same way. A cross-check with the recordings on a trusted, oracle vehicle further confirms the anomaly, and the violation comes to light. 

First adopters

peaq verifyhas been shared with DePINs building on peaq and is already seeing some exciting traction. The first two DePINs working on integrating the framework are NATIX and Silencio

NATIX will implement the peaq verify in its Drive& DePIN for AI-powered world-mapping. The project’s mission is to provide decision-makers, businesses, and communities with quality mobility data, whether it comes to road conditions to foot and vehicle traffic in specific areas. Data verification will help make this data even more trustworthy, ensuring no bad actors get to waste people’s time and money on fixing portholes that aren’t there or trick businesses into opening shops in locations of little value.    

Silencio will enable the sensors on its noise pollution measuring network to sign the data with their keys and subsequently implement the rest of the framework as it goes live. The framework will help the project make sure no virtual sensors get to claim rewards in tokens, providing an extra safeguard for the network and its tokenomics. It will also help to ensure the noise pollution data Silencio is offering is reliable and trustworthy, enabling city planners, businesses, apartment hunters, and others to make optimal decisions.

“peaq’s device data verification framework is a major boost for DePIN as it takes on one of the core challenges for the sector. It enables the devices on any given DePIN to act as providers of trusted data, making its easier to track the provenance of any data point to a specific device. It’s a nuanced and comprehensive system that embraces both security and the core Web3 values.”

— Alireza Ghods, co-founder of NATIX Network
“For many DePIN, data is both their lifeblood and their actual product, their value proposition. Making sure that this data is verified, reliable, and trustworthy is thus an absolutely crucial condition for success — and peaq’s system enables builders to do just that, in a transparent way and with multiple layers and safeguards.”

— Theo Messerer, co-founder of Silencio Network
“peaq’s approach to data verification offers builders a lot of versatility while being cryptographically-secure and reliable. It’s inspiring to see its adoption among builders so early — that is the ultimate testimony proving how needed the feature was in the sector.”

— Till Wendler, co-founder of peaq

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