Parfin Insights

DePIN Networks: Integrating digital initiatives with the real world

Date: 28/02/2024

DePIN networks, or (Decentralised Physical Infrastructure), leverage both digital and physical surplus using blockchain networks.

Their aim is to orchestrate the collaboration of individuals for the deployment and operation of infrastructure networks in the real world. The system is designed to be trustless, permissionless, and programmable.

This technology coordinates the distribution of tokens, compensating individuals who build and maintain these infrastructure networks by "lending" their machines' operational capacity to support physical verification services. Decentralization makes it possible to build physical infrastructure networks, such as 5G networks, with fewer resources and greater agility.

With initiatives underway worldwide, this technology has the potential to transform company back offices and also allow individuals to own the data they generate on the internet.

The Potential of DePIN Networks

By providing advantages to network collaborators, the system is strengthened and tends to remain stable. Responsibility and control over physical infrastructure are distributed among individuals, communities, and even automated systems. This initiative represents a paradigm shift in how companies operate.

This technology is set to enhance the synergy between web3, the Internet of Things (IoT), and the Economy of Things, driving progress in various sectors such as energy, telecommunications, and mobility, among others.

"Today, when we use Uber's service, for example, we still rely on a centralized service that holds user data and keeps the system running. In the future, DePIN will be able to facilitate agreements between service providers and consumers. In short, this initiative has the potential to replace companies' back offices,"

says Ricardo Santos, VP of Engineering at Parfin.

Another key sector that DePIN can help to disseminate is Artificial Intelligence.

"Typically, large-scale projects have very high infrastructure costs. But when the network is shared, these initiatives become more affordable,"

the executive points out.

Use cases

DePIN networks are already promoting dozens of projects, ranging from a decentralized version of Google Maps to Wi-Fi networks. Here are some highlights:


Launched in 2015 to serve as mapping software, the project underwent an update in 2022. It incorporated a decentralized mapping network that allows collaborators to use dashcams to capture high-quality images during their travels and receive tokens for that. The images create a global map that can be accessed by companies and organizations through an API.


Developed in 2020, this network allows users to use mobility data to create applications and services in automotive finance, insurance, and maintenance that run on an open-source platform. Supply-side participants (data miners) earn rewards by connecting a hardware device to their car and providing data to the network.


Launched in 2019, this network enables people and devices to connect to the internet. Participants contributing to the system's operation are rewarded with Helium's native token, HNT. Today, there are 1 million “hotspots” worldwide providing IoT coverage.

Benefits of the technology

At first glance, the benefits of this technology include efficiency, resilience to failures and attacks, ease of implementation, compliance, and decentralized governance. DePIN protocols can also foster systems that operate across different countries while subject to a single regulatory framework.

Similarly, this technology also supports the preservation of network neutrality and credibility by ensuring pre-agreed rules cannot be arbitrarily changed. DePIN networks also enable sustainable peer-to-peer micropayments.

Another key aspect is that DePIN networks allow individuals to own the data they generate while browsing the internet and/or using applications.

"Today, this information is stored in the databases of big tech companies. Not only is ownership impossible, but these companies also use them to trigger consumer behavior," Santos highlights.

An emerging sector

Today, this technology is already being adopted by some sectors, such as environmental controls - with the calculation of carbon emissions -, mobility, and decentralized 5G networks.

One prominent initiative is Helium, a protocol that uses a DePIN structure to encourage people to build and manage a physical IoT telecommunication network, now beginning to transition to a 5G network.

The project was "funded" by the users themselves, who purchased hardware to perform the necessary validations in exchange for tokens. This compensation is expected to increase as traffic grows.

Although promising, this technology is still in the early stages of development. Currently, its market is valued at around US$3 billion, but this figure could reach US$10 trillion in a few years, according to market projections.

"We're talking about a segment with two decades of development ahead. It’s a system that will permeate a different economy, where people can earn income from the information they generate"

Santos points out.

The blending of the digital world with the real realm is becoming increasingly evident, and soon they will be indistinguishable. If your company wants to be at the forefront of cryptocurrencies, tokenization, and blockchain solutions, reach out to us to learn more about the benefits these initiatives have to offer.

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