What is Depin: A Comprehensive Overview


If you’re a crypto enthusiast, you’ve probably heard of DePIN or Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Network. DePIN is a concept that uses token rewards and blockchain technology to encourage physical infrastructure development in the real world. With a Total Value Locked (TVL) of around 19.5 billion US dollars, this narrative has driven crypto adoption at a massive scale. DePIN allows users to access services like Wi-Fi, transportation, data storage, maps, and more, all while earning rewards.

This article will discuss the DePIN concept, how it works, its flywheel, advantages, and crypto projects that implement the DePIN model such as Helium (HNT), Filecoin (FIL), Render (RNDR), IoTeX (IOTX), and Livepeer (LPT). By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of DePIN and how it’s changing the way we think about physical infrastructure networks.

Key Takeaways

  • DePIN is a concept that uses token rewards and blockchain technology to encourage physical infrastructure development in the real world.
  • DePIN’s Flywheel concept helps us understand how one aspect of it drives the growth of another.
  • Some of the crypto projects that implement the DePIN model are Helium (HNT), Filecoin (FIL), Render (RNDR), IoTeX (IOTX), and Livepeer (LPT).

What is DePIN (Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Network)?

DePIN, short for Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Network, is a concept that aims to use token incentives to encourage the establishment and development of physical infrastructure in the real world. This physical infrastructure includes wireless networks, cloud services, mobility networks, and power grids, among others. Traditionally, these networks have been dominated by large companies with high capital, leading to a lack of competition and innovation. DePIN seeks to solve these problems by utilizing blockchain technology, token incentives, and the power of the internet.

One of the key features of DePIN is the shift from the traditional centralized model to a decentralized one. This involves global user participation to overcome dependency on large entities and implement a ‘sharing economy’ model. This shift to decentralization is made possible by blockchain technology, which enables secure and transparent transactions without the need for intermediaries.

DePIN creates an entirely new design space for physical infrastructure. Each network will involve real-world devices that generate and share their data. Quoted from Messari, the DePIN sector map was initially divided into four main categories: servers, wireless, sensors, and energy networks. However, due to the many variations of these categories, subcategories were added: Physical Resource Networks (PRNs) and Digital Resource Networks (DRNs).

Physical Resource Networks (PRNs) incentivize participants to direct or deploy location-dependent hardware to offer real-world, non-fungible goods and services, such as energy, geospatial, and connectivity.

Digital Resource Networks (DRNs) incentivize participants to direct or deploy hardware to offer fungible digital resources, such as computing, storage, and bandwidth.

An example of DePIN in action is Hivemapper, which uses the drive-to-earn concept. It allows users to participate in road image collection and create a decentralized version of Google Maps through car dashboard cameras. Users will earn HONEY tokens for each piece of data they provide.

In conclusion, DePIN is a revolutionary concept that seeks to decentralize physical infrastructure networks and incentivize user participation. It creates an entirely new design space for physical infrastructure and offers a new way to build and maintain infrastructure in the physical world.

DePIN Concept

DePIN, short for Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Networks, is a term used to describe the physical infrastructure of Web3. DePIN leverages blockchain technology and other distributed technologies to revolutionize the traditional, centralized models of physical infrastructure. It is a decentralized network that enables peer-to-peer interaction, trustless transactions, and permissionless access to real-world data through smart contracts. DePIN is a new way to build and maintain infrastructure in the physical world.

How Does DePIN Work

DePIN is a decentralized physical infrastructure network that relies on physical devices to generate and share data. The network comprises four main components: physical infrastructure networks, off-chain computing infrastructure, blockchain architecture, and token incentives.

The physical infrastructure network is the backbone of DePIN, and it requires physical infrastructure such as vehicles for mobility networks, solar panels for energy networks, hotspots for wireless networks, and servers for cloud networks. These devices generate and share data that is used to develop dApps to support the growth of the DePIN network.

Off-chain computing infrastructure is used to connect physical world data and blockchain. Oracles are intermediaries that connect these two worlds.

Each DePIN network interacts with a blockchain architecture that contains smart contract logic. This blockchain acts as a ledger and the center of the token economy.

DePIN utilizes the concept of the token economy, where service providers are rewarded with tokens on the network. This incentivizes the providers to offer their services and maintain the infrastructure.

Overall, DePIN is a proof of physical work (PoPW) network that leverages the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) and storage networks to create a decentralized infrastructure.

DePIN Flywheel

The DePIN Flywheel is a self-reinforcing mechanism that drives the growth of Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Networks (DePIN). It is a cycle that starts with infrastructure development and ends with the expansion of services. The following are the key steps of the DePIN Flywheel:

  1. Infrastructure Development: The first step in the DePIN Flywheel is the development of physical infrastructure by supply-side participants. These participants provide their physical infrastructure and connect it to the DePIN network. This creates the basis for further growth.

  2. Token Incentives: Supply-side participants earn crypto tokens as an incentive for providing infrastructure. These tokens are not only a form of reward but can also be used within the DePIN ecosystem to gain additional benefits.

  3. Organic Growth: With more participants and infrastructure involved, the DePIN network experiences organic growth. This creates a solid foundation for the ecosystem that allows various services and functions to expand.

  4. Revenue Stream: With a solid infrastructure, more and more users pay to use the services or access the data. This creates a revenue stream that incentivizes participants to continue contributing.

  5. Investor and User Attraction: The success of the network attracts more investors and new users. Investors’ presence supports financial growth, while new users make additional contributions to the network to strengthen its appeal.

Helium is a prime example of how the DePIN Flywheel can be used to significant effect. By motivating people worldwide to build the world’s largest IoT network in just three years, Helium has demonstrated the power of the DePIN Flywheel. By following the steps outlined above, DePIN networks can create a sustainable growth loop that benefits all participants.

What are the Advantages of DePIN?

DePIN has several advantages over traditional physical infrastructure networks. Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Decentralized: DePIN is a decentralized model that removes the dependency on a single entity or large corporation to establish and maintain physical infrastructure. This approach allows for greater transparency and equitable access to infrastructure ownership among network participants.

  • ‘Sharing Economy’ model: DePIN applies the principle of sharing economy, where the costs and responsibilities of establishing and maintaining infrastructure are distributed among supply-side participants (service providers). This creates a more cost-effective and equitable model, and incentivizes community participation in infrastructure development.

  • Lower Price: DePIN users can enjoy lower costs than the traditional model. For example, in data storage, users can choose Filecoin or Storj, which are more affordable and provide an opportunity to earn tokens in return. Token incentives motivate end-users and service providers to participate, creating a self-sustaining ecosystem.

  • Expanding Innovation: By removing entry barriers associated with traditional infrastructure, DePIN motivates new players to compete in markets previously dominated by several established players. This approach fosters innovation and encourages the development of new services and applications, which can benefit the entire DePIN ecosystem.

DePIN’s efficient and equitable model, coupled with token rewards and cryptocurrency-based incentivization systems, creates a unique opportunity for communities to participate in infrastructure development and reap the rewards of their contributions. As a result, DePIN has the potential to disrupt traditional infrastructure models and become a major player in the blockchain and DeFi space.

DePIN Crypto Project Example

1. Helium (HNT)

Helium is a DePIN project that allows users to earn tokens (HNT) by providing wireless connectivity through Helium hotspots. Helium Mobile is a new service that combines the Helium network with the 5G cellular network, offering cheaper mobile plans at $20/month compared to the average US citizen spending $157/month.

Project Name Key Features Token
Helium (HNT) Decentralized wireless network HNT

2. Filecoin (FIL)

Filecoin is a DePIN project that focuses on decentralized data storage. It allows individuals or companies to rent out unused storage on their hardware and incentivizes storage providers by compensating FIL tokens. Users pay for this storage using FIL tokens.

Project Name Key Features Token
Filecoin (FIL) Decentralized data storage FIL

3. Render (RNDR)

Render is a DePIN project that provides decentralized rendering services by connecting parties who want to do rendering work with parties with idle GPUs. Providers get rewarded using Render tokens (RNDR), while users get decentralized rendering services.

Project Name Key Features Token
Render (RNDR) Decentralized rendering services RNDR

4. IoTeX (IOTX)

IoTeX is a DePIN project that focuses on the Internet of Things (IoT) and creating security and privacy solutions through decentralized hardware. It aims to empower billions of devices and dApps in the physical and digital world. Users can use IoTeX decentralized devices to enhance security and privacy and earn IOTX tokens.

Project Name Key Features Token
IoTeX (IOTX) Security and privacy solutions for IoT IOTX

5. Livepeer (LPT)

Livepeer is a DePIN project that provides a decentralized video streaming platform that makes it easy for developers to integrate live video into their applications. The platform provides video transcoding services, and the LPT token is used as a utility token in the Livepeer ecosystem.

Project Name Key Features Token
Livepeer (LPT) Decentralized video streaming platform LPT

These DePIN projects have unique features that make them stand out in the DePIN space. They offer decentralized solutions to real-world problems, and their tokens are used to incentivize users and providers. By leveraging blockchain technology, these projects aim to create a more efficient and secure infrastructure for the future.


DePIN is a groundbreaking solution that is changing the way we build and maintain physical infrastructure. By leveraging blockchain technology and token incentives, DePIN offers the advantages of decentralization, the ‘sharing economy’ model, and lower prices. As DePIN’s growing projects continue to bring significant innovation and disruption in building and maintaining physical infrastructure networks, it has the potential to become a major player in the world of physical infrastructure.

Buy DePIN Token on the Pintu App

You can buy DePIN tokens on the Pintu app with confidence. The Pintu app offers a secure platform for buying and selling various tokens, including DePIN. All crypto assets on Pintu have passed a rigorous assessment process and prioritize the principle of prudence, so you can rest assured that your investments are safe.

To facilitate transactions, the Pintu app is compatible with various popular digital wallets, such as Metamask. You can download the Pintu app on the Play Store and App Store. Pintu is regulated and supervised by Bappebti and Kominfo, ensuring that your safety is guaranteed.

In addition to buying and selling DePIN tokens, you can also learn more about crypto through various Pintu Academy articles that are updated weekly. All Pintu Academy articles are created for educational and knowledge purposes, not as financial advice.


  • Kassab, S. (accessed December 15, 2023). Navigating the DePIN Domain. Messari.
  • Lovely, C. (accessed December 15, 2023). What are Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Networks (DePIN)? IoTeX.
  • Chai, R. & Law, A. (accessed December 15, 2023). DePIN will become one of this decade’s most important crypto investments. Cointelegraph.
  • Larsson, R. (accessed December 15, 2023). DePIN: Just A New Buzzword or Web3’s Breakthrough Into the Real-World. Medium.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does DePIN integrate with Solana blockchain?

DePIN is a blockchain-based protocol that constructs and manages physical infrastructures in a decentralized fashion. DePIN projects can be built on a variety of blockchain networks, including Solana. DePIN integration with Solana blockchain allows for faster transaction speeds, lower fees, and increased scalability.

What are the potential benefits of investing in DePIN crypto projects?

Investing in DePIN projects can provide potential benefits such as diversification of investment portfolio, exposure to emerging technologies, and potential for high returns. DePIN projects offer a more open, efficient approach to building and maintaining real-world infrastructure.

Can you explain the role of DePIN in the Helium network?

DePIN plays a crucial role in the Helium network by providing infrastructure for the Internet of Things (IoT) devices. DePIN projects incentivize communities to build physical infrastructure networks, such as telecoms and mobility, from the ground up. This infrastructure is essential for the Helium network to function and expand.

What are the key features that distinguish DePIN ninja from other platforms?

DePIN ninja is a platform that allows users to invest in DePIN projects and earn rewards for staking their tokens. The platform distinguishes itself from other investment platforms by providing a user-friendly interface, low fees, and high rewards. DePIN ninja also offers a wide range of DePIN projects to invest in, giving users more options for diversification.

How does DePIN contribute to the IoTeX ecosystem?

DePIN contributes to the IoTeX ecosystem by providing infrastructure for the Internet of Things (IoT) devices. IoTeX is a blockchain platform that focuses on IoT and DePIN projects can be built on the IoTeX network. This integration allows for more efficient and secure management of physical infrastructure networks.

What are the top DePIN projects currently leading the market?

Some of the top DePIN projects currently leading the market include Aleph.im, IoTeX, and Helium. These projects offer innovative solutions for physical infrastructure management and have gained significant attention from investors and the crypto community.