DePINs are a proven path to crypto mass adoption — XYO co-founder

Decentralized physical infrastructure networks, or DePINs, remain one of the hottest narratives in the Web3 space this cycle. While the technology has been around for several years, it has recently gained renewed excitement amid the return of bullish sentiment to the crypto market.

DePINs allow regular people to contribute their physical infrastructure resources — such as hard drive space or bandwidth — to help power a larger decentralized network. One such project is XYO, through which users store data for clients and receive crypto in return.

On episode 38 of The Agenda podcast, hosts Jonathan DeYoung and Ray Salmond speak with Markus Levin, co-founder and head of operations at XY Labs, the company behind the development of the XYO protocol. Levin makes the case that DePINs have the power to make artificial intelligence more trustworthy and have already made massive inroads into crypto mass adoption.

Xyo Network, Consensus, Podcast, The Agenda, Interview

The interview is the first in a series of conversations that The Agenda recorded in person at the Consensus 2024 conference.

DePINs take on AI misinformation

Levin pointed to the tendency of AI models to “hallucinate,” or generate and present false information as fact. He argued that a DePIN system like XYO, where each piece of data has provable provenance, offers a potential safeguard against such hallucinations.

“The problem with the hallucination is the underlying data is often wrong. The AI doesn’t know which data to trust. And what we are doing is we give you certainty around that data,” said Levin. “We can tell you where data was generated, how it was handed off from machine to machine, and then where it ended up.”

“In a general question, in like a chicken soup recipe, it might not be relevant, right? […] But if you think about medical data, for example, right? If you have a model where it’s about medication, what is the best course of action for a patient, this kind of thing, we want to make very, very, very sure that you know where the data comes from.”

Will DePIN bring mass adoption?

When asked whether there is currently a DePIN market bubble amid the hype around the technology, Levin argued that “there’s definitely no DePIN bubble.” Rather, he said, DePINs are at the beginning of a long trajectory of increased growth.

Related: Hashing It Out: Can blockchain create a sovereign internet?

At the same time, Levin acknowledged that there is excitement around the technology today — but he argued that the hype exists because DePINs are scalable and fulfill genuine client needs. “The reason other projects want to go in there is because it really works, right?” he opined.

“If you look at the successful projects, there are some here and there, right? But ones which have proven themselves over a long period of time, they’re not that many, right? But there’s DePIN, which builds these real business models.”

When asked whether a DePIN protocol could be the killer app that ushers in widespread mass adoption, Levin responded, “We built it.” He added: “80% of our users are non-crypto people, and 95% of them convert to crypto people. We onboarded more than 7 million people.”

“We want blockchain to be everywhere, […] and DePIN can really make that happen.”

To hear more from Levin’s conversation with The Agenda — including how XYO handles data privacy, how DePIN differs from the Internet of Things, and more — listen to the full episode on Cointelegraph’s Podcasts page, Apple Podcasts or Spotify. And don’t forget to check out Cointelegraph’s full lineup of other shows!

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