Written by @Rui, investor of SevenX.


With a growing emphasis on real-world applications and the rise of Solana, DePin has regained significant popularity in 2024. However, DePIN is not a novel concept. In my opinion, the essence of DePIN is about the token economic model that turning participants into stakeholders, rather than creating new productivity.

In the previous bull run, projects like Arweave, Filecoin, and Helium stood out, while many others fell short, even went down to zero. Now, as we approach the cusp of the next bull market, our challenge lies in discerning between fleeting fads and genuinely sustainable innovations that will usher us into a new era of real-world applications.

This piece sets out to provide a balanced critique of DePIN's historical shortcomings, exploring areas such as regulatory hurdles, lack of demand, flawed tokenomics, and the risk of rugs. Nevertheless, it also highlights the substantial prospects within this space, including overcoming profit margins, value anchors, token incentives, and robust community engagement. And I’ll provide a DePIN evaluation framework, and in-details case studies of DePIN projects. Hopefully this piece can equip readers with insights and tools to build, evaluate and invest in DePIN landscapes.




The blockchain domain has focused on infrastructure development, emphasizing scaling solutions (Layer2s, Data Availability), privacy enhancement (Zero-Knowledge), and user experience improvement (Account Abstraction) over the years to prepare for broad adoption. The need for real-world, mass adoption is now more evident than ever. Initiatives such as exchanges working towards compliance and ETFs entering the traditional markets have marked significant progress and are paving the way for us.

DePIN is not a specific area, this term originally brought up by Messari as the short for Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Networks. It represents a community-driven, decentralized hardware network incentivized by token. Its primary goal is to replace the monopolized coordinator and use native tokens to transform participants into stakeholders of the network. Since the last bull market, there has been a significant expansion into high-value sectors such as AI/ML, 5G, WiFi, Bandwidth, Vehicle, Energy and so on.

So, what's new that DePIN brought to the table in this spectrum?