The Explosion of Blockchain + Meatspace



At the recent TIPIN Sum­mit put on by Lat­tice Cap­i­tal, it became appar­ent that blockchain + meat­space projects are about to hit the main­stream of the cryptogalaxy.

With pan­els fea­tur­ing every­one from Heli­um, the largest and most suc­cess­ful play­er in the space, to Anode Labs announc­ing the launch of the React Net­work (tok­eniz­ing Vir­tu­al Pow­er Plants), the atmos­phere in the room was elec­tric; we wit­nessed the birth of a new paradigm.

As a start, here are sev­en “blockchain + meat­space” projects (aka TIPIN, or Token Incen­tivized Phys­i­cal Infra­struc­ture Net­works). All of these work in the same gen­er­al way: You install local infra­struc­ture in the form of an anten­na or device, then make the util­i­ty of that device avail­able as part of a node in a larg­er net­work. In return for the use­ful­ness you pro­vide, whether it’s radio cov­er­age, pow­er man­age­ment, or a data stream, you’re reward­ed with token.

Heli­um — Decen­tral­ized wire­less (DeWi), has deployed a world­wide LoRa net­work and a nation­al, though yet sparse, CBRS net­work and has announced a part­ner­ship with tel­co giant T‑Mobile.

Pollen — Decen­tral­ized wire­less, focus­ing on becom­ing a cryp­to­car­ri­er and MVNO (Mobile Vir­tu­al Net­work Oper­a­tor) like Helium. 

DIMO - Small device you put in your car that col­lects vehi­cle data and allows you to use it or sell it for tokens.

Hexa­gon Wire­less, Myceli­um, Hep­ta Net­works — All aggre­ga­tors of DeWi aim­ing to cap­i­tal­ize on hav­ing the hard­ware in hand and plac­ing it in high qual­i­ty loca­tions (rooftops, tele­com tow­ers, etc)

Anode Labs / React Net­work — Aggre­gat­ing elec­tri­cal pow­er demand and sup­ply and pay­ing the user back with tokens in exchange for local con­trols. They coor­di­nate the ener­gy cre­at­ed by solar pan­els, the ener­gy stored in bat­ter­ies, and the ener­gy used (or not used) on site, like HVAC, refrig­er­a­tion, or vehi­cle charging.

GEOD­net — A project allow­ing you to add a “ref­er­ence sta­tion” to your prop­er­ty in the form of a satel­lite anten­na that improves local (20 mile radius) GPS accu­ra­cy to sub-centimeter. 

Weath­erXM — Weath­er sta­tion installed at your loca­tion that gives you hyper local weath­er pre­dic­tions and con­tributes to meso and macro area weath­er fore­cast­ing accuracy.

There are dozens of oth­er projects, from Foam to Map­Met­rics to Hivemap­per to Bird­bot. I keep an updat­ed list for the Gris­tle Crüe on our pri­vate chan­nel in the Gris­tle King Dis­cord. If you’d like to stay abreast of the lat­est devel­op­ments (and get briefs on these projects direct­ly from the founders), con­sid­er join­ing the Crüe.

The rise of these blockchain + meat­space projects as ways for a group of strangers to coop­er­ate and be reward­ed with tokens that are trad­able on the open mar­ket is excit­ing, but there’s anoth­er aspect dri­ving the adop­tion that has poten­tial to be a soci­ety-chang­er: The growth of brand new businesses.

Accord­ing to Harley Finkel­stein, Pres­i­dent of Shopi­fy, we saw two very excit­ing things hap­pen in 2021: First, the num­ber of new busi­ness­es start­ed in the US hit over 5 mil­lion that year, more than twice the pre­vi­ous 15 year aver­age and the high­est since 2004. 

Sec­ond, Google search­es for “how to start a busi­ness” out­paced search­es for “how to get a job” for the first time ever. Harley’s con­ver­sa­tion with Patrick O’Shaugh­nessy is excel­lent, for now let’s take as a giv­en that we’re enter­ing (yet anoth­er) new par­a­digm of peo­ple tak­ing more own­er­ship over their income stream & agency through start­ing a business.

When you com­bine the rise of both blockchain + meat­space projects AND the rise of new busi­ness­es start­ing, you start to see the immense wave of inno­va­tion and change that is just now begin­ning to hit the shores of humanity.

Whether you’re a farmer in Ugan­da who wants to jump straight into using IoT to improve pro­duc­tion and man­age your land far bet­ter than the First World has man­aged theirs, or you’re build­ing an oppor­tu­ni­ty for peo­ple to reap the ben­e­fits of the hun­dreds of data streams all of us are throw­ing off every day, the next half-decade will see an accel­er­a­tion and explo­sion of new growth and indi­vid­ual agency when it comes to the pow­ers we have unearthed at the inter­sec­tion of blockchain + meat­space projects.

THIS is an extra­or­di­nar­i­ly excit­ing time to be alive. If ever there was a time to quit your day job and dive head­first into a new world, the win­dow for suc­cess in that endeav­or will prob­a­bly remain open for the next 12 to 18 months. 

Rock ‘n roll!


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