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!