Why Two DePIN Projects Are Dominating the Top 100 With Double-Digit Gains

While Bitcoin and Ethereum remain flat for the day, two tokens linked to decentralized physical infrastructure networks (DePIN) have been booming.

The tokens for Akash Network and  Zebec Network have posted monster gains, with AKT rising by 52.4% and ZBC by 38.5% in the past day. At the time of writing, AKT is trading for $6.29 and ZBC is trading for $0.03473, according to CoinGecko data. That’s while the Bitcoin price has kept its footing above $66,000 and the Ethereum price has lost some ground to trade just below $3,200.

DePIN has been an especially buzzy category in crypto lately. It involves using blockchains to maintain networks of physical hardware, such as sensors, wireless infrastructure, energy grids, and other applications. It’s expensive and burdensome for a company to own all the compute power it might need, but also risky to centralize everything under one cloud computing provider. Hence the appeal of DePIN, which also makes it possible for people to monetize their hardware even if it’s not enough to fill a data center.

Earlier today UpBit, the largest crypto exchange in South Korea, announced that it’s now supporting deposits and withdrawals for Akash Network’s AKT token. The token, launched in October 2020, is used to secure the network through staking and the main currency used to “lease” resources from members of the decentralized network.

UpBit is among the largest centralized crypto exchanges, according to CoinGecko, having done $1.3 billion in normalized volume in the past 24 hours. The exchange launched in October 2017 and was the first crypto exchange in South Korea secure a license. Earlier this year was granted a license to offer its services to traders in Singapore.

The other thing going for the DePIN project is the fact that its chat supports Llama 3, the newest open source model from Meta AI.

“Test the newest model from Meta AI for yourself without creating an account,” the project wrote last week on Twitter. “Completely free and permissionless.”

Meanwhile, Zebec Network’s ascension doesn’t appear to have anything to do with new token listings or free access to AI models. Instead, the DePIN project has gotten a massive boost from crypto degens.

Its Zebec Instant Card allows holders to spend meme coins—like BasedBrett (BRETT) and TIMMI in real life with a Visa card. But all the usual warnings apply: Their prices are extremely volatile and many crypto traders have gone bust betting it all on what they think will be the next DOGE or PEPE.

But even if Zebec is getting a strong tailwind from degen fervor, it isn’t all about meme coins.

On Monday, the DePIN project announced on Twitter that its product suite has now been integrated into the Circle ecosystem. That means developers can now use “USDC to power seamless real-world payments and payroll,” the team wrote.

Last week, the team shared a snapshot showing that more than 200 clients are using Zebec Network to process $37 million worth of payroll for more than 10,000 employees per month.

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