Best DePIN projects on Solana

Andrew Carr
| Editor:
May 20, 2024
6 min read

What is DePIN? 

Decentralized physical infrastructure (DePIN) is a sector of cryptocurrency that ties cryptocurrency with physical assets to increase decentralization, resource efficiency, and community involvement.

DePINs are a relatively new concept in the cryptocurrency world, offering a bridge between the digital realm of cryptocurrency and the real world of physical assets. They reflect the promise of blockchain by operating physical networks in a decentralized, community-owned, and publicly-verifiable manner. This can include a wide range of physical networks, from maps and WiFi networks to computational infrastructure and more.

The primary goal of DePINs is to increase the level of decentralization in the technology we use every day. By connecting cryptocurrency with physical assets, DePINs aim to empower community involvement in the building and maintenance of these technologies. 

This is a significant step forward in the application of blockchain technology, as it extends its benefits beyond digital assets and into the physical world.

Key Components of DePINs

A functioning DePIN requires several key components. These include hardware, hardware contributors, a crypto token, and end users.

The hardware is the physical infrastructure that the network operates on. This could be anything from WiFi routers for a decentralized internet project, to servers for a decentralized cloud storage network.

The hardware contributors are the individuals or organizations that provide the physical infrastructure for the network. They are incentivized to participate in the project through payments in the project-specific cryptocurrency.

The crypto token is the digital asset used to facilitate transactions within the network. It serves as a form of compensation for the hardware contributors and as a means of accessing the services provided by the DePIN.

Finally, the end users are those who benefit from the services provided by the DePIN. Depending on the project, these could be individuals, businesses, or even other decentralized networks.

Why Solana is Great for DePIN

Solana's Speed and Efficiency

One of Solana's key advantages is its superior speed. Outperforming Ethereum and Bitcoin, Solana's unmatched speed is due to its parallel transaction capabilities. This means dApps built on Solana can handle high transaction volumes without causing network congestion. Solana's throughput averages more than 2,000 transactions per second (TPS), a feat that underscores its efficiency.

Moreover, Solana's transaction finality mechanism is exceptional. Transactions on Solana are confirmed when two-thirds of validators have voted on them. This process achieves transaction finality in 0.4 seconds, making it particularly advantageous for DePIN projects, gaming applications, trading platforms, and other types of dApps that require quick confirmation times.

Solana's Hybrid Model

Solana's standout feature is its hybrid model. It combines a Proof-of-History (PoH) mechanism for event tracking with a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) mechanism for consensus. This fusion ensures a decentralized and secure validation process, making it an ideal platform for DePIN projects. 

The PoH mechanism is unique to Solana and is at the core of its speed and scalability, while the PoS consensus mechanism enhances the security and decentralization of the network.

Solana's Role in DePIN Economic Growth

With its high throughput and low fees, Solana has emerged as a preferred choice for DePIN projects. The Solana blockchain's speed and efficiency make it well-suited for the demands of DePIN projects, which often involve managing vast amounts of data in real time.

Solana's ecosystem has also seen the launch of notable projects such as Helium, which further demonstrates its suitability for DePIN projects. This, coupled with its economic growth potential, makes Solana a significant player in the DePIN space.

Best Solana DePIN Projects


Hivemapper is a decentralized digital mapping network built on Solana. Founded in 2015 by Ariel Seidman, Hivemapper initially aimed to build better maps using drones. The project later transitioned to using dash cams for data collection. 

In November 2022, the company launched the Hivemapper Network, a user-driven global mapping network built on the Solana blockchain. The network rewards users who capture street-level imagery with specialized dash cams with the native HONEY token. As a result of these efforts, over 2.4 million miles of roads have been mapped to date.

Hivemapper operates without a central governing body and uses blockchain technology for decentralized ecosystem governance using smart contracts on Solana. 

The heart of the Hivemapper project is its world's first blockchain-based mapping network, known as the Hivemapper Network. This network allows participants to capture map data from dashcams, contributing it to a decentralized, open-source alternative to Google Maps.

The Hivemapper marketplace rewards contributors for collecting data and performing quality assurance checks on images. This marketplace presents a unique alternative to services such as the Google Maps API, which is controlled by a single entity. 

On the other hand, Hivemapper's decentralized model provides an open and transparent platform where anyone can contribute and be rewarded.

Helium Network

Helium is a blockchain-based network designed to facilitate communication between IoT devices. Its structure employs nodes, referred to as Hotspots, to connect wireless devices to the network. The native token of the network, HNT, powers the network and serves as a reward whenever Hotspots transfer connection data across the network.

Helium connects and transfers information between IoT devices. It is used in various sectors, including smart agriculture, smart cities, smart water, and logistics. The real-time tracking and reporting of asset data enabled by the People's Network provide robust monitoring and management capabilities.

Hotspot devices compatible with the network serve a dual purpose: they connect IoT devices for data transfer and mine HNT cryptocurrency. This innovative approach to IoT data transfer and cryptocurrency mining opens up new possibilities in the IoT and blockchain space.

Helium Mining

Delving deeper into the world of Helium, it's crucial to understand the process of Helium mining, which plays an integral role in the functionality of the Helium network and contributes to the value of the Helium cryptocurrency.

At the heart of Helium mining is a unique consensus algorithm known as Proof-of-Coverage (PoC). This mechanism ensures efficient operation and decentralization of the network infrastructure. In essence, the PoC mechanism rewards Helium miners for validating and securing wireless IoT networks.

In contrast to other consensus mechanisms such as Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake, used in traditional blockchain networks, PoC favours geographical diversity and wireless coverage. It validates nodes based on their active participation in providing wireless coverage for IoT devices. This innovative approach encourages the decentralization of the network infrastructure, enhancing network security and resilience.

Helium mining offers multiple benefits such as passive income generation, decentralization, community engagement, and environmental friendliness due to its low-power requirements. However, its profitability depends on several factors. 

Said factors include the initial investment, operational costs, network saturation, the fluctuating value of the native HNT cryptocurrency, location, network coverage, and competition from other miners. Therefore, thorough research and assessment of market conditions are crucial for determining the profitability of Helium mining.


Render Network is a blockchain protocol founded in 2017 by Jules Urbach to democratize access to GPU computing power for content rendering. It operates by connecting those in need of resources with those who possess them, primarily focusing on high-quality 3D content production.

This decentralized service leverages blockchain technology to transform the graphics rendering process, eliminating the need for expensive hardware. Creators pay GPU providers in RNDR tokens based on the complexity and resource usage of the rendering task, providing a fair and transparent system for all involved.

Moreover, Render Network incorporates a reward system for GPU providers. Similar to validator nodes in a blockchain, GPU providers are rewarded with RNDR tokens based on the level, duration, and complexity of the tasks they undertake. This mechanism encourages users to contribute unused video cards to the network, further enhancing the platform's efficiency and resource utilization.

RNDR Token

The RNDR token serves as the primary medium of exchange within this network, enabling users to access rendering services and pay for them. Beyond being used to access the network's decentralized rendering service, the RNDR token is also instrumental in the network's governance and utility.

The governance mechanism of Render Network, accessible via the RNDR token, allows RNDR holders to submit improvement proposals known as Render Network Proposals (RNPs). These proposals undergo user voting rounds and team reviews before being implemented, underlining the community-driven decision-making structure within the network.

In terms of utility, the RNDR token is primarily used to pay for jobs on Render's Network through the BME mechanism, enabling nodes to be paid in RNDR for their work. 

Furthermore, the token is used for participating in community governance of the protocol through voting in a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization). This democratic system empowers the community, allowing them to have a say in the platform's future developments.


The exploration of DePIN projects on the Solana blockchain unveils a promising intersection between cryptocurrency and physical infrastructure. 

DePINs serve as a groundbreaking initiative to decentralize and democratize access to physical assets, leveraging blockchain technology to empower communities and foster innovation in the real world.

Solana's exceptional speed, efficiency, and hybrid consensus model make it an ideal platform for hosting DePIN projects. With its high throughput, low fees, and robust security features, Solana provides the necessary infrastructure to support the demands of decentralized physical networks.

Among the notable DePIN projects on Solana, Hivemapper stands out as a decentralized digital mapping network that rewards users for capturing street-level imagery. Operating on Solana's blockchain, Hivemapper exemplifies the potential of DePINs to revolutionize industries traditionally dominated by centralized entities.

Similarly, the Helium Network offers a blockchain-based solution for facilitating communication between IoT devices, leveraging Solana's capabilities to enhance network efficiency and scalability. Through its unique consensus mechanism and mining process, Helium enables decentralized connectivity and incentivizes network participation.

Render Network represents another innovative DePIN project on Solana, democratizing access to GPU computing power for content rendering. By connecting creators with GPU providers, Render Network transforms the graphics rendering process, fostering collaboration and resource sharing in a decentralized manner.

Overall, DePIN projects on Solana demonstrate the transformative potential of blockchain technology to revolutionize physical infrastructure and empower communities worldwide.

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