Bosch DePIN device lets you share data and earn crypto

Exclusive: German sensor maker Bosch and Web3 firms peaq and Fetch.ai showcase hardware running AI Agents, incentivized with crypto

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Markus Mainka/Shutterstock, modified by Blockworks

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German conglomerate Bosch, a major player in sensor manufacturing, has multiple Web3 initiatives underway. The latest is a small device capable of generating data on real world conditions such as weather, light and noise pollution, and seismic activity.

Connected to Web3 rails, it’s part of a growing segment of crypto known as Decentralized physical infrastructure networks (DePIN).

The new device, known as Bosch XDK110 Rapid Prototyping Kit, is a smart sensor that allows users to earn crypto rewards by providing data, without involving a centralized intermediary.

Each device is outfitted with a unique digital identity that enables it to interact with peaq, whose “krest” network is running on Polkadot “canary network” Kusama. Peaq has secured a full Polkadot parachain lease, which is not yet in use.

A third partner, Fetch.ai, provides autonomous AI agents that can optimize the devices’ activity to maximize owner rewards, the companies say. Fetch’s DeltaV marketplace enables data consumers to connect with a network of decentralized suppliers.

Bosch is “not really focused on one blockchain or on one decentralized marketplace,” Peter Busch, product owner of the company’s distributed ledger technologies mobility team, told Blockworks.

“So in terms of data sovereignty, privacy, security, what we can accomplish with these decentralized technologies — self-sovereign identity — is really that we are using [our personal data] in a more anonymous way.”

The trio of companies showcased a proof-of-concept at a recent hackathon at the University of Applied Sciences in Saarbruecken, Germany.

Fetch has been working with Bosch for quite a while, aiming to create privacy preserving data sharing around the use of AI agents, as part of MoveID, a publicly funded project led by Bosch, which has similar goals.

“One of the key aspects is to enable self-sovereign identities in vehicles and in mobility infrastructure,” Maria Minaricova, Fetch’s business development lead, told Blockworks.

“You give the machines identity, and they can operate autonomously,” she said.

Read more: ‘Drive-to-earn’ app aims to bootstrap ‘dynamic maps’ with crypto rewards

Taking control of privacy and monetizing user-generated data is one of the chief narratives around Web3 technologies, generally. And the EU is making a large push in this area, Busch said, even as the role of crypto is politically fraught.

“We are looking for alternative technologies apart from the classic cloud technologies from Google and Amazon,” he said. “They are in [the car] already and they take more and more parts of the car, and this is quite a dangerous situation.”

“Together with peaq, for example, we have a use-case where you can show how the car interacts with the charging [point] in a decentralized way,” Busch said, while preserving the privacy of the driver’s data.

Token incentives bootstrap the deployment of such devices and services — Helium’s wireless mobile data is one notable example.

Read more: Unlimited Helium Mobile cell plan goes nationwide for $20 a month

Payments can settle on different blockchains — not only on Fetch.ai, a Cosmos-based blockchain, but also peaq, on Polkadot, and even, to existing Web2 systems, through the use of APIs.

Updated Dec. 7, 2023 at 9:13 am ET: Clarified that while peaq has a Polkadot parachain, it’s not currently in use.


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