The hardware enabling blockchain

Blockchain promises to be the stack behind web 3.0 – the distributed web. However, it’s not going to get there all by itself. Much like the internet itself needed mobile technology to integrate itself into our everyday lives, blockchain too needs advances in hardware technology to enable a fully distributed web. Luckily those advances are in the pipeline, driven by two massive forces:

  • The Internet of Things (IoT)
    Current estimates peg the number of internet-connected devices at ten billion. The drive to put sensors and communication everywhere will ensure the number of connected computing devices could be in the trillions . This would provide sufficient nodes to guarantee a robust physical network for the Web 3.0, while ensuring access to all.
  • Remote Artificial Intelligence (AI)
    Today, powerful AI physically resides in centralized servers, because only they have the power to support the computations. But for AI to be a viable presence in our lives, those computations will have to take place at the node (e.g., your car, phone, thermostat, etc.). As a result, there is now a big push by hardware manufacturers to boost storage (i.e., raw computing power) in chips intended for devices that will be connected through the Internet of Things in order to enable AI in a decentralized setting (I recommend an illuminating a16z podcast on the topic)

Together, advances in IoT and AI will allow blockchain protocols to fulfill their promise as the protocol behind a decentralized, fair and empowering Web 3.0.

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