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DePIN Initiative: Wifi Dabba to Revolutionize Internet Access in India with Blockchain

In a bid to bridge the digital divide, Wifi Dabba, a decentralized internet service provider, has unveiled an ambitious plan to enhance internet connectivity in India through the distribution of over 100,000 devices across the nation.

This initiative, powered by the DePIN project and hosted on the Solana blockchain, aims to provide internet access to the unconnected segments of India’s vast population. Despite India being home to over 1.4 billion people, only around 30 million individuals currently have access to WiFi, leaving a significant portion of the population digitally isolated.

Wifi Dabba’s approach emphasizes decentralization as a means to overcome the limited reach of major telecom corporations in India, which primarily cater to urban areas. Karam Lakshman, CEO of Wifi Dabba, criticized the sluggish progress of existing connectivity initiatives, noting that achieving nationwide coverage under the current trajectory could take decades. He emphasized the pivotal role of widespread internet access in supporting India’s status as the second-largest holder of cryptocurrencies and the fifth-largest global economy.

Lakshman highlighted the potential of blockchain technology in delivering reliable internet access, with device maintenance entrusted to external providers. He sees the DePIN model as a scalable solution for enhancing internet connectivity in developing nations, with India serving as a testing ground for global applications.

To expand its network, Wifi Dabba intends to collaborate with Local Cable Operators (LCOs) in India, leveraging their community presence for deployment. Arul Murugan, Managing Partner at Borderless Capital, one of the project’s primary investors, emphasized the partnership’s goal of fostering growth and establishing market leadership in decentralized wireless and WiFi networks.

The initiative encourages hotspot owners to participate by acquiring Wifi Dabba’s router hardware and partnering with local cable operators for deployment. Incentives in the form of Dabba tokens will be offered to users for data usage, with a focus on areas with substantial demand for paid WiFi connectivity.

Dawn Philip, Head of Communications at Wifi Dabba, anticipates a “significant surge” in DePIN usage in 2024, particularly in developing nations, where infrastructure development is urgently required.

This initiative aligns with the broader trend of embracing blockchain technology across various sectors in India. In February 2024, STAN, an Indian eSports startup, announced a partnership with blockchain platform Aptos Labs to develop an eSports fan platform atop the Aptos blockchain. Additionally, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) recently introduced non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as tickets for passengers on select Tejas Express trains, further showcasing India’s growing embrace of blockchain innovations.

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