Published on: 22 Jun 2023Last edit: 02 Nov 2023
Bittensor TAO: Charting the New Horizon of Decentralized Intelligence
Bittensor is designed to incentivize the production of machine intelligence by rewarding users who contribute valuable data or computational resources with TAO tokens. Bittensor aims to democratize the AI industry and make it accessible to everyone by allowing anyone to contribute computing power to the network and earn crypto rewards in the form of TAO tokens.
Bittensor (site), an open-source marvel, intertwines the transformative capabilities of blockchain and artificial intelligence to construct a globally-distributed, decentralized neural network. Think of this as an international team of brains working together on an open-source platform to create more intelligent, efficient, and scalable AI computations. The magic lies in its ingenious consensus mechanism, which is a marriage between deep learning and blockchain consensus algorithms.
The cornerstone of Bittensor is its core value of decentralization. It's like a global brainstorming session with no central authority. By building its infrastructure on a blockchain network, Bittensor empowers the sharing and training of machine learning models across vast distances and disparate communities, fueling an exchange of ideas and fostering innovation at a rapid pace. Bittensor's ecosystem introduces a captivating concept: a peer-to-peer intelligence market. Envision a bustling bazaar, not for goods or services, but for intelligence itself, where learning systems interact and trade knowledge directly over the internet. This disruptive marketplace exemplifies a new model of democratizing intelligence.
This article aims to offer a comprehensive analysis of Bittensor, its unique AI-blockchain integration, and the novel concept of a peer-to-peer intelligence market, breaking down complex concepts into understandable terms. By understanding Bittensor, we gain insights into how the democratization of AI through blockchain could potentially revolutionize the AI industry and beyond.
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Bittensor is like a worldwide group project, connecting smart minds globally to improve artificial intelligence in remarkable ways. It does this by building a network that spans across the globe, and anyone can join in because it's open-source. This blend of AI and blockchain is truly pioneering and has the potential to bring about some advancements in technolog.
Bittensor is designed to incentivize the production of machine intelligence by rewarding users who contribute valuable data or computational resources with TAO tokens. Bittensor aims to democratize the AI industry and make it accessible to everyone by allowing anyone to contribute compute power to the network and earn rewards in the form of TAO tokens. Developers, investors, and general users can use Bittensor to access the decentralized ecosystem.
Bittensor's unique consensus mechanism combines deep learning and blockchain consensus algorithms, enabling efficient and scalable AI computations. The protocol is composed of parameterized functions (or neurons) distributed in a peer-to-peer fashion. Each neuron is holding zero or more network weights represented on a digital ledger. The goal is the distribution of stake as an incentive to peers who have contributed the most informational value. Peers rank each other by training neural networks which learn the value of their neighbors. Scores accumulate on a digital ledger where high ranking peers are monetarily rewarded with additional weight in the network. Bittensor also proposes a market where intelligence is priced by other intelligence systems peer-to-peer across the internet. Peers rank each other by training neural networks which learn the value of their neighbors. Scores accumulate on a digital ledger where high ranking peers are monetarily rewarded with additional weight in the network.
Bittensor aims to disrupt the AI industry by creating a decentralized marketplace for AI services, allowing developers to monetize their AI models and provide valuable solutions to businesses and individuals. By empowering developers and creating a marketplace for AI services, Bittensor aims to foster innovation and collaboration in the AI space. The project envisions a future where AI models are accessible and can be deployed across various industries, driving advancements and unlocking new possibilities.
Bittensor is an open-source protocol that powers a decentralized, blockchain-based machine learning network. The team behind Bittensor includes Jacob Steeves (Founder), Ala SHaabana (Founder), Jacqueline Dawn (Director of Marketing), and Saeideh Motlagh (Blockchain Architect). Bittensor has around 10 AI developers, and the team plans to expand this year.
Bittensor has not disclosed any notable advisors or key investors. However, the project has received funding from the OpenTensor Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that supports the development of Bittensor. Bittensor has also not announced any official partnerships. However, the project aims to create a decentralized marketplace for AI services, allowing developers to monetize their AI models and provide valuable solutions to businesses and individuals.
Bittensor's model uses a system that mimics the way our brains work. Consider a global AI model, like Chat GPT developed by OpenAI, which responds to inputs (like asking for a chocolate cake recipe) and provides outputs. In Bittensor, each AI model using the protocol crafts similar 'representations' based on a universal dataset. But how do we determine which model is doing the best job? Enter Fisher's information, a technique used to assess the value of each 'neuron' in the network. This method estimates the effect of removing a node from the network, much like assessing the impact of losing a neuron in the human brain.
This isn't just about ranking the AI models, though. It's about learning. Each model pings the network, seeking other models to interact with, akin to a DNS lookup. This is where Bittensor’s role as an API comes into play. The models exchange data, learning from one another, contributing to a continually evolving ecosystem of machine intelligence.
Yet, Bittensor isn’t immune to challenges. Much like the infamous 51% attack concern in blockchain, Bittensor must also guard against collusion – a group of peers artificially skewing scores to influence the system's rewards. While this risk is inherent to all Proof-of-Stake blockchains, Bittensor counteracts this threat by continually requiring these colluding parties to increase their stakes to maintain their position.
As for value generation, Bittensor takes a two-pronged approach. It rewards the highest performing AI models (contributors) and the validators (consumers) with TAO tokens. In this intelligence marketplace, the models producing the most valuable 'signal' are the ones that get rewarded. But Bittensor isn't just rewarding raw performance; it's incentivizing the creation of valuable information that benefits the most people. Of course, we must also consider the indirect value generated through key features:
- Decentralization: At its core, Bittensor embodies the principle that has set blockchain apart from traditional systems – no central organization has control. Thus, no single model can dominate or manipulate the system.
- Open-source: This encourages transparency and accountability, promoting community collaboration to improve ideas and eliminate bugs quickly.
- Scalability: Bittensor can handle a high volume of requests efficiently, eliminating costly hardware and promoting faster innovation.
- Censorship Resistance: With no central controlling entity, Bittensor fosters a sense of democratic innovation, resistant to outside control or suppression.
- Bittensor also addresses a critical challenge in machine learning: relearning time. By leveraging a freely accessible universal dataset, AI models can continually learn and adapt without having to relearn previous information. This promotes the development of versatile, generalist models that can handle diverse tasks.
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Bittensor has a native token called TAO, which is used for governance, staking, and as a means of payment for accessing AI services and applications built on the Bittensor TAO network. TAO tokens are rewarded to users who contribute valuable data or computational resources to the network. The blockchain is updated every 12 seconds, and newly minted TAO tokens are distributed to the system. TAO tokens have several core utilities within the Bittensor network. These include:
- Governance: TAO tokens are used to vote on proposals and changes to the Bittensor network.
- Staking: TAO tokens can be staked to participate in the consensus mechanism and earn rewards.
- Payment: TAO tokens are used as a means of payment for accessing AI services and applications built on the Bittensor TAO network
TAO tokens are rewarded to crypto users who contribute valuable data or computational resources to the network. The maximum supply of TAO tokens is 21,000,000. There was an initial iteration of the network name Kusangi which was started on the 3rd January 2021 and then halted in the middle of May so that some issues could be addressed. The blockchain and all 546,113 previously mined TAO were migrated to Nakamoto which was started on 21st November 2021 from block 0. The Finney network network was officially launched on the 20th March 2023.
For more information on the TAO token, see Taostats.
A block is mined about every 12 seconds, rewarding the miners and validators with 1 TAO per block. At the current inflation schedule this leads to 7200 new TAO being issued into circulation every 24 hours which is currently split evenly between miners and validators. Once half of the supply has been issued the rate of issuance is halved — with 12 seconds per block that amounts to a halving every 4 years. Every half marker of the remaining amount to be issued creates a new halvening event until all 21 million TAO are in circulation. The total token issuance rather than the block number is used to determine the exact point the halvening occurs. As Tao used to recycle registrations is burned back into the unissued supply, there is a lengthening halvening data however this data is calculated at the current block/issuance so will update automatically over time.
Bittensor is a relatively new project and has a fully diluted value of over $1 billion dollares. The current price on Coingecko for one TAO is $51, the project has gained attention in the AI crypto space, and its TAO token has been listed on 2 cryptocurrency exchanges, including MEXC and Bitget. As trading is limited Bittensor has its own exchange.
Bittensor Exchange is a platform where crypto users can exchange Bittensor Tao for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. TAO also grants external access, allowing users to extract information from the network while tuning its activities to their needs. Ultimately, the vision is to create a pure market for artificial intelligence, an incentivized arena in which consumers and producers of AI can interact.
Bittensor also has its own dedicated wallet, but it can be stored and managed in compatible wallets that support the Polkadot ecosystem. The Openτensor Foundaτion recently launched Bittensor's non-custodial wallet.
A wallet in Bittensor consists of two key components: a coldkey and a hotkey. These are two separate cryptographic keypairs that perform different functions but are linked via the API.
The coldkey is like a digital vault stored on your device. It securely keeps your funds and handles high-risk tasks like transfers and staking.
On the other hand, the hotkey does less risky jobs. It signs messages into the network, operates miners, and validates the network. This key is not encrypted, meaning it's less secure than the coldkey.
After you install Bittensor, you can create a wallet on your device in a couple of different ways. But if you prefer not to install Bittensor, you can create a wallet through the Bittensor website or use an alternative tool like subkey.
A new feature of Bittensor is its introduction of "subnets." Bittensor has developed its unique language specifically for crafting incentive mechanisms. This innovation empowers developers to design their incentive systems on Bittensor, leveraging its vast intelligence web to create markets tailored to their preferences.
At its core, a subnet is an arena where TAO is mined under a structured reward landscape, orchestrated by validators. Moving away from sole foundation ownership, subnets can now be claimed by various individuals or groups. They are identified by unique identifiers (UIDs), and their operations and interactions can be programmed by their respective owners. The coding specifics have been segregated from the central repository, enabling governance at the subnet level.
The first of these, Subnet 1, is designed to incentivize machine intelligence production, highlighting the potential of markets to amass vast resources. The introduction of user-generated subnets promises to usher in a surge of resources into the Bittensor ecosystem.
A noteworthy mention is the Bittensor Subnet upgrade. These subnets will grant developers the autonomy to design their incentive mechanisms and establish their markets. Read all about the Bittensor subnets here.
This exploration into Bittensor has taken us through the fascinating crossroads of AI and blockchain, leading to the birth of an open-source, decentralized neural network. As a revolution in the AI landscape, Bittensor Exchange holds a significant position, offering a crypto platform for the trade of TAO tokens for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
The heart of Bittensor, the TAO token, serves as the cornerstone of this ecosystem. TAO, integral to the Bittensor network, is used for governance, staking, and payment for accessing AI services. Users can stake TAO tokens to participate in the consensus mechanism, earning rewards for their valuable contributions to the network. One of the key innovations of Bittensor is its unique consensus mechanism that seamlessly combines deep learning and blockchain consensus algorithms. This paves the way for efficient, scalable, and decentralized AI computations across a global network.
Moreover, Bittensor's vision of a peer-to-peer intelligence market is a game-changer. It fosters an open environment where AI systems can interact, learn from each other, and trade intelligence directly over the internet. The subnet upgrade, often referred to as Bittensor's "Ethereum moment," signifies its ambition to become a cornerstone in the AI development world.
This breakthrough approach promises to democratize the world of AI, making it accessible to all. Despite its many merits, challenges persist. Bittensor, like any other blockchain-based system, must safeguard against potential collusion amongst peers. But with the continual stake increase requirement for such groups, the Bittensor system effectively curtails this risk.
Bittensor's ethos of decentralization, scalability, and censorship resistance, combined with the practical benefits of its TAO tokens, positions it as a leader in the AI crypto space. Its open-source philosophy encourages widespread participation and collaboration, underlining its commitment to democratize artificial intelligence. By blending AI and blockchain, Bittensor creates a decentralized neural network that fosters innovation, collaboration, and democratization in the realm of artificial intelligence. With its native TAO token and Bittensor Exchange, it has set in motion a revolution that promises to redefine the landscape of AI and blockchain. Indeed, Bittensor and its TAO crypto are taking us into a brave new world of decentralized intelligence.
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