14 Dec 2023
State of Bittensor December 2023
Bittensor, the leading blockchain for AI, has seen explosive growth over the past months. In this first edition of our monthly Bittensor update, we'll shine a light on some key stats and developments of Bittensor's AI ecosystem.
Over the past months, the Bittensor ecosystem and its token $TAO have both seen significant growth. Bittensor's defining feature, the subnets, was launched and the market started noticing the technological breakthrough that Bittensor is.
The one and only blockchain for AI applications is rapidly becoming a universe of its own. This has made it hard to keep up, which is why we decided to write a monthly "State of Bittensor" to keep our community updated on the latest and greatest coming out of Bittensor's growing open-source community of builders. Let's get to it.
This is the first edition with many more to come. Do you feel like something's missing? Reach out to me on Twitter: @JornvZwanenburg!
- $TAO stats
- Messari's research
- Top threads
- New Bittensor-related tokens
- Closing thoughts
Over the past 3 months, the price of $TAO has appreciated from approximately $50 to $350, noting an astronomical return of 600%.
This explosive appreciation has also led to a market capitalization of roughly $2 billion, placing Bittensor squarly in the top 50 largest crypto networks.
The explosive price action in $TAO happened without the support of any of the large centralized exchanges. For the time being, $TAO is still only tradeable on the small (and some possibly questionable) exchanges below.
Interestingly, the wrapped version of $TAO on Ethereum, $WTAO, consistently has about a third of the total trading volumes of the centralized exchanges combined.
With Bittensor’s market cap above $2 billion, an increasing number of industry veterans noticing the network and rapidly gaining traction among retail investors, it would surprise me if multiple of the large centralized exchanges like Kraken, Binance or KuCoin aren’t listing $TAO soon, as their incentive is collecting trading fees and popular projects generate the most revenues. Uphold, a relatively unknown UK based “digital money platform” decided to beat them to it and has launched a $TAO pair on December 14th.
As the network grows, so does the number of $TAO (and $WTAO) holders. In total, there are now roughly 39,000 token holders!
Currently, almost 90% of all circulating $TAO is staked. This is partially the reason why $TAO appreciated so much, as the floating supply is low, meaning that there aren’t that many tokens available when demand increases. The staking APY is still just short of 17% while validators rake in over 20%.
Bittensor’s subnet feature went live on October 2nd. Simply put, subnets are components of the network that specialize in a specific AI-related task that the entire Bittensor ecosystem can use. Since the essential network feature went live, the maximum number of currently available subnets, 32, has been reached. Below is the complete list of current subnets.
Now, the network’s Darwinian game theory has started. Subnets have started to compete for $TAO emissions and their very right of existence. If a subnet doesn’t deliver, it can be kicked out of the ecosystem and replaced by a new, more promising team and product. This survival-of-the-fittest competition is expected to strongly incentivize quality product and services. Currently, these are the top 15 subnets based on the $TAO emissions they’re receiving.
Cortex.t has been the leading subnet, attracting 15.7% of all $TAO subnet emissions. Cortex.t provides reliable, high-quality text and image responses in a similar vein to OpenAI and Dall-E.
Additionally, Cortex.t is designed to help people who create apps and AI technologies. Think of it as a toolbox that these creators can use to build smarter AI. Finally, the subnet can create new, artificial data. This is like making a realistic, virtual environment for AIs to learn and get better, without needing real-world data.
For more information about Cortex.t, check out their documentation.
Messari, one of the leading crypto research firms, also finally has Bittensor on their Radar. The visual below is from their research paper and adequatly displays the potential of Bittensor’s ecosystem of subnets and how it can gradually absorb more and more AI infrastructure and products other dApps and blockchains are offering.
During my research for this article, I came across 2 great thread about the tokenomics of $TAO. Both highlight Bittensor’s quite brilliant tokenomic feedback loop, with strong elements of competition, positive sum games and an alignment of interests for all $TAO holders.
The first great thread is on the game theory of $TAO: https://x.com/talesoftao/status/1733576163279159631
And here’s a great thread on subnet competition and 3 possible distinct categories of successful subnets: https://twitter.com/0xarrash/status/1733611230122967414
What's quite telling is that while Bittensor's architecture highlights one unified incentive system through $TAO, several Bittensor-adjacent tokens have started to appear. These are tokens for (d)apps that provide access to the Bittensor ecosystem and a token from a Bittensor validator used to attract more stakers/delegators.
In my humble opinion, the market has clearly shown that it wants and loves tokens, and I believe that these tokens can speed up adoption and growth of Bittensor, although they can also be dilutive to $TAO. Time will tell whether these tokens can find demand based on actual utility, or die at the hands of speculators. Here's a couple I ran into thus far (please send me any other ones you come across).
Kizuna is the first Bittensor-related token and focuses on creating a "perpetual community and uniting them under a common goal – the pursuit of shared prosperity and success". Kizuna is completely designed and documented through Corcel's text and image generation, and the project has set out to provide easy access to the top products of the Bittensor ecosystem through Telegram and a WebApp. Currently, these products are Bittensor-based AI-generated text and images.
Kizuna's $KIZUNA token role is a shared monetary incentive for growth, hence a social token. It doesn't have any utilities, and the supply is occasionally burned by using the transaction fees generated by the liquidity provided by the team on Uniswap.
What's really interesting about Kizuna is the fact that the team has registered a subnet, namely s30: Lovelace. The subnet specializes in AI-generated code to optimize AI models further, hence focusing on the exponential growth potential of AI. Part of the subnet will likely also be a marketplace for AI code assistants. Ultimately, the goal is to turn everyone into a developer.
Decentramind also uses the Bitapai API to integrate Bittensor's products into an easy-to-use interface, both through Telegram and, in the near future, through a WebApp. The project aspires to become an aggregator of all kinds of open-source AI tools. Decentramind's Telegram bot is working, although with some occasional malfunctions, and does a good job of showcasing what this project can evolve into: a single, user-friendly platform for all things AI.
The project's token, $DMIND, can be used in the future to access premium features within the DecentraMind bot, such as advanced AI capabilities, personalized AI responses, and exclusive data analytics tools. For now, there is a 5% buy and 5% sell tax in place, and all tokens are in circulation.
What I personally have already enjoyed is using the bot as a crypto research assistant by inserting the token address in the Telegram bot. While the project has many competitors outside of Bittensor and a few that use Bittensor subnets, it might continue to grow if they keep increasing the value of the bot.
The Bittensor ecosystem is really just getting started with subnets being barely 2 months old. However, in this short amount of time, all 32 subnet slots have been filled, the first LLM and image generator have been put live, other subnets have started to provide key AI infrastructure services and the $TAO price has skyrocketed.
Bittensor is rapidly become a microcosm and we can’t wait to see what AI products get released next. It will also be interesting to see how long it will take before the subnet competition starts to become fierce with subnets feeling the pressure of being replaced. We’ll keep you in the loop and until next month!
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