October was another exciting month for Bittensor. The network continues to grow: together, we are onboarding developers, creating applications and building a collective intelligence flywheel.
Subnets are proving to be very positive for the Bittensor ecosystem, and have rapidly accelerated the pace of innovation within the network. We suspected this would be the case, but we have been overwhelmed (in a good way!) with the high-level of immediate interest. Over the course of the month, 26 subnets have been registered and development on each is well underway. Do you want to generate images? There is a subnet for that. Would you like to create music with the assistance of AI? There is a subnet for that. How about scraping and indexing the entire internet in under four hours? There is a subnet for that too. Subnets bring out the very best in all of us: humanity’s most creative ideas, translated to code, brought to life by a distributed network of nodes. These nodes do not know each other, nor do they care to know each other. In fact, if they ever met in person, they very well might strongly dislike each other. In the free market we have built for AI, the only thing that matters is that nodes produce the best intelligence, as quickly as they can, and at the cheapest possible price.
While subnets are certainly exciting, we have yet to see even a fraction of their potential, and we look forward to continuing to welcome more developer teams into our ecosystem. As subnets mature, their outputs will improve. As outputs improve, the applications powered by Bittensor will improve. In fact, some ‘minimum-viable’ apps are already beginning to emerge. If you have some time, please try them out and feel free to provide feedback (no matter how harsh!) We understand that Bittensor developers are currently beating competitors on price, but the goal is to close, and ultimately surpass, the existing gap in speed and quality. Developer teams are working day and night to do so.
The Biden Administration’s recent executive order on AI generated strong opinions within much of the AI industry. The Bittensor network was unfazed by the news — the network continued producing intelligence as it always does. Like clockwork, every 12 seconds, a block is produced and more intelligence is created. No matter the noise in Washington or any other jurisdiction, Bittensor keeps humming along.
The beauty of Bittensor is that the network only measures outputs, and is agnostic as to where those outputs are derived. Miners can leverage OpenAI directly. They can leverage Hugging Face. They can even train their own models. The Bittensor protocol cares about one thing and one thing only: quality of outputs. As a result, we do not fear OpenAI or anyone else. We welcome any and all innovation. OpenAI’s Dev Day is a positive as it brings more eyes and talent to our industry, and thus our network. However, watching Dev Day felt all too familiar to the Apple product launches of the preceding decade. OpenAI is following the playbook of a bygone era, one of technocratic global elitism and corporate war-machines. The Bittensor community stands in direct opposition to this archaic way of thinking — on Bittensor, value is rewarded, not your status.
Bittensor did not react to the Biden policy document because it did not impact our code. Nor was Bittensor “killed off” by OpenAI’s Dev Day announcements. Like nature, participants on the Bittensor network always adapt, following the incentive. As our markets become more efficient, the incentive will be on the subnets that produce the best outputs. We are confident that over time, the subnets that produce the best outputs will outperform those that incentivize inferior outputs.
The Executive Order did shine some light on why a solution like Bittensor is so valuable, and we have noticed more people publicly calling for our solution. It is exciting to see the world waking up.
In other news, our community continues to grow. Pantera Capital and Collab+Currency are among two new proud holders of TAO. Both firms have reached out to Opentensor to express their interest in supporting the ecosystem via introductions to developers, custody providers, etc. We welcome both groups to our community with open arms, and hope you do the same.
Additionally, there have been calls for more sustainable funding mechanisms within the community. The Opentensor Foundation hears these cries loud and clear, and we are actively working on a long-term solution. As an impartial foundation we do not endorse nor recommend any particular subnetwork.
We believe that an issue as important and complex as this one requires significant time and thought from the entire community. In our view, the aim is to preserve the integrity of the code while forming a structure that can offer assistance to groups that can enhance the value of the Bittensor collective. We look forward to continuing these discussions in public over the coming weeks and months.
To be perfectly honest, if we had to measure the excitement we at the Opentensor Foundation feel, we are not sure there would be a scale large enough to measure our sentiment. We are on a mission to democratize access to intelligence, to help usher in a new paradigm for the world, and have no interest in wasting the opportunity to do so. We are humbled by the amount of work in front of us as a community, but we believe we are positioned well to play a significant role in the AI future that is being written today. We thank you as always for your unwavering support — Bittensor is nothing without we the people.