Artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technology have both been buzzwords in their respective industries. While some projects, like Singularity.net, have genuinely combined the two technologies to create innovative solutions, there are countless others that have simply capitalized on the hype. However, experts in both AI and crypto agree that there are legitimate use cases for the integration of these technologies. This article explores the genuine possibilities for AI in the world of crypto and blockchain, as described by industry experts.
According to Near blockchain founder Illia Polosukhin, who has extensive experience in both AI and crypto, the two technologies are well-suited for each other. Polosukhin explains that there are specific aspects of AI and Web3 (the next generation of internet technology) that can complement and benefit each other. While many projects simply use the words “AI” and “Crypto” as buzzwords, there are genuine opportunities to leverage AI in the crypto and blockchain space.
The Currency of Choice for AI Agents
Many industry figures, including Circle boss Jeremy Allaire and Animoca Brands Executive Chairman Yat Siu, believe that crypto will be the currency of choice for AI agents. Allaire argues that AI and blockchain are a perfect match, particularly for machine-generated and enforced contracts, as well as machine-to-machine value exchange. Siu adds that as autonomous AI agents become more prevalent in the future, the decentralized nature of crypto makes it the logical choice for transactional purposes. Even OpenAI’s language model, ChatGPT, autonomously prefers crypto as its currency of choice.
Integrating Crypto Payments with AI
The integration of crypto payments with AI is already becoming a reality. Lightning Labs has developed developer tools that enable AI agents, such as GPT-4, to buy, sell, and hold Bitcoin using the layer 2 network. AI startup Fewsats has created an agent capable of paying Lightning Network invoices, and Fetch.Ai offers a service where AI agents can make payments on behalf of users. Syndicate.io founder Ian Dao Lee has showcased the ability to create an AI agent that autonomously makes USDC payments using OpenAI’s APIs and Syndicate’s Transaction Cloud. These advancements open up exciting possibilities for AI agents to have true agency and transact on behalf of themselves or others.
In addition to facilitating transactions, AI agents have the potential to shop autonomously, manage finances, distribute funding approvals, and even grow wealth for the benefit of others. However, it is worth noting that AI agents are as cautious with their money as humans. They currently donate a mere $3 to charity, despite their ability to use crypto more easily than traditional banking systems. Nevertheless, payment companies like Brex are exploring AI integration with corporate bank accounts for automatic payments, demonstrating the interest of financial institutions in utilizing AI for various purposes.
While crypto payments are gaining traction, fiat still holds significant advantages when dealing with businesses in the real world. Banks are actively adopting AI to detect financial fraud, and payment companies like Brex are developing AI capabilities for corporate bank accounts. Recently, a team of researchers trained an AI agent called MM-Navigator to search through Amazon for products within a designated budget and purchase on behalf of users. Until widespread acceptance of crypto payments occurs, fiat currencies continue to play a crucial role in traditional business transactions.
While many projects attempt to exploit the hype around AI and crypto, there are genuine use cases for the integration of these technologies. Industry experts recognize the potential for AI agents to transact with each other autonomously using cryptocurrencies. Integrating AI with blockchain technology allows for machine-generated contracts and value exchange, revolutionizing various industries. Furthermore, AI agents have the ability to autonomously manage finances and facilitate transactions on behalf of individuals and organizations. While there are challenges to overcome, such as the acceptance of crypto payments in the real world, the future holds exciting possibilities for AI in the realm of crypto and blockchain.