EigenLayer partners with Ritual to build AI-enabled DApps

EigenLayer partners with Ritual to build AI-enabled DApps

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EigenLayer, the largest restaking protocol on Ethereum by total value locked (TVL), has partnered with community-owned artificial intelligence (AI) network Ritual to build AI-powered decentralized applications (DApps).

The partnership aims to introduce Ethereum-level restaking security on the Ritual network and bring AI capabilities to DApps, including smart agents, AI-powered decentralized finance (DeFI) applications and autonomous media generation, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph.

According to Sreeram Kannan, the founder of EigenLayer, crypto-economic, AI-powered coprocessors can introduce powerful new functionality to blockchain networks while driving economic incentives. Kannan wrote:

“Ritual is building the first crypto-economic AI coprocessor to unlock a new generation of AI-enabled smart DApps. We are extremely excited to partner with this innovative team to bring Ethereum staking security to this nascent space and enable EigenLayer stakers and operators to help power a more decentralized, transparent AI ecosystem.”

The partnership comes during an increased interest in AI crypto solutions after a Feb. 18 X post by Vitalik Buterin detailing the Ethereum co-founder’s excitement for AI-powered smart contract auditing, which could fix buggy code. Buterin indentifies bugs as the “biggest technical risk” of the Ethereum network.

According to Ritual, its first product, Infernet, will be the first to enable smart contracts to access AI models cost-efficiently and natively. The integration will develop new Actively Validated Services (AVS) to power Ritual’s infrastructure and enable graphics processing unit (GPU)-capable EigenLayer restakers to serve decentralized inference, fine-tuning and proving in its on-chain economy.

Founded in 2023, Ritual includes a network of computing devices for hosting, inference and fine-tuning AI models, as well as an application programming interface, or API, layer for AI model accessibility and security mechanisms to guarantee computational integrity.

According to Niraj Pant, co-founder of Ritual, the new integration could enable more efficient, AI-enabled DApps. He wrote:

“This integration extends the power of EigenLayer to AI computation, an exciting new capability for crypto developers. We’re excited to partner with the team as the first EigenLayer AI AVS, harnessing Ethereum’s native security and capital to enable smarter AI-enabled dApps on the Ritual network.”

The AI-crypto sector saw a significant surge following GPU producer Nvidia’s fourth-quarter earnings report for 2023, which showcased a 265% year-on-year increase in revenue, causing Nvidia to overtake Tesla as Wall Street’s most-traded stock in the past 30 trading sessions leading up to Feb. 22.

Following the earnings results, the market capitalization of AI tokens rose 11.2% in the 24 hours leading up to 1:30 pm CET on Feb. 22, to $25.4 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. AI-based crypto tokens doubled in market cap over the past month.

Related: EigenLayer becomes 4th largest restaking protocol, nears $7 billion TVL