Bridging the Gap: Exploring the Symbiotic Relationship Between AI and Blockchain

October 27, 2023
by Jonathan MacDonald

In the world of technology, two groundbreaking innovations have been making waves in recent years: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain. Both of these technologies have the potential to revolutionise industries, but what happens when you bring them together? In this blog, we will delve into the intriguing link between AI and blockchain, exploring whether they can work together, their compatibility, and the ways in which AI could be improved through the integration of blockchain technology.

Can Blockchain Work with AI?

Blockchain and AI might seem like an unconventional couple at first glance, but they can complement each other in various ways. Blockchain, originally designed for secure and transparent transactions in the realm of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, can be leveraged to enhance the trust and transparency in AI systems.

One of the primary challenges with AI is ensuring data security and integrity. Blockchain's decentralized and immutable ledger can be used to record and verify the data used by AI algorithms, reducing the risk of data manipulation or tampering. This is especially important in applications like healthcare, finance, and supply chain management, where the accuracy of data is critical.

Furthermore, blockchain can enable the secure sharing and monetization of data for AI training, fostering collaboration and innovation in AI research and development. We’re doing it ourselves, at SELF,  a core part of our infrastructure is the Minima Protocol, a completely decentralised blockchain that enables every user to run their own fully constructing and validating node.

Is AI Compatible with Blockchain?

The compatibility of AI and blockchain depends on the specific use case and the integration approach. In some applications, the two technologies work seamlessly together, while in others, challenges may arise.

Typical AI algorithms typically require large amounts of data and computing power, which can be expensive and resource-intensive. Blockchain can offer a solution to this problem by providing a decentralized infrastructure for AI processing. This means that AI models can be deployed and run on a network of blockchain nodes, reducing the need for centralised servers and data centers.This is one of the reasons SELF uses such a structure.

However, integrating AI with blockchain does come with technical complexities. Blockchain networks can have limited processing capabilities, making it challenging to execute resource-intensive AI algorithms efficiently. Also, depending on how you use blockchain in your tech stack, latency issues may arise due to the consensus mechanisms used in many blockchain networks.

How Could AI be Improved with Blockchain?

Blockchain technology has the potential to enhance AI in several significant ways:

  • Data Security and Provenance: Blockchain's immutability and transparency ensure that data used by AI models can be trusted and verified. This not only prevents data manipulation but also aids in data provenance, making it clear where the data came from and how it was used.
  • Data Monetization: Blockchain allows data owners to retain control over their data and selectively grant access to it, opening up new opportunities for data monetisation. Individuals and organizations can sell their data directly to AI developers, creating a more equitable data economy.
  • Decentralised AI Infrastructure: Blockchain can support the development of decentralised AI networks, reducing the need for centralised data centers. This distributed approach can increase the scalability and availability of AI services.
  • Smart Contracts for AI Transactions: Smart contracts on blockchain platforms like Ethereum can automate AI-related transactions. For instance, smart contracts can be used to pay data providers when their data is used to train AI models, streamlining the payment process.
  • Privacy-Preserving AI: Blockchain technology can enable privacy-preserving AI by allowing individuals to control and share their data without exposing sensitive information. Techniques like homomorphic encryption and zero-knowledge proofs can be integrated with blockchain for this purpose.


The relationship between AI and blockchain is still in its early stages, but it holds immense promise for the future of technology. The collaboration between these two technologies has the potential to enhance data security, data sharing, and the efficiency of AI systems. As both fields continue to evolve, we can expect to see more innovative use cases and collaborations that harness the power of AI and blockchain to drive progress across various industries.

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