The massive Equifax hack still isn’t out of headlines, as now states are wondering why it took the company six weeks to disclose the attack. The hack, which took place over a span of time beginning on May 13 but was discovered at the end of July, has left many Americans with serious questions about the attack.
If nothing else, it has led people to ask the simple question, “Who controls big data?” According to a report by the MIT Technology Review, big data is increasingly in the hands of a few technology companies that have powerful data infrastructures. Facebook dominates the social media sphere, housing the data of billions of people between Facebook.com and popular subsidiaries like Instagram. Google dominates search engines and online advertising.
Unfortunately, this means that personal data is at the mercy of a few large corporations, and even the government. [pullquote]In today’s world, as technology progresses, systems are increasingly reliant upon other systems for data.[/pullquote] New products like electric cars and older products like cell phones both rely upon data to function properly. But with data at the hands of so few, individuals and companies alike will need to continue to depend on said companies to create new products. Additionally, these big corporations will see increased cyber attacks because the world’s data is housed by so few targets.
The answer to this problem lies with blockchain technology. Blockchain driven startups like Streamr have utilized this revolutionary technology to create a platform that runs real-time data delivery and analysis. It is a decentralized network that provides scalability, low latency data delivery between users.
How Does Streamr’s Platform Work?
Streamr functions as a decentralized network where parties can publish new data streams and others can subscribe to them. The goal is to have end users transfer data directly–hence the platform’s decentralized focus. Instead of having a single entity (Facebook, Google, etc.) function as the central mediator, users will be able to share with one another directly. This is the essence of a peer-to-peer marketplace.
Streamr uses DATAcoin tokens to incentivize its users. Data from various entities like security exchanges, connected devices, and social media can be sold to companies, developers, and private individuals. Machines are able to autonomously sell the data they gather then use the proceed to purchase data they require themselves. The difference between this decentralized platform and standard data sharing platforms is that users (or machines) have the choice to sell their data–it isn’t collected and housed by a large tech corporation.
The platform also includes a powerful analytics engine that allows for rapid development of Dapps (decentralized apps). Coupled with data streams, smart contracts, and other computing resources, Streamr will be an excellent forum to create trustworthy, data-filled blockchain applications.
What Are The Real World Capabilities Using Streamr?
Blockchain technology is growing in popularity, that much is clear. And it’s also becoming more popular with large banks like Bank of America, who is experimenting with blockchain technology and has even filed over twenty patent applications related to it. But blockchain technology hasn’t forced itself into mainstream use just yet.
[pullquote]Streamr is just one example of myriads of blockchain companies who are doing their best at using the technology to change everyday life.[/pullquote] The Streamr Engine, for example, takes raw data analyzes it, and then provides a variety of outcomes. The analyzed data can be used off-chain in situation rooms, for automated actions, and even real-time integrations with existing systems and platforms. The result is that companies have access to real data in real time; they don’t have to wait on a backroom staff to get them the numbers they need.
This real-time data will provide hundreds, if not thousands of applications to real-world situations. When interacting with an IoT device, for example, Streamr can provide information on products like actuators, locks, and light switches.
In the tech sector, Streamr sourced data can be used by smartwatch manufacturers and medical device companies to deliver data from their products about customers–heart rate monitoring data, for example. And rather than being controlled by a large corporation who stores the data and can use it at will, users themselves can choose whether or not they want to sell this information. Their submissions will be anonymous as well, protecting their identity and personal information.
With electric cars rising in popularity, Streamr’s data services are a welcome support. The platform provides a single interface for data delivery. The electric car can, on its own, receive the data it needs by purchasing it through the platform. It simultaneously provides data through its own systems–operation metrics, traffic data, weather conditions, to name a few–and can sell these to other cars, cities, or even advertisers. Of course, this assumes that these items are all connected through the platform, but nonetheless, the potential is astounding. It won’t be long before the world is a “smart” world–one where data is decentralized to be used properly and responsibly.
If you are interested in even more technology-related stories and information from us here at Bit Rebels then we have a lot to choose from.