An introduction into a blockchain-powered data protocol
Streamr is an open-source blockchain platform that provides a decentralized infrastructure for real-time data, and it uses the native DATA token. Their service basically replaces centralized messaging systems with a peer-to-peer network, where trust is created through cryptography.
The platform taps into the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and serves for example smart cities, businesses, and applications on the decentralized web. At the heart of this all, you will find the DATA token.
Every device connected to the Streamr blockchain service can contribute content. For example, cars can provide traffic information, weather conditions, construction locations in a city, and so on. These smart vehicles would gather this information, and share it with other vehicles or services. In exchange, they would receive the DATA token.
Brokers, which are essentially centralized service providers, no longer play a role in the Streamr ecosystem. Everybody shares information with everybody, while the data is verified and authenticated by blockchain technology.
Streamr’s platform has already been used in several case studies. For example, there’s one that benefits fishermen in Southeast Asia, another one gathers data from electric vehicles and shares this data in real-time. Thirdly Swash, a browser plugin, collects user data and allows users to sell their data on an open marketplace. The data someone provides, is anonymous if the user wants it to be. Normally all kinds of companies, like for example Google, Amazon and Facebook, grab your data already, and they aren’t even paying users for this.
Big data from the crowd
The idea of Streamr isn’t about your personal data but is more aimed at gathering data from the crowd. In October 2020 they announced their Data Unions. This allows developers to bundle and crowd-sell real-time data generated through multiple users. In turn, these users can be rewarded individually using the DATA token.
All data is pooled into one giant bucket and sold as one complete product. Each Data Union has its own smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain that automatically shares revenues with those involved in the data creation process.
Swash has been the first Data Union. They allow users to share their browsing information in exchange for DATA tokens. Users have full control over which elements of their browsing behavior they want to share.
What is the DATA token?
The DATA token is an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain. It’s being used across the Streamr platform for payments on the marketplace, but also as an incentive mechanism. The project has a supply of 1 billion DATA tokens.
The marketplace has been the first application built in the Streamr ecosystem. Users can offer all kinds of live data through the marketplace. Think about live GPS data from the trams in the city of Helsinki, Finland. Furthermore, you could get data about the New York Population Density for 10 DATA per hour, or receive air quality data from Nantes in France for 3 DATA per hour.
DATA is literally a data-driven token that rewards participants in the ecosystem for providing real-time information.