The Datum network will be a decentralized databank and marketplace in which individuals can store and sell their data. The Datum network aims to help internet users regain control over their data.
It allows individuals to to backup their personal data, such as social network data and data from wearables and other IOT devices, on the Bigchain DB blockchain. User data is submitted via the Datum client to the network and encrypted with the usage rules set by the data owner.
Datum plans to use the IPFS distributed data storage protocol. On the network data is replicated to storage nodes, part of the Bigchain DB cluster. Miners provide computing power and storage capacity in return for DAT tokens.
Eventually, users will be able to sell data on the Datum marketplace. Ethereum smart contracts initiate the release of sold data in accordance with the usage rules set by the data owner. The exchange of data is paid in DAT tokens.
Datum network consumers consist of trusted non-profit entities, such as researchers and NGOs, as well as private companies. Consumers benefit from direct access to validated and verifiable data. Once data consumers show interest in purchasing data, the user receives a detailed purchase request. The user can agree to the request and send the decryption key to the data consumer or counteroffer with a modified proposal. The Datum network emphasizes the credibility of the data consumer as an important aspect in this procedure and believes this will incentivize data consumers to build a trusted track record.
What is the token being sold?
The DAT token is a utility token used to pay fees for data submission on the network and as return for providing storage nodes. Since the supply of DAT is supposed to decrease, tokens exchanged for activities in the network shall be destroyed.
What is the project status?
The Datum network plans to release an alpha version of its app before the start of the main token sale. The app will give users an overview of their stored data and DAT token holdings and help users trace who accesses their data. At the time of writing, the alpha has not been released.
The launch of the Datum test network is planned for December 2017, with the complete release candidate being deployed in March 2018. The launch of the Datum main network, including the decentralized IPFS storage layer, the datum app, and Open API, is planned for June 2018. The Datum network further plans to embed their client to IOT devices. The Datum network remains a bit vague regarding its mechanism for data validation and data retention. Further, the network faces the challenge of reaching a critical mass of users to adopt their technology.
Although the Datum network speaks of creating alternatives to existing data brokers, they do not clarify how their network can compete with the existing data industry. For example, they say each user sells his or her data individually; however, in the current system, individual data has little value. Data brokers gather and combine different kind of data: personal data with web tracking data, online data with offline data, etc. It is the crossing of this data that results in final products such as lists, scores, and models – segments that are of value to data consumers.
Who is the competition?
There already exists a worldwide market with various data brokers such as Acxiom, Experian, Epsilon, CoreLogic, Datalogix. Since they are not blockchain-based, users are not in control of the data that is collected and monetized from them.
The key Blockchain competitor is Pillar, which is developing a open-source, multi-chain wallet as a personal data locker. The pillar wallet holds all assets such as health records, financial records, money, ownership of things, resumés, etc., and is intended to replace numerous accounts. Pillar will launch on various Blockchains which users can access with a single password. One main difference between Pillar and Datum is that Pillar aims to be a universal operating system, replacing iOS and Android apps with its personal data locker, whereas the Datum network works with third party apps.
Another similar project was implemented by the Brave browser, which allows users to collect rewards from advertisers for engaging with marketing content using the Basic Attention Token (BAT). The BAT is planned to function as reward for users sharing their personal information with advertisers. Datum, differing from the Brave browser, focuses on the secure and private storage of data and allows users to sell their data to data consumers other than advertisers.
Who is the team behind the project?
The team of the Datum Network claims to have long-lasting experience building large scale data processing and management systems. CEO Roger Haenni started a company for smart wearables for babies. Gebhard Scherrer, in charge of operations, worked as sales director for various companies. VC Tran, head of Marketing, started a company for thermal solutions as well as smart AC control systems.
Florian Honegger, listed as “Smart Contract Expert”, is said to have 15 years experience as enterprise document and data management architect in the automotive, defense and micromechanic sectors. However, there are no links to other profiles to confirm this.
|Incorporation status||Datum Foundation Ltd, Singapore|
|Team openness||Partly unverifiable identities|
|Blockchain Developer||Florian Honegger|
|Technical White Paper||Not available|
|Available Project Code||Not available|
|Role of token||Payment rights|
|Token supply||3 billion|
|Distributed in ICO||1.53 billion|
|Emission rate||No new coins created|
|Consensus method||Proof of Work|
|Investment Round||First public offering|
|Min investment goal||5,000 ETH|
|Max investment cap||153,000 ETH|
|How are funds held||Unclear|
|Minimal Viable Product||43070|
|Bonus schedule||No Bonus|