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The existing internet economic model relies almost exclusively on the monetization of personal data. The recent scandals on the internet companies mishandling individual data such as Facebook’s Cambridge Analytical scandal have prompted many individuals to awaken to the fact that in the current internet economy they are the product and they need to regain control over their data. In fact, I would argue that the recently published privacy regulation such as GDPR or CCPA is the response to this urge.
Blockchain could act as an indispensable role to remove the middleman of the internet economy. A second-layer fine-grained personal data monetization framework would potentially move blockchain beyond a decentralized financial platform and enable blockchain to play a central role in the next-generation data economy. It would also enable blockchain to gain a moral high ground by freeing billions of web users from the control of monopoly middleman companies.
The following is the reason why a cross-chain platform is a perfect platform to implement a decentralized and transparent data monetization mechanism: The monetary return of one single data monetization transaction tends to be small. The economic benefit to the data owner can only be noticeable when this type of micropayment happens frequently. However, the mental cost incurred by having to deal with frequent micropayment might render it undesirable.
A publicly verifiable module would not only help with the transparent enforcement of various privacy regulations such as General data protection regulation (GDPR) or California consumer privacy act (CCPA) but also ensure the fairness of data monetization transactions without the involvement of any middleman [TZLHJS17]. This is in stark contrast with the opaque business model of the existing internet economy where giant internet companies absorb all the economic benefits of personal data monetization. Our framework will let individuals regain control of their private data.
We all know the slogan “Data is the new oil”. According to alliedmarketresearch.com, the global data monetization market size was valued at $44869 in 2016, and is projected to reach at $370969 million by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 35.4% from 2017 to 2023. Even by capturing a small piece of this market, it would bring enormous economic benefits to the blockchain ecosystem.
A second-layer fine-grained data monetization framework will also greatly expand the blockchain community through attracting not only privacy-conscious users but also business partners hunger for high-quality data such as research institutes, hospitals, traditional financial institutes, etc.
There are three relevant projects: the first one is perhaps the Enigma project, a privacy protocol that enables the creation of decentralized applications that guarantee privacy. The protocol Enigma bases on is secure multi-party computation (MPC). The second one, Insights Network is a data exchange based on combining Polkadot technology and MPC. It is based on the EOS blockchain and a custom MPC system. The third one, NuCypher is a cryptographic infrastructure for privacy-preserving applications. Its main technology is threshold proxy re-encryption and fully homomorphic encryption. None of these second-layer protocols are built for the blockchain ecosystem.
There are several different ways of implementing an MPC protocol: threshold homomorphic encryption, garbled circuit, and secret sharing. The general idea of MPC is to outsource private data (either in the form of secret shares or homomorphic encryption) to a few separate computing parties so that they can perform confidential computation over the encrypted data. Directly applying MPC to fine-grained personal data monetization is problematic in the sense that once the data is outsourced, the data owner does not exert any control over what type of computation can be performed by the computing party. In other words, individual privacy is now at the mercy of these computing parties, which is against the human-centric ethos of fine-grained personal data monetization, where the access control policy should be defined by the data owner and enforced by the algorithm. On the other hand, functional encryption was specifically proposed and tailored for enforcing fine-grained access control over encrypted data. By allowing the data owner to define the access control policy, the owner has full control over what type of access the data purchaser can have over the encrypted personal data. The only decryption result the data purchaser will be able to retrieve is the predefined function evaluation.
- Bounty Program for General Community: We will reward users who contribute positively to community building and content creation through an Ambassador Program. The community management team will be available 24/7 to answer questions.
- Incentive Program for Data Monetization: After the main functions are completed, we will provide incentives for users to monetize their data on our platform. This is an encouragement for users to provide the data and purchase the data.
- Parachain Loan Offering Campaign: We may hold a Parachain Loan Offering and reward users for helping our auction with Ruby Protocol tokens.
- Affiliated Program of Cryptographic Infrastructure: It is proven effective for user growth and can be integrated into Ruby’s cryptographic infrastructure.