More than 20 organizations have joined the IOTA Foundation’s data marketplace, a new open innovation initiative seeking to create a platform where firms can buy and sell data from sensors and IoT-connected devices.
Participants include Deustche Telekom, EWE, Microsoft, Bosch, Tine, PwC, Accenture, Fujitsu, Schneider Electric, Orange and DNV GL. All have deployed sensors that directly sell the data on the marketplace. These range from environment data from various locations all around the globe, to anonymized healthcare data from wearables, to agriculture data from Africa.
Speaking to CoinJournal, Dominik Schiener, co-founder of IOTA, explained:
“Right now, it’s a single web application, which acts as the marketplace for all of the sensors that are currently storing their data on the IOTA Tangle, and want to sell it. People who visit the website, can then purchase data directly from sensors by making a small micropayment.”
“All of [our partners] are right now participating in the marketplace with their sensors that they deployed either on premise, or out on the field somewhere,” he said.
“With some of these companies we are working on some sector-specific Proof of Concepts that we will publish later. It’s probably one of the largest public [collaboration in the DLT and IoT space] yet.”
Schiener said the main goal of this effort was to bring together various stakeholders to test out the distributed ledger-powered data marketplace and hear their feedbacks. “With the insights learned, we plan to deploy an actual, production-ready marketplace some time in 2018,” he said.
For Dr. Rolf Werner, the head of central Europe at Fujitsu, providing public access to valuable data has been one of the most pressing challenges within IoT.
“The Data Marketplace of the IOTA Foundation is one of the most innovative initiatives in this area. As one of the world’s largest IT companies, Fujitsu is strongly supportive by developing blockchain and Tangle-based offerings and actively integrating them as scalable solutions into the ecosystems of our customers,” he said.
The open innovative initiative will run until the beginning of January. Over the next few weeks, the foundation will publish case studies and opinion pieces together with chosen partners to elaborate on future applications of the data marketplace for specific industries. It will also open up an API for the data marketplace to allow developers to build new applications. A hackathon event is scheduled to be held in February 2018.
The IOTA Foundation, a German non-profit organization, coordinates and funds development of the IOTA protocol, an open source distributed ledger focused on providing secure communications and payments between machines on the IoT.
IOTA was created as a related derivation of blockchain technology, but unlike Bitcoin which uses a blockchain architecture for maintaining the ledger, IOTA uses an innovative new quantum-proof protocol known as the Tangle.
The Tangle enables unique features including zero fees, scalability, fast transactions, secure data transfer, among others. This is made possible by requiring the sender in a transaction to confirm two other transactions on the Tangle network, forcing the “user” to also act as the “validator” (or miner).