Streamr Data Unions

Streamr Network

At the heart of the Streamr project sits the Network, created for low-latency, real-time data from machines, IoT sensors, and some other smart devices. Streamr was crowdfunded in 2017 with contributors from all over the world. It focuses on decentralizing data infrastructure, as well as unlocking brand-new use cases such as Data Unions.

Streamr has even issued its own ERC20 token — DATAcoin — for more efficient payments via the Ethereum Monoplasma sidechain scaling solution and for future votes in the Streamr Network.

Do people want to sell their data?

In December 2019 a research was done in which 21 men and women of different nationalities aged between 18 and 55 years-old participated.

It was found out that most people were not well aware that all the data they produced can’t be copied or used without their permission. Thus, they didn’t see much sense in publishing their data for selling. Moreover, they considered the money earned for photos, films, music, or texts would be “ money out of thin air”. But once the focus group got the idea that any of their data is legally protected and can be of high value, they changed their attitude.

The researchers proposed to their participants to test Swash — a service through which they can crowd sell their data. People appreciated the simplicity and flexibility they experienced when trying this service. Swash enabled them to sell their data to real buyers on the Streamr Marketplace in exchange for DATAcoin.

Data Union

A Data Union is a product on the Streamr Marketplace and designed for sharing and monetizing real-time data. Digital information itself does not have much value, but when accumulated in a Data Union, it transforms into an attractive product for consumers and presents an opportunity to gain income. Data Unions are pioneers for enabling individuals and enterprises to operate and sell their digital information on the market in a comfortable and scalable way.

An application receives user data, either directly by a software development kit, or from a third party ecosystem via an API. The app sends the digital information chosen by the user, through the Streamr Network, to a Data Union where it is optimized and collected together with others’ data for sale on the Marketplace.

When a customer transfers money for access within the Marketplace, the Streamr Monoplasma tool arranges payments with the DATAcoin.

Collaboration with WWF

Streamr’s consultancy arm TX together with WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) and the Philippine’s UnionBank released an application — Tracey — that helps fishermen to trace and track their catch data through the Streamr Network. In summer 2020 Tracey will be available for selected fishing communities in the Philippines. Streamr will serve as the underlying data transportation layer for real-time data flows of the information fisherfolk provide the Tracey app with.

This will help fishermen to get rid of intermediaries. WWF assumes that supplementary traceability on the blockchain will also create verifiable data in commercial fishing. Both local authorities and non-governmental organizations will use the app for finding a better solution carrying out research and offering supply chain transparency for consumers.

Data Unions Beta-Launching

On June 18, 2020, Streamr presents the first iteration of the new Data Unions framework. It’s an easy-to-use tool that is great for data creators. Developers can create and deploy a Data Union using the tooling available in Streamr Core.

By integrating into the framework, app developers can empower their users to monetize the real-time data they create. Data from participating users is sent to a stream on the Streamr Network, and access to the pooled data is sold as a product on the Streamr Marketplace. Any revenue from the data product is automatically shared among the Data Union members and distributed as DATA tokens.

Streamr launched the Data Union framework into private beta in October last year, with the first Data Union being the Swash app. Swash is installed as an extension in the browser — Chrome, Firefox, Brave, or Edge. Then the users set the type of data they feel comfortable sharing. They can also whitelist sites from which Swash will never record their data. Next, the user switches Swash “on” and browses as normal. The data is collected by the Data Union through which it is made available on the Streamr Marketplace for the customer. The income for sold data is received on the account immediately and users can decide whether to withdraw funds to their e-wallets. Making a profit for your data or creative work has never been so simple.

Originally published at




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