There’s no doubt that modern society is data-driven, with technologies such as Artificial Intelligence being used to extract value from data. There is a small collection of companies that are reaping the benefits currently. Thus, the need for spreading the benefits of AI by equalizing the opportunity to access data is very much required in the existing scheme of things. Ocean Protocol is one such project, which aims at developing a comprehensive tokenized ecosystem.
What Is Ocean & How Does It Work?
Ocean Protocol can be best described as a decentralized data exchange protocol, aimed at allowing users to share and monetize data. It guarantees control, transparency, audibility, and compliance to all parties involved. The team behind Ocean Protocol is firmly focused on breaking down barriers and data silos that get in the way of Artificial Intelligence and other innovations.
To understand how Ocean Protocol works, we have to first understand Decentralized orchestration. Currently, the world of big data DAGs or directed acyclic graphs are used for computation and storage. In contrast, Ocean applies decentralized orchestration.
Decentralized orchestration can be defined as the execution of compute DAGs, in a decentralized environment. In this case, the compute DAG is specified by SEA, or Service Execution Agreement. It functions similar to SLAs (Service Level Agreements) which are found in big data environments.
Functions of a SEA Contract:
⦁ Ocean Protocol’s SEA contract is responsible for handling each step in the DAG compute. It subsequently composes to a higher level SEA for the whole DAG. Because they run on the OCEAN network blockchain, all SEAs have guaranteed execution. Once deployed, no single entity has the permission to stop them unless they fall within the definition of a SEA.
- By working inside a decentralized setting, SEAs can unlock new capabilities such as privacy-preserving computes. This allows value to be extracted from the data, which never leaves the premises.
- Through the application of SEAs a system of decentralized federated learning is achieved. Decentralized federated learning prevents any single entity to control the execution of any federated learning task. Control of the final model can also be decentralized if required. This solves the problem of privacy attack vendors, guaranteeing the execution of a SEA in the process.
Core Architecture Components
Ocean Protocol combines the power of SEAs with decentralized access control to power supply chains related to data services. The fact that sensitive data never leaves the premises allows compute to be brought to the data, which in turn allows arbitrary data services to be monetized and curated.
Ocean Protocol’s architecture is based on Ocean Enhancement Proposal 3 and consists of the following components:
⦁ Keeper Contracts (Tier 1), which are solidity smart contracts that run on a decentralised EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine)
⦁ Aquarius (Tier 2), which is a backend application that provides management services and metadata storage. They are typically executed by market places.
⦁ Brizo (Tier 2), which is a back-end application providing users with access control services. They are typically executed by publishers and include access control services like computer services or accessing publisher data.
It should be noted that metadata or normal data is stored only on the Ocean blockchain network. Marketplaces can only store the searchable metadata, while publishers are incentivized for registering with market places.
How Do They Plan on Achieving Their Goals?
Ocean Protocol is aimed at solving the problem of under-utilization of data. Since the value of data has considerably risen over the past few years, it is considered as a strategic asset by many big companies. The growth of data usage offers companies the chance to analyse and monetize this data. However, companies have struggled to utilize this data in the past with their closed systems, restricting the sharing of internal and external public data among the various stakeholders. It has thus become a necessity to identify and leverage data that would deliver the most value for the business.
This is where the Ocean Protocol comes in. Ocean Protocol helps in building a safe and transparent infrastructure required for data sharing, data consumption and data monetization. This is done by allowing certain AI models and algorithms to get applied on data, get trained, and subsequently leave without any data exposure.
What Is The Use-Case for Their Token?
As mentioned before, Ocean Protocol is aimed at disrupting the existing centralized data exchange market which is suffering from a series of drawbacks, such as:
⦁ Loss of control over data
⦁ Lack of trust
⦁ Lack of proper tracking
⦁ Issues in terms of hosting
⦁ Lack of flexibility in prices
⦁ Issues with auditing
Ocean Protocol addresses these issues by building a single ecosystem for data, one which would constantly evolve according to the shifting needs of different industries.
There are some additional use-cases for Ocean Protocol as well, some of which are mentioned in brief below.
⦁ Regulated Data for Medical Research: The modern medical industry could benefit greatly from the use of data marketplaces. However, several ethical concerns regarding personal data protection have severely restricted the scope of such patient data-driven applications. Through Ocean Protocol, users are connected to data suppliers easily, in a decentralized environment, serving as an excellent use case when it comes to privacy-preserving computes.
⦁ Proprietary Data for Autonomous Vehicles: AI models are needed to be produced accurately to the production deployment of autonomous vehicles. However, there are single data market places which are themselves, centralized. Ocean Protocol introduces a substrate that enables many data marketplaces to emerge and coexist. As a result, liquidity is higher for each market place, with organizations getting directly incentivised to pool the data.
What Makes Them So Unique?
One of the most convincing aspects of OCEAN protocol which makes it a promising project is the number of partnerships that it has achieved already. Big industry players such as IBM, Watson, and Engima have already hopped on-board. Some of the notable partnerships announced by Ocean Protocol are described in brief below:
⦁ Partnership With sgCarMart to build Singapore’s first Know-your-Vehicle data marketplace.
⦁ Partnership with Roche Diagnostics to improve care for heart disease patients through safe and secure data usage.
⦁ Partnership With NextBillion and Unilever
⦁ Partnership with WPP for consumer privacy protection
Challenges faced by Ocean Protocol:
⦁ The price of OCEAN tokens is still subjective to speculation.
⦁ The presence of quite a number of competitors in the data marketplace sector can pose as an uphill task for a new project like Ocean Protocol.
Advantages of Ocean Protocol:
⦁ According to the roadmap laid out by the Ocean Protocol team, it will have quite some plans soon in terms of technological development and scheduled partnerships.
⦁ The Ocean Protocol team has been increasing its marketing efforts considerably over the past 6 months.
⦁ With several industry names on-board and a string of partnerships and collaborations on the way, Ocean Protocol is one of the few projects of its kind to amass such strong partnerships over a considerably small period.
Ocean Protocol has a highly experienced team both in terms of entrepreneurial acumen as well as technical capabilities. With data being widely considered as the “new gold” in the industry, Ocean protocol is well-positioned to enter the market with its decentralized data marketplace.
The OCEAN token is currently ranked 190th according to coinmarketcap, with a value of $ 0.036644 USD and a marketcap of $12,473,674 USD as of 12/9/2019. The token is already listed across 9 tradable markets in exchanges such as KuCoin, Hotbit, Bittrex, Coinbit, and Bilaxy.
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