In this article we will discuss:
The internet was originally intended to be collaborative, and equally accessible to all
Blockchain-like technology has the power to make the internet more secure, efficient, and transparent leading to a pure free market. This is actually the way the internet was originally intended – a World Wide Web where people could freely access, and exchange information and goods.
Monopolistic entities both from the business community and legal sector have worked hard to achieve the opposite. When the digital world is opaque:
- Consumers end up paying higher prices and being served misinformation
- Access to data is impeded (this may include everything from government documents to corporate financials)
- Fraudulent behavior can be more easily hidden
- Public health crises, and scientific developments, can get bogged down by inaccurate reporting
This is where Blockchain technology comes into play.
Blockchain as a precursor to a data revolution
Blockchain, when stripped down to its barebone basics is really any peer-to-peer decentralized system which enables parties to act freely as long as they follow the predefined rules of engagement. Ethereum, a popular cryptocurrency, is fueled by tenets created by its developers – it has an underlying code which can be leveraged by other blockchain technologies to create unique products, services, and applications.
Typically, blockchain is used to record transactional information but it can also be used to collect data from different entities. The important thing is that its ledgers are decentralized and transparent. It is in this way that blockchain allows the free exchange of goods, value, and data. By dividing up the ‘load’ of both data collection and distribution, for example, this system creates the ultimate key to transparency – no one entity is the ‘owner’ or exclusive ‘network’ through which virtual objects can be sent or received. This is the baseline for the silent blockchain-inspired data revolution.
How data collection networks are being used to create a free market internet
This is exactly the point at which global data collection platforms, like Bright Data’s (formerly Luminati Networks), make their debut. Using Bright Data’s model as a baseline, let’s unpack how their technology makes use of peer-based network principles:
Bright Data’s SDK program:
Similar to blockchain theory, Bright Data’s SDK has an underlying code sequence created by in-house developers. That code sequence is given over to app developers, who then implement it on their SDK manager. This creates a mutually beneficial scenario for all involved parties:
- App developers and business owners have added an additional way to monetize their software as they get paid on a monthly basis based on the quantity of opted in peers they have.
- Peers or app users who voluntarily opt-in, are reimbursed for adding their device to Bright Data’s data collection network with a better user experience (either in the form of a free premium subscription or ad-free usage). Peers can opt-in, and opt-out at any time and at their own discretion.
- Fully vetted companies can collect public web information by routing secure traffic through user devices allowing them to collect ethically-sound open-source data.
Clarification: Bright Data does not have access to user devices and only a small portion of traffic is routed in this way when user devices are idle.
Peer-to-peer data collection is good both for businesses and consumers. A good example of this symbiotic relationship is creating more competitive offers, and pricing when it comes to travel options, services and consumer goods. The same consumers who are being rewarded for participating in the SDK program, are now also able to benefit from a more competitive internet marketplace.