Data has proven to be an integral part of the digital landscape, as it enhances innovation or technological advancements. However, access to data has been difficult for many individuals and corporations as few companies with massive data assets and Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities have been in control.
To tackle this issue and kick-start a new data economy that reaches every single person, company and device, Ocean Protocol was rolled out in 2017. Ocean Protocol is a blockchain-based platform primarily designed to enhance data sharing and access in the ever-expanding digital era.
This project recognises the importance of data in the increasingly interconnected world. Thus, Ocean Protocol empowers data owners to monetise their information while granting users of data access to a vast and diverse pool of valuable data sources.
In other words, the ultimate goal of Ocean is to give power back to data owners, enabling people to capture value from data to better society.
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What is Ocean Protocol?
Ocean Protocol is a blockchain-based ecosystem for the data economy and associated services designed to unlock access to data for more equitable outcomes for users of data. It is an on-ramp for data services into crypto ecosystems, using the concepts of data NFTs and datatokens.
These so-called datatokens are fungible ERC20 tokens that enable access to services in the Ocean ecosystem. Meanwhile, data NFTs are non-fungible ERC721 tokens representing the copyright of a data service. Ocean smart contracts and libraries make it easy to deploy and mint data NFTs & datatokens and consume data services.
The primary goal of the project is to address the challenges of data silos and promote data sharing and monetisation in a secure and privacy-preserving manner.
Thus, Ocean Protocol enables the creation of data marketplaces where data providers can publish and sell their data using Ocean software components, and data consumers can access and purchase relevant data assets.
In other words, Ocean Protocol serves as a bridge between data providers and consumers, enabling secure and efficient data sharing.
Its decentralised approach ensures data privacy and security, while its blockchain foundation ensures transparency and trust in data transactions. This helps individuals, organisations, and enterprises leverage data for various purposes.
History and Background of Ocean Protocol
Founded in 2017, Ocean Protocol emerged as a response to the need for decentralised, secure, and privacy-preserving data sharing. Its initial coin offering (ICO) raised $30.65 million in 2019.
Since then, it has grown into a significant player in the blockchain data space, promoting data liquidity and innovation through its decentralised data exchange protocol and network.
In 2018 Q2, Ocean Protocol launched its data marketplace on a test network, allowing developers to experiment with the platform and build applications on top of it. This led to the Ocean v1 Alpha launch and v1 production launch in 2018 Q4 and 2019 Q3 respectively.
The project’s mainnet launch marked a significant milestone in its development. This allowed users to participate in data-sharing and data-monetisation activities using the Ocean Protocol infrastructure.
Following the mainnet launch, Ocean Protocol has continued to grow its ecosystem, attracting more data providers, consumers, developers, and various partners interested in leveraging the platform for data-related initiatives.
Founders of Ocean Protocol
Ocean Protocol was co-founded by Bruce Pon and Trent McConaghy. Both founders are serial entrepreneurs, designers and technologists with a wealth of knowledge in big data, blockchain, artificial intelligence and data exchanges.
The Ocean Protocol Foundation, which believes in an open protocol that empowers data governance and full decentralisation, includes 35 advisors, all with notable expertise in AI, blockchain, big data, business and policy.
Key Features of Ocean Protocol
Ocean Protocol possesses several key features that distinguish it in the crypto and blockchain industry. These components are designed to enable secure, efficient, and privacy-preserving data sharing and monetisation on the platform.
Below are the core features of Ocean Protocol:
Datatokens are a fundamental concept in Ocean Protocol which can be traded, allowing data providers to monetise their data while ensuring secure access. Notably, datatokens are fungible ERC20 tokens that enable access to services in the Ocean ecosystem.
According to the team, they are designed to “repurpose ERC20 crypto wallets as data wallets, crypto exchanges as data marketplaces, and more.”
In addition, datatokens help bring more value to decentralised finance by bridging the data industry into DeFi assets under management. These one-of-a-kind fungible tokens enable the usage of valuable data to optimise DeFi yields and capital efficiency.
- Data NFTs:
Otherwise known as data non-fungible tokens, they are ERC721-based cryptographic tokens in the Ocean ecosystem that represent the ownership of a unique asset. Notably, each data service in the Ocean Protocol ecosystem has its unique data NFT and one or more types of datatokens.
This is a feature of Ocean Protocol that enables data consumers to perform computations on data without having direct access to the raw data.
With Compute-to-Data, data owners do not directly share their data but rather grant specific access to users. This enhances data security and privacy, making it suitable for confidential data sharing.
Said differently, the compute-to-data feature allows users to buy and sell data while preserving privacy. Thus, resolving the tradeoff between the benefits of using private data, and the risks of exposing it.
What is the OCEAN Token?
The Ocean Protocol has a native currency dubbed and represented as OCEAN. This ERC-20 token is the primary unit of exchange to buy and sell data in the Ocean Market. Beyond serving as a unit of exchange, OCEAN has other use cases including staking.
How does staking work in the Ocean ecosystem?
Holders of OCEAN lock their assets to get a unique token dubbed veOCEAN. veOCEAN can then be used for curating data assets in the ecosystem. Notably, the utility token has a total supply of 1.41 billion tokens with 51% programmed to be disbursed over time to fund the community, driving near-term growth and long-term sustainability.t