Data is one of the most valuable assets we have nowadays. Information on a person’s preferences and habits are highly sought after by companies. It’s a central part of the business of a lot of tech companies. Big names such as Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters have a combined revenue of over 20B USD in part due to their aggregation and monetization of data.
What is Enigma
At its core, Enigma is a decentralized data marketplace. It wants to take the power out of the hands of a few players and return it back to the people. They want to enable people to trade their data in exchange for incentives.
With Enigma, they propose the following advantages:
- More open data will be available for research.
- More people and organizations will reap the benefits of selling and controlling their data.
- Data’s value would become explicit, as opposed to implicit (which is the case today).
- Data sharing could be revolutionized in the same way Bitcoin has revolutionized payments
The protocol will have both on-chain and off-chain transactions. In their words, subscribing to a data source is managed on-chain, including rewards and penalties, which are exchanged using our token. The data itself, its storage and transmission, lives off-chain. In that sense, the blockchain acts as the controller of the network while the off-chain network handles everything else.
Catalyst – How to Apply Enigma
In conjunction with the creation of the Enigma data marketplace, they also plan to develop Catalyst. It will run directly on the Enigma protocol and empower users to share and curate data and build profitable, data-driven investment strategies. It is a way of delivering quant trading to the masses, breaking down the massive barriers to entry usually associated with it.
It would be remiss of me in an Enigma article to not mention the hack that happened about two weeks ago. The CEO’s email was compromised, and the hacker used it it to elicit funds from community members in their Slack channel. The oversight has since been fixed and extra precautions were implemented to prevent further cases from happening.