Blockchain based marketplace for location data: StreetCred
The StreetCred team has prolonged experience with open mapping software and data. Also, it strongly believes that it is the perfect time for high-quality, permanent, decentralized solution to the place data problem. For this, they are building a system where individuals can participate and earn incentives.
The data provided must be open and accessible to anyone who wants to use it. And the system must be permanent, not connected to any specific organization.
Location applications like Google Maps and Yelp provide massive amount information about the local restaurants, stores and other particular venues of interest. but these apps have drawbacks as well. All the information obtained need not be completely correct. For instance, moments when you arrive somewhere only to discover that the hours you had were wrong, or the store is closed for a holiday, or it’s just shut down altogether.
The team is building a system for collecting and selling the data for bettering the system. it’s raised $1 million in seed funding from Bowery Capital and Notation Capital.
CEO Randy Meech revealed that if someone wanted to build the next Uber or the next Pokémon GO, they’d need location data to make it work. And while they could buy that data now, it’s “very difficult, very expensive.”
In addition to this, he also mentions about the possibilities for more data- while Foursquare has data about 105 million points of interest and Google has 100 million, Meech estimates that there are more than 1 billion POIs across the world, many of them in developing nations where the data is more spotty.
So StreetCred is building a blockchain based marketplace where users should be rewarded for collecting this data, while interested companies should be able to buy the data more easily.
Meech further added, “If we can get this protocol and data economy right, it can’t be shut down,” which means leveraging blockchain technology: “It’s a very natural way to open up and decentralize the data and also to build a payment mechanism around that.”
The team is trying to run the test in the New York City. The idea is that users can download an app and then collect location data from the city, earning crypto tokens as they do. They can take photos to validate their location, and the data is also thoroughly verified by other users, Then companies that want to buy the data can do so by purchasing tokens.
StreetCred doesn’t have any social component, unlike the other location sharing apps. Meech further added the app will be “completely anonymous” and focus entirely on the collection of location data.
The team is still researching with the specific details of how contributions are incentivized and compensated, but Meech said users will be paid through an “anonymized wallet mechanism.” And while it’s important to make sure StreetCred’s tokens can be converted into “fiat currency” (i.e. regular money), Meech said this approach should also mean users are more invested in StreetCred’s success: “We want to build an asset where the value of the currency is tied to the value of the data,” Meech highlighted.
“Our thesis is that if you make the data much more accessible, much cheaper to buy … you’re going to make things a lot easier and enable things that don’t exist today,” he said.
Image via Shutterstock
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