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Making Data Fysical: Decentralizing The Location Data Market

Fysical is the infrastructure for the transparent and compliant exchange of location data; foot traffic sensor readings, store visit information, commute routes.

In the United States, the location data market is estimated to grow from $8.2 billion in 2016 to $16.34 billion in 2021. What does this growth mean for buyers and sellers in the market? While an increased participation from these parties should result in positive outcomes for the industry, problems in quality, transparency, and fair monetization of consumer data have created issues for the people who rely on it.

For the thousands of data suppliers and the millions of consumers who generate the saleable data, this lack of transparency has created issues of validity. Location data is a valuable tool, but only when validated, controlled, and secured. In the absence of this trust, buyers are risking their money and time working with potentially misrepresented datasets. In the current centralized market plagued with questionable location data handling and generating practices, the lack of transparency and trust does not create an environment primed for the free-flowing exchange of data and value.

The solution to these issues is decentralization. Removing the intermediary in location data exchanges creates transparency for the thousands of people who rely on the data for their businesses, as well as the millions of consumers who supply it. For retailers, researchers, investors, advertisers, urban planners, and so many others, having a better understanding of how people choose to move through the world helps lead to a better understanding of how those choices are made and what can lead to better ones.

Decentralizing Data Exchanges With Fysical

Fysical, a decentralized location data exchange protocol built on the Ethereum blockchain, plans to bring the trust back into the location data market. According to the company’s whitepaper, its mission is to become the industry standard for businesses looking to buy and sell location data, allowing consumers to be rewarded for providing their data as well.

Fysical wants consumers to reclaim and monetize the real-time data that is being generated about their location and movements from the hundreds of mobile apps and IoT devices they interact with every day. The choice to use the Ethereum blockchain allows the Fysical protocol to remain open, transparent, and highly efficient.

When a user chooses to opt-in to the system, their data is published automatically to Fysical’s decentralized marketplace where it is cleaned, validated, and enriched by market service providers. This data can be bought with FYS tokens, providing users with access to decrypted location datasets. When this info is sold, the platform analyzes and attributes the data back to the user, thereby compensating the individual for the data they have supplied.

Simply put, this project is about helping people “claim” their data. The billions of location data points that Fysical sells to more than a thousand organizations helps marketers, investors, and others make better decisions on how to do business and how to better reach their customers. To make that data even better, users can choose to “double verify” their information to help create stronger, more contextualized data points.

2017 Presidential Inauguration in Washington D.C. Inauguration Analysis from Fysical on Vimeo.

Creating a Better Location Data Market

Fysical allows buyers, providers a place to exchange location data without relying on a centralized third party. The platform also helps to solve the quality problem. In order to be viable, location data requires:

  • Adherence to privacy standards.
  • Information on how it was generated.
  • Information on who generated it.

Through its complete transparency, Fysical helps data buyers obtain such high-quality data by providing audit trails for assessing quality and origin of data. The product brings together a proof of origin, enrichment, and validation, and the blockchain protocol ensures that it remains neutral, allowing any data buyer or supplier to utilize the blockchain directly.

Led by CEO Ben Smith, the Fysical team has partnered with decentralized database service Bluzelle to provide reliable decentralized data management solutions. The team is also working with Streamr, which will help Fysical monetize the collected location data and work to create permission mechanisms to support vending data on its real-time marketplace.

The Future of Real World Location Data

Fysical is built with the belief that the future of Big Data is offline. Location, proximity, receipt, transit, mobile, and IoT sensor data is where the company believes the future of Big Data is going. This belief is driven by the increasing number of mobile and IoT devices, growth in location-based advertising, and location powered services such as search and social networking.

As for the most common type of data to expect on Fysical–mobile location data–the platform allows mobile app users to share their iBeacon, WiFi, GPS, Accelerometer, and Barometer Data to track, share, and understand how they move through the physical world.

Fysical is leading the way forward in location data collection, processing, distribution, and fair monetization. A decentralized marketplace for data buyers and suppliers can lead to new breakthroughs and insights in numerous fields across multiple industries. For researchers and innovators working with AI and machine learning, for example, accurate and specific datasets are desperately needed to keep pushing the sector forward and to produce new insights and breakthroughs.

It’s for these practical reasons that Fysical is here to help lead the way towards a decentralized location data exchange for the years ahead.

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