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There have been advancement in technology, and the world is indeed a better place. If anything, the world is now more interconnected than any other time in history. It is fluid, fast-paced and well, porous. Herein, I’m highlighting the new-age oil. I’m talking about data. From data, there has been sophistication. And the world is simply churning too much this that there has been concentration.
Data is the future, and Blockchain, as a technology, is not only making this transparent and leveling the field-depending on application, but securing this “gem” from nefarious elements. However, there is still room for more. Interoperability would enhance the ecosystem, pulling down compartmentalizing walls.
Presently, there is a data problem. Unless otherwise innovators come up with a protocol that creates an avenue for efficient use of data for machine learning purposes, there will be a technological lagoon,that will possibly stir degradation.
What is the Ocean Protocol?
Cognizant of the technical ailment, the Ocean Protocol is a decentralized data exchange that aims to unlock data with a “deterministic proofs on availability and integrity that serve as verifiable service agreements” in place. It is breaking down data silos, equalizing access to data for all.
Operating from a time-tested Ethereum blockchain, there is now more incentive for data generators to share theirs because of an incentivizing model in place. There is also staking in place to “signal quality, reputation and ward against Sybil Attacks”.
Seeking to open up the under-exploited trillion-dollar machine learning and AI ecosystem, the idea behind it is to drive relevance and quality with an objective of creating meaningful value from these large-and increasing, chunk of data while simultaneously breaking down the self-propagating cycle created by companies as Google and Facebook.
The aim of Ocean Protocol will be to drive the fourth industrial revolution-largely defined by access to actionable intelligence found at the depth of secured but accessible data crunched by iterative AI algorithms.
What Ocean Protocol Does
By strategically dipping their foot into the data market, Ocean protocol would open up the data space from a planetary level, democratize the space and eventually create a leveling source where companies-regardless of size or financial muscle, and individuals, can access data for machine learning purposes in a private, affordable and regulated manner.
Ocean Protocol at its bare bones is a connection between Artificial Intelligence developers and data owners. However, instead of creating a single line source, everything is done via the blockchain in a democratized, secure and compliant manner without Gatekeepers.
Ocean Protocol Initiatives
To differentiate itself, Ocean Protocol are focusing on building an “exchange protocol” as this will strategically place them at a position where they can strike partnerships even in the face of competition.
With experience in the field, the team behind Ocean is now installing a protocol for tokenization and subsequent incentivization, rule setting and quality purposes making it easy for data owners/providers to free share quality aware that they will be compensated accordingly. Before that, these are some of their earlier initiatives:
- COALAIP for intellectual property licensing.
- IPDB that addresses scalability concerns. It is built on BigchainDB / IPDB technology.
- BigchainDB is a unique high throughput database
- Ascribe is an attribution and digital ownership platform
Ocean protocol is supported by a Singaporean NGO that advocates proper data governance, openness and fosters the growth of the network while ensuring the network becomes decentralized with time.
The team is experienced in big data, blockchain, AI and data exchanges from their previous work experiences and from their business experiences. A majority are entrepreneurs, technologists and designers.
The core team has 40 members led by Bruce Pon. He is the Founder and CEO at BigchainDB, Founder of Ocean Protocol. From his LinkedIn profile he says, he was a Founder at Avantalion International Consulting between 2008 and 2013. Avantalion International Consulting mission is to build banks for the unbanked. They have helped build more than 18 banks and financial services companies across the globe in 12 years.
Then there is Daryl Arnold, who describes himself as an entrepreneur experienced in data, marketing, technology and sustainability. He is the founder and the chairman of the Digital Commerce Intelligence (DCI). DCI provides digital commerce market performance data and insights to brands and retailers in South East Asia. This is achieved by using various digital data sources and a proprietary data analysis algorithm to estimate digital sales down to SKU level.
Then there is Trent McConaghy, Don Gossen–the co-founder. Don has traveled the world “wrangling data.” He is a Data and Analytics expert with extensive global experience working on four different continents, my breadth of knowledge extends to every facet of the Data and Analytics landscape, from large scale Data Federation and Big Data projects to Digital Transformation and Advisory Services. He is currently the Executive Director of the Ocean Protocol. Before that he was the Head of Analytics and Big Data Practice at Everis UK.
Others include: Dimitri De Jonghe, Cristina Pon, Aitor Argomaniz, Irene Lopez De Vallejo, Paul Galwas and 30 more.
In total, there are 35 advisors with “recognized expertise in AI, blockchain, big data, business and policy.” All of them were “carefully selected based on an alignment of values towards unlocking data and AI for society.”
One of them is Meltem Demirors, the Chief Strategy Officer at CoinShares and Head of CS Treasury. Besides Ocean, she advises Future Commerce and was the Vice President of the Digital Currency Group from April 2015 to Feb 2018.
Dr. Carsten Stöcker, the CEO & Founder Spherity GmbH, is also part of the team. In his LinkedIn he describes himself as a “Technology Entrepreneur, Business and System Integration Professional with Expertise in 4th Industrial Revolution/Industry 4.0, IoT, Blockchain, Machine Learning, Cryptography, Automotive, Supply Chain, Renewable Energy, Self-sovereign Identity, Digital Twinning, Environmental and Social Impact.”
Others mentioned include Prof. Dr. Sebastian Gajek, the co-founder and CTO of Weeve, Adam Drake, the CEO of Atazzo, Chris Ballinger the CEO & Founder MOBI and others as Franck Martins and Dr. Anastassia Lauterbach, the director of Dun & Bradstreet.
The Ocean Protocol Ocean Token seed distribution was created in Nov 2017.
In that time, they also created the Marketplace Framework. This was followed up whitepaper publishing in Feb 2018 and a pre-launch in March of the same year. Then, they activated community and built up the team, announced partnership with IBM Watson AI XPRIZE and launched an advisor and bounty program.
In Q3 2018, the introduced Plankton wherein Pleuston, a proof-of-concept data marketplace was launched, an Ocean Improvement Proposal introduced and the Spree test network created.
Thus far, the Pacific Network, Ocean’s PoA Mainnet, has been launched and there is even a Token Bridge between the Ethereum Mainnet and PoA network.
That’s on top of the Commons Marketplace update, powering of the Project Manta Ray, a data science workflow and on-boarding more partners and completing the development and documentation of Ocean network components.
In upcoming versions, Ocean plans to introduce Bounties on-chain, roll out a beta version of Compute to the Data on cloud providers, begin the registration of Compute Services and set the conditions, terms of service of their cryptographic proofs and many more.
To iterate on the underlying protocol, Ocean has partnerships with leading companies including Unilever, Rochi, Messari, DCI, Couger, Mobi, xPrize, Fitchain and more.
Ocean Token Distribution
Powering the Ocean’s protocol, and converting disparate data into actionable intelligence is the OCEAN ERC-20 compliant, utility token.
In total there are 1.41 billion OCEAN tokens. Within this ecosystem, the token is more like a crypto asset securing the network and incentivizing data providers. Employing the Proof-of-Service protocol, Ocean is a decentralization orchestration that will flourish as an inter-service network.
Because quality and provenance are paramount, Ocean employs three verification methods: human, software, and economic, with precautions to fully emit tokens when the network is completely permissionless, or within the first five years, or whichever comes first.
Ocean’s first round of crowd funding came to an end in Q1 2019. However, they didn’t reach their target after raising $1.85 million from more than 350 contributors on CoinList. The IEO ended on March 19, and each token sold for €0.22. In total there was 32 million OCEAN Tokens available for the public meaning the hard cap was placed at $8 million.
Details of the Bittrex International IEO
The second IEO at Bittrex International was scheduled for April 30, 2019 whereby 4 percent or 56.4 million OCEAN Tokens of the total supply was set aside for contributors. Each token was sold at $0.12 with an individual cap of $5,000 and BTC being the only accepted coin.
In this IEO, the network reward was reduced from 60 to 51 percent while increasing the token from Acquirors from 15-24 percent. The founding team was allocated 20 percent while the Foundation got 5 percent of the total supply.
Besides, the circulating supply was reset to 314.1 million or 22.3 percent at the beginning of this IEO. Notably, and as dictated by the Ocean Token emission curve, the inflation of the token in the first year will be 63 percent since “Acquirors, the Foundation and the founding teams” would receive allotment of their tokens.
Thereafter, beginning from Q3 2022, the majority of Ocean tokens will be from Network rewards which are programmatically set with a 10-year half-life. That means that it will be until mid-2031 before 50 percent of network rewards is emitted.
Learning from their misjudgment, The Bittrex International IEO was an overwhelming success. Targeting $31.6 million, the team raised $30.650 which is 97 percent of their hard cap. The IEO ended on May 3, 2019 and on the same day listed at Bittrex. It opened at 0.3x in USD terms from the IEO price.
ROI and Market Data
Presently, the token is trading at $0.033174 at leading exchanges. At that rate, OCEAN is up 55, 54 and 33 percent against USD, BTC and ETH respectively in the last week from a market cap of $9,299,339 derived from a daily trading volume of $4,634,905 or 139,731,498 OCEAN.
There are 280,675,148 OCEAN tokens in circulation. It’s all-time high was registered on May 27, 2019 when prices peaked at $0.04733822. However, given the market condition and despite the bullish outlook, the token is down 32 percent from its ATH.
Besides, at spot prices, it is 0.27x against USD, 0.22x versus ETH and dismal at 0.15x relative to BTC compared to Bittrex’s international ICO pricing.
Data, as aforementioned, is the new gold. And Ocean protocol is well positioned to streamline the industry by creating a platform where data providers and users can securely mingle, drawing mutual benefits from their association. With funds, Ocean protocol is active in their development.
The objective, as lined up in their homepage, will be to “unlock data for AI”, by breaking down existing silos and democratize data availability. As it is, Ocean token is under-valued if statistics is anything to go by.
Presently, it may be trading lower from their ICO listing price but fundamental factors point to a bright future. Note that by 2016, the world produced 16ZB of data, but a mere 1 percent of that was processed.
Now that they are funded and there is a well-defined roadmap in place, Ocean is right on track to explore big data, fast-track AI development by processing the 99 percent of untapped data and building a reliable market place where data can be shared thereby creating value for early adopters.
By Q1 2020, for example, there will be a beta version of compute to the data on cloud providers with staking capabilities. Further, around that time, not only would they have registered new asset types but Ocean would have been listed by Binance DEX.
The final version, whose data will be announced later will have a balanced governance complete with transparent process for updating protocol that balances stakeholder needs.
Reiterating, big data, like blockchain, is still at infancy. There is a lot to be explored, developed and enhanced.
Add that to advances in machine learning and Artificial Intelligence plus the desire to make algorithm feeds trusted and reliable, it means Ocean, built by a team that is experienced and with entrepreneurial acumen is well-placed. The final version will be fully loaded and functional meeting the needs of every trader.
Although there might be concerns about the short-term events as release of vested tokens that will push inflation through the roof, it is the emission after 2022 that is bullish for long-term holders.
Given, it will also be an opportunity for them to buy Ocean at a discount and hold them knowing that the demand for the service-and therefore the token, will edger higher, as it becomes a key player in the AI-as a data market place.
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