Big Data

How the blockchain could build new markets for big data

If data is the new oil then you're going to need a marketplace for it, says Global Blockchain CEO Shidan Gouran.

Shidan Gouran, CEO Global Blockchain, tells TechRepublic's Dan Patterson that big data needs a marketplace. The following is an edited transcript of the video.

Dan Patterson: There is a ton of noise out there, but as you know, within business, the blockchain is being used for a ton of different really interesting reasons. One is what you guys are working on, but help us understand, say, the next 18- to 36-months in blockchain, not just development, but adoption within the enterprise or even SMBs and startups.

Shidan Gouran: I think it's going to start with things like storage and compute resources and data marketplaces. If data is the "new oil," then you need a marketplace for it.

Dan Patterson: I've heard that one before.

Shidan Gouran: It's another hyped up thing really, right? But, it's true.

It's absolutely true. You do need a marketplace for it, and you need a marketplace that's not controlled by one party. You don't want to have one central authority managing everybody's data, and being a broker between everybody. A system like this is perfect for it. So, one feature of a system like Stratus— and we picked the name Stratus because it's clouds and it's a marketplace for clouds. At the end of the day, is you can actually share data that's encrypted and people can compute over that data without revealing the actual data under it. That's extremely important, because this is something that will never be practical in the next 10 years— for regulatory reasons— but assume e-health records, all your health records, they're available now, to be queried over without actually giving that data up.

SEE: IT leader's guide to the blockchain (Tech Pro Research)

So, you could pay hospitals to get data from them, query them to see that everybody with a particular gene, for example, did they suffer from this disease? Right now, it's impossible to do that because of privacy laws and regulations. We don't want to live in a world where that kind of information is out in the open, but now you can actually compute over that information in this marketplace without giving that information up. So, that's one thing we're building into Stratus, and I don't see that in the next 18 months. That's, as I said, many years away before people adopt it.

Dan Patterson: Maybe 36 months.

Shidan Gouran: Maybe, but for other purposes, people might use it. But data marketplaces, longer-term storage marketplace, the underlying layer, I think, is what will be in the enterprises in the next 18 months, and compute resources as well.

Also see

Shidan Gouran CEO Global Blockchain

About Dan Patterson

Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.

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