Interconnecting the Data That Runs the World — How and Why CyberVein Puts Entire Databases on the Blockchain
To fully realize the potential of the emerging Information Economy, humanity needs to find better methods to incentivise the collection, processing, and trade of data, while protecting against fraud and data-breaches. CyberVein’s decentralized database network provides both the technology to store and process complex databases in an immutable, secure and distributed network, and crypto-economic monetisation mechanisms to incentivise the maintenance of large data sets in the public domain.
The Information Economy’s Childhood Disease
With humanity moving deeper into the Information Age, modern societies produce increasingly large amounts of data while becoming ever more dependent on its on-demand availability and its integrity. As individuals, organizations and even nation states, we grew accustomed to and reliant on our ability to query information on any subject, at any time, and to freely use it as we see fit. In return, as a society, we have de facto agreed to tolerate an increasing degree of transparency regarding the metadata that describes our private and public lives.
This pay-off arrangement between data producers, accumulators, and consumers has proven itself immensely instrumental in terms of economic growth, public discourse, and the overall improvement of our quality of life. However, above this “New Deal of Data” looms the shadow of an inherent market failure that prevents our Information Economy from reaching its full potential, while allowing actors in privileged positions in the data economy to exploit our dependency on information to their own advantage.
While one side to this “New Deal of Data” finds itself subjected to an automatically and increasingly involuntary extraction of information through countless applications, sensors, and algorithms dispersed throughout Cyber- and “Meat”-space alike, the other party to the deal expects to be trusted when it comes to the handling of this enormous pool of information.
Even more significantly, following a severe lack of economic incentives, the most valuable pool of data in existence has never actually reached the public domain to begin with. This pool includes the results of countless academic research projects, as well as valuable economic data produced and accumulated by private and public entities alike.
As a result, the overwhelming majority of the fuel that is supposed to power our Information Economy remains siloed in isolated databases where it is prone to malevolent manipulation and where its economic and cultural potential remains unutilized if not downright weaponized.
At first glance, it appears that blockchain technology is an ideal tool to solve both of the problems stated above: the questionable trust-relationship between data producers, handlers, and consumers, as well as the lack of economic incentives to maintain vast, resource intensive data sets in the public domain.
In terms of facilitating trust and data-integrity, distributed ledger technology has already proven itself as immensely useful. The trillion dollar bitcoin, altcoin, and token markets have demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that it is possible and useful to store crucial information publicly while ensuring that its integrity remains intact without any authority enforcing cumbersome security measures.
The same crypto-economy, with its tokenization schemes, has also demonstrated that through game-theoretical means, the pooling and sharing of computational resources and as well as information can be elegantly incentivised with spectacular results.
Alas, to date, fundamental technological hurdles remain that prevent blockchain technology from playing a significant role in terms of securing the integrity of complex databases while incentivising the pooling and sharing thereof.
Blockchains were originally introduced to secure a single and fairly simple data stream, namely the sequence of monetary transactions in a peer-to-peer cash system. These transaction are recorded in a monolithic public ledger, which is just that — an ever growing account of who sent what to whom. This account can then serve as a “single source of truth” on which all network participants can blindly agree upon.
Attempting to expand this “single source of truth” concept to complex databases that are capable of recording and processing the vast amounts of data produced by 7.6 billion humans and their cultural and economic activities would, for obvious reasons, result in a ghastly failure if based on contemporary blockchains such as Ethereum and its progenies.
A universal network of immutable databases
To accommodate for such a revolutionary new implementation of blockchains, CyberVein proposes a radically novel approach to distributed ledger technology — one able to record multiple datastreams in structured, highly complex decentralized databases that can be processed, queried, and manipulated in real-time by several parties in a trustless global network.
To achieve this, CyberVein improves on Directed Acyclic Graph architectures by introducing a resource conserving consensus algorithm, as well as a smart contracting language and virtual machine, optimised for the handling of massive amounts of data. Additionally, the CyberVein contracting language comes with built-in monetization functions that allow owners of data to define its value and to condition access to it through direct payments or any other way they see fit.
The result is a public network of immutable databases, comparable to the Internet as a public network of networks. On this network, information is protected from tampering, just like bitcoin transactions on the blockchain. No one, including the owners of a database, can corrupt its records, delete it, or tamper with its processing history. This allows data to be securely interconnected and transformed into structured knowledge, while economic incentives for data sharing are baked into the blockchain protocol itself.
With this, CyberVein creates an entirely new market environment in which data sharing among competing entities is not only made possible but economically incentivised through crypto-economical and game-theoretical means.
This has far-reaching consequences for industry, research, and governance alike. CyberVein allows competing entities, such as pharma companies, Big Data providers, or machine learning researchers, to share datasets and to increase their efficiency massively while preserving their independent economic interests. Smart Cities and governments can transparently and securely collect and process vast amounts of publicly-generated information, while universities and research facilities are incentivised to perform collaborative research, maintain their heavy-duty datasets, and to make them publicly available.
In our next blog post we’ll dive deeper into some of the many use cases of CyberVein’s distributed database network. So stay tuned, join us on Telegram, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe here.
The CyberVein Team.