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Mercedes Benz launches blockchain-based data sharing platform

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Two years ago, we wrote about a Daimler pilot with AI organization Ocean Protocol for decentralized data exchange. This week Daimler South East Asia, part of the Mercedes Benz Group, went into production with its Acentrik blockchain platform, based on that pilot.

Artificial Intelligence and machine learning require data. A lot of it. And enterprises are sitting on massive volumes of data without earning the full financial benefits. Hence the concept of a data marketplace where enterprises can buy and sell data. 

If someone is concerned about privacy, they can share the data in a privacy-preserving manner purely for calculating results without disclosing the underlying data.

A past interview with Ocean Protocol co-founder Trent McConaghy highlighted how Google’s self driving car initiative Waymo has a massive head start because it’s been working on the concept for more than a decade so it has tons more information. But one way for other companies to catch up is to share information.

While this might appear relevant to Daimler, Acentrik is not domain specific. So it could be used for clinical trials data, insurance information, or anything else. 

In Europe, Gaia X, which is not tied to blockchain, was founded with similar motivations to enable corporates to share data in a decentralized manner. It has 850 members.

Acentrik is squarely targeted at enterprise users, including Know Your Business and extensive access controls. The data is not stored on the blockchain, but a non-fungible token (NFT) represents each dataset and a metadata hash is stored with it. 

Transactions are executed on public blockchains Polygon or the Ethereum Rinkeby test network, but users can pay for data with a stablecoin rather than a cryptocurrency. However, the MATIC crypto is required to pay Polygon gas fees. The underlying data can be stored on IPFS or AWS S3.

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