Nokia Back into Relevance with the Blockchain
With reports of Amazon moving into the Blockchain space and more bankers leaving JP Morgan to form crypto firms, you may have thought that Consensus 2018 couldn’t get any more interesting. Because of one particular announcement yesterday, it has.
Yesterday at Consensus, it was announced that a crypto business called Streamr is getting together with Nokia and a software company called OsiSoft to perfect a Blockchain network for sharing data over the Internet of Things.
Through a brief look at Streamr’s website, it appears that at least a basic version of the network is live. It currently includes roughly 27 small, but live databases of data which have clickable images that lead you to a prompt for paying for access via your node on the network.
What this means is that once you sign up for the network, you can purchase any of the posted data but each data group has a different price, which is ostensibly chosen by what Streamr calls the data “publisher.”
Once the publisher posts live access to a data set, it can be purchased immediately. How is data purchased? Since it’s a Blockchain network, this is, of course, not done with fiat. Streamr has already launched its own ERC20 token called DATAcoin or DATA, which is currently trading at about 12 cents a coin.
DATA is apparently used like stake on the network. Therefore, the true incentive is, the more “DATA” that you own, the more data you can buy. The price per set of data is based on how much time you need to access it. For example, one set called “New York Population Density,” is priced at 10 DATA per hour of access, while once called “Real-time Forex and Cryptocurrency Quotes” is priced at 1 Data an hour of access.
Several sets, including “UK Power grid” and “Kraken cryptocurrency market-data”, are even completely free. One key idea behind this pricing is also to promote the use of the Internet of Things for Business Intelligence. Since the marketplace reportedly launched only yesterday, at Consensus, it remains to be seen how many data sources will be available once it truly starts to grow.
Even with this basic knowledge of the network’s operability in mind, how do Nokia and OSIsoft fit into this picture? Based on the facts that exist now, Nokia will be providing access to what are called its “Kuha base stations,” which will allow certain Nokia customers to choose to post their user data on Streamr and earn crypto for doing so. The Kuha base stations are the hubs for Nokia’s efforts to give cellular coverage to hard to reach areas. It seems, in doing so, the Kuha tech creates local networks in the vein of the Internet of Things to enable these connections. Therefore, if these customers allow access to certain parts of their user data, it will be updated live and continuously via sensors on their mobile devices.
For Streamr, this is where Nokia’s true utility exists. In the case of OSIsoft, the California firm will give Streamr access to a pipeline of potential customers through its software, which serves to track certain operational metrics for its enterprise clients.
This means that Streamr plans for its B2C pipeline to run through Nokia initially, while its B2B pipeline will run through OSIsoft. In the future, Streamr wants to be the ideal data sharing economy, which means that its goals reach much further than having only two primary sources of users. As the network develops, it will also be interesting to see how its security holds, especially given the inherent risk in such ventures related to data leaks. Even with this in mind, many would still argue that a Blockchain network is safer than a centralized one.