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Data Assets & a Web3 Data Economy: Data Whale
Episode 911th May 2022 • Ocean Missions Campfire • Scott Milat
00:00:00 00:38:14

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Moritz aka Data Whale is building tools so you can interact with the Web3 data economy. We discuss Data Assets, Data NFTs and the emerging DataFi ecosystem.

Website: https://datawhale.ai/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/realdatawhale

Thanks to the Ocean Protocol Ambassador's Programme for Sponsoring this podcast. Learn more about the programme here: https://oceanambassadors.community/

Transcripts

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So, yeah. Welcome to the show and thanks for joining us. Smart.

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To, to some of our listeners who may be hearing the term data asset for the very first time, or, or maybe they've seen it around, but not entirely sure, sort of what it is or what it means. maybe explaining to us just a little bit about, you know, how you view data assets and what data assets are to you.

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And the data set has done tremendously well at two. It's still the most sold, data set on the marketplace.

like around the beginning of:

So, Since then I'm all over it. And,I think it's one of the greatest opportunities in web three that is yet to be explored by the majority of, participants in the space. And, it's a very complex ecosystem. Let's put it that way, but it's a huge potential because obviously data is probably an our digital economy.

Like the, the most valuable resource. Like if we think about it, there's a lot of technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and as much as you have data to feed them, then they will become more accurate . So to make these technologies. And apply in the future. What we need is as data. And right now we know that our personal data, the data that we create through our using applications, devices, et cetera

it's only available to large corporations like Google Metta and their algorithms are the best right now. So for all of those researchers and you know, to basically disrupt this whole industry. What we need is to unlock that data. And in order to do that, I think to make data and investible asset, like an asset class by itself, where people can take control of their data, monetize it, where companies get the financial incentive.

To unlock their data in order to profit from it in an open manner that makes the data more readily available for everyone around us. I think that's what a data asset is to me. And that's what a web three data economy is about. That's what ocean protocol is trying to unlock.

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Thinking about data as an asset. you know, it does really kind of explode into all of the different possibilities, that that could be, and I suspect that some of the complication around this concept is the idea of data itself is it's a very broad term, right? like data can be so many different things.

and so. You know, you mentioned you had created a data asset and published it on, on ocean market, which is, you know, oceans, marketplace that they've sort of set up for testing and so on and so forth. And you manage to, to generate a number of sales. Now, what do you think. Is it about your data asset, the specific data asset that you created?

that's kind of led to this, you know, this, this kind of relative success in terms of people have been purchasing it and consuming and presumably, also staking on it.

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Startups need to know their audience, their customers. startups also need help with, promoting and outreach and business development. And of course, the startup, the product, or the service needs to be of quality. and for datasets, it's very similar actually. And I think that's something that majority of data publishers on ocean market in those early days missed the people who were on Ocean Market.

Where people predominantly from the Web3 community. mainly they were, I think 99% were speculators, playing around with ocean market, with data assets, investing in them with the help of, the ocean token and buying those data tokens in order. Flip them and make a profit. whereas what I saw there was a need for those people, because they did not know how to really value datasets at the beginning.

They did not know which data sets are of value, which data sets might be a scam because obviously we had a lot of, it was like the wild west at the beginning. Right. Uploading all kinds of data at that time.

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so I found that niche with our data set directory and, we basically logged every single data set that was tokenized on the Ocean Market. We've done, brief research around the data that was tokenized. So meaning we've done like a Google search and went into the details of the description and checked whether, you know, that data that was tokenized, there is actually downloaded from somewhere else and just upload it there.

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Putting our money behind,

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Pretty nicely, really where ocean market was this little ecosystem that was just coming online. And, you know, you kind of looked at the sort of MVP, which was okay, well, there's going to be a real need here. from all this traffic coming in of people, just to get some more information around, you know, what these data.

Sets out or data assets are and w you know, are they trustworthy? Are they valuable and so on? did you spend a bit of time, like, can you sort of take us back to maybe just when you were sort of thinking about that? Like, was it, did it come to you quite naturally? Was it quite obvious? That was the first thing you started to do, or did you actually take a bit of time to think about what data asset could be valuable knowing that the marketplace was about to go and get a lot of exposure?.

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so I think it came sort of natural because that's

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and then there's the sort of financialization of it. you know, it becoming quote unquote, an asset or a new asset class. Now this other concept that is, has come up a bit. And I know it's, it's one that, that, you know, you have referred to a number of times is, is DataFi and I was wondering if you could maybe dig into, into that topic a little bit and just give us a bit of an overview.

from your perspective of what DataFi is, what it means, you know, what is it when you sort of are adding the hashtag DataFi to posts and stuff like that? What, what does, what does it all.

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Levels up is that you have all these existing, DeFi tools and transactions, but you do that based on a real world resource Let's give an example of, traffic data so every government around the world wants to reduce their carbon emissions, wants to make their cities more efficient.

So they have all this traffic data. And there was this example, it's called transport for London and transport for London is sort of like the public transportation authority, in the city of London. And they've actually opened up all their datawith regards to transportation, and since they've done that, they were able to generate economic value worth 130 million British pounds. So that resulted in, you know, saving, obviously opening those data resulted in saving costs, making the system more efficient so if you have the right data, then you can create huge economic value.

So it makes. To have all these DeFi transactions paired with data because data is valuable and it's essence and DataFi I think is a huge opportunity that the current ecosystem doesn't grasp yet. it allows data to be unleashed and it gives financial incentive to publishers as well as, investors alike.

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Data assets, meaning locking your liquidity, in data assets in order for others to be

able

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And it can do it. Like the technology is available.

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like oceans running on, on Ethereum and polygon and BSC and couple of other chains. and it's sort of plugging in. You know, you can use MetaMask as a quote unquote data wallet now where you may have a data token, which unlocks access to some, dataset, or represents the value associated to that dataset.

and then you can store that in, in your MetaMask wallet which is in itself an interesting concept. And one of the other, kind of extensions of this idea is, is around data NFTs. and I know this is something that you're excited about, which is, is, is just around the corner. So I was wondering if you could maybe, tell us a bit more about.

data in NFTS. and, and what makes you so excited about, about this new feature coming to ocean?

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But basically we've just paired up the tools that are already existence, such as ERC721, which are NFTs and ERC 20 tokens, which are fungible tokens and paired it together in a way that makes sense too. And to allow it for data to

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I think digital art was easy to understand for people. Like it's visible, people know what they're trading and the essence NFTs allow people to claim. Over certain, yeah, in this case it could be a board Abe. It could be crypto punks, so that's what we've seen in the last year or so, but I think that's just the beginning.

With the concept of data and NFTS, NFTs are actually.

They represent a license, right. An exclusive license. for example, when you're an author and, you write a book, then you could mint a data NFT, with the help of ocean protocol, technology and smart contracts.

And that data NFT represents the exclusive. To your intellectual property, right? Because you've written that book. Now, what readers really buy an NFT to read a book once? Not really because they don't need an exclusive license just to read a book. Right. They need to access it once and they don't need an exclusive.

For that. So what ocean did they paired? The NFT token standard, the ERC 7 21 token standard with fungible ERC 20 tokens. So when, you have a data NFT in your wallet, then you can go on ocean marketplace and you can write. Sup licenses for it, which are in the form of ERC 20 fungible tokens. And those tokens are called data tokens.

Right. And that's what, we've had now for a while within the ocean marketplace. And now what ocean is adding in their V4 is this supplementary technology of NFTs in order to run. And license data exchange a bit better because, in this case, like the author could either mint, ERC 20 data tokens themselves, and then they could just sub-license, data, their data access to their readers through ocean market, or they could sell the data NFT to a publisher.

That would then do that for them. Right. And, that's probably the more common way, but, yeah, what these data tokens enable is that they actually generate revenue for the data NFT owner. And suddenly you're not just holding a profile. you're actually creating and you're not just for example, now I know what's going on.

NFTs is like people stake their NFT to receive another coin for it. Right. But what's the real intrinsic value behind it. Like here, coming back again to what we spoke about earlier with DataFi. Here, you have data. That's the underlying asset that your token represents. Like there's a real world value for it.

Like we gave the example of transport for London, cities or companies, individuals can create value with the help of this data. And I just gave the example of the writer, an author, writing a book for simplicity's sake, but you know, data NFTs could represent anything they could represent. Like I said, image, libraries, financial trading algorithms,

you have the exclusive right to that data. You can sub-license it through ocean market with the help of these data tokens. And then you can actually generate revenues. As the NFT owner by selling access to your data with the help of data tokens. And then now suddenly it makes sense. Like, for example, if you're a data NFT, Sales worth $1 million a year.

Now, suddenly it goes back to the narrative of data, being a startup. Now you can actually value that NFT properly because you can say, Hey, this NFT, it gave me X amount of revenue over a period of three years. And you know, so that's why it's going to be worth this much. So I could actually buy this NFT, maybe develop the data further.

I could increase sales by 10 or 20% and then sell it on for more or less. So suddenly now, instead of buying and selling companies were buying and selling data with the help of these NFTs and data tokens and so on. So that's like the ultimate narrative or the ultimate goal that I see for this token technology.

That, and that's what basically is the potential for it.

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And you say, Hey, well, you know, this book also is, is, you know, you're a digital book is, is, is, is data-based. it is, you know, a series of, of text or altogether in a file. And you know, that is something which obviously is valuable or like it's not very hard to, to, to understand or grasp the concept of.

Of a book being, being valuable and then equally the sort of the, the copyright or the, the ownership rights, the IP associated to the author, is kind of the SIPP separate property. and yeah, you can kind of see, yeah. How that could be applied and leveraged. And I mean, even just in that one example alone, it's, you know, you almost start thinking about some form of decentralized, you know, Amazon bookstore, which is kind of itself an interesting concept.

Right. And I think

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what are NFTs like profile picture NFTs, really awards. It's what someone else is willing to pay for it. And it's fine. It's collectibles. I get it like I, myself collected Pokemon cards,

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And also, secondly, what I wanted to mention coming back to data

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So people can not only buy them in order to access the publishers data. They can also buy them, in order to hold them for profit. they could, you know, use them in order to use them as collateral, so there's all these, you know, DeFi applications that can be done with these data tokens. that is super interesting.

And that in essence helps publishers to actually value their data. What is data really worth, right? Like I have this financial algorithm or this image data

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For data assets. So people buy and sell these data tokens. They become like shares and companies and people buy and sell them in order to profit, but also they help the publisher. The data asset, and then obviously the most important,yeah. Tool is for, for publishers to make their data valuable is to find buyers that are willing to pay the price of what the speculators.

yeah, valuing it that, so that's also an interesting like mechanism and quite complex in essence. But, I think ocean, also has the right, incentives lined up, which is data farming that basically incentivizes, investors to put their money behind data. That sell. So, yeah,

the whole concept is called data farming I think it'll make a big difference to actually incentivize the right behavior on top of the ocean market and not just purely speculative behavior, because of. Your data is only really valuable when it's valuable to someone else and who's actually consuming your data.

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There's the, you know, there's the, the data assets, there's these NFTs, you know, there's, there's ocean market, there's this DataFi. There's, there's all these pieces. If we would just to sort of, Strip it all back down to the most basic components of what the ocean ecosystem looks like today. And maybe some of the key tools, that exist in the, in the ecosystem.

What are just the basic building blocks that are out there today, whether or not they're, you know, Like not so much what they could become and, and the, you know, in the, in the future, but more just what, what is out there today? What are the pieces, that come together that,forming the ocean ecosystem as it currently stands?

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The second target audience are data consumers, which are, could be, you know, data scientists, governments, startups, companies, that wish to generate value and are looking for data. So those are the consumers. And then, you know, The data investors, which are on the ocean market to help,

value data, make data investible, make data, a tradable asset. And I think last, like what's important right now is to understand that we're within there, we're operating. A Web3 crypto ecosystem. So for me personally, in my opinion, data investors are hugely important because once we get the speculation started and we get the speculation started in the right direction towards actual consumption and utility, like with data farming, for example, once that money comes flowing, We'll grab the attention of the other two audiences.

Correct. So sometimes we're

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Towards, you know, targeting these, these various audiences. So we have, for

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And then that pool of data could be tokenized on the ocean market and, data creators could even get a share within their own data through that data union. Right. So that's one narrative. another,project that is building within that ecosystem for example, is Algovera. So they definitely. Are tailored towards onboarding, data scientists, AI researchers, towards the ocean ecosystem.

So they're working on the consumer part, right? And then you have other projects like

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And, we all know the memes. We all know, you know, price discussions, like that's what triggers those investors, right? to come on board and stake and, you know, participate. And if we incentivize. With the help of data farming then,towards, you know, staking behind datasets that are valuable, then I think that's, that will be going into the right direction and we have the tools for it.

Right. So we have,

at DataWhale for example, what we've

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Right. But instead of board apes and crypto punks were trading data NFTs and the data NFT, you have a couple of different attributes. So, yeah, they're displayed in a different format most likely.

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make it super easy for those guys to come on board. And, first of all,

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So whenever they've bought data tokens or provided liquidity on the ocean market, it will show an ALGA and they can, you know,

analyze whether they've made a profit or loss on their,

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So they don't even have to create a new wallet. They don't need a new, private key. They just link their Metamask to alga and, yeah. Then they can view their data assets in a format that makes sense. And, yeah, participate in DatFI and participate in staking all through the app because we can also handle transactions through the app and they're confirmed,through MetaMask. So, yeah, it's a pretty simple process, but, I think we have these tools available now. And if the narrative. You know, a Web3 data economy kicks off and if data NFTs, kickoff and data tokens or data farming, we don't really know where it'll happen.

Like real click, but if it clicks all the other tools will benefit and

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But I think time will tell, you know, maybe there's a big publisher, like a corporate company that will onboard to ocean market with a data set. And then actually with that, you'll get the data investors. And I'm not

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It will probably be like smaller startups, like crypto related companies. We'll make

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So, they don't just want to entice speculation. They want to generate consumes. They want to generate sales because that's where they'll profit from. And that's where the whole ecosystem will kick off.

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Creating and distributing tokens. And as a result, there was a lot of, a lot of rubbish, has there tends to be, but there's also been a lot of value. And I think, part of the reason that the last couple of years have, have performed relatively well and the web three and, crypto ecosystem is because a lot of the projects that, Attracted some value throughout that period.

we're able to have resources to go and build and start to, to create things and produce things. And, and again, a lot of the stuff that was produced, you know, never saw the light of day, but, a handful of things did. And then, you know, you, you started to have this explosion of, of activity that we've, we've seen just in the last couple of.

I was wondering if you could, yeah, maybe just, just, tell us a little bit more about what the future looks like for data whale, and you know, whether or not you have any more, interesting or exciting releases planned that, that, you know, we would, we'd like to hear about.

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And we've got tons of tools on there. So we try to explain ocean protocol, Web3 data economy, and in our language and our terms, and we've, we're trying to use as simple language as possible. And there are also some tutorials

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another thing we're working on right now, is that we are gonna make alga compatible with, ocean market V4. So that's what. Probably releasing by June. And then we have two bigger projects that are coming up towards end of the year.

we'll hopefully releasing the first one by the third quarter, which is a Medusa. the website

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Like some people just prefer to do it on their desktop with their meta mask is the extension. So datatoken.Market will allow users to do that. And we're simply replicating Alga's backend and putting it into a different UI. So. It's going to happen on datatoken.Market on Medusa is that there's going to be probably 40 or 50 data assets that are preselected in a certain way.

Not sure yet about the details could be either ranked by highest liquidity or depending on the publisher. They can get listed on datatoken.market and I will provide a bunch of analytics for each data set. So we'll provide, for example,how much liquidity went in and out of a pool so we can establish trends.

what's the data token swap volume. So how many people swap ocean four data tokens and vice versa. So. Insights that are not available right now in the ocean market. And that hopefully will help people to identify which data tokens they'd like to, stake on or which data tokens they'd like to swap,

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And then towards end of the year, we'll hopefully release Orca, which is a data NFT marketplace.

So they will actually have our own smart contracts and, ocean will be the underlying currency to trade data NFTs,, we think this is a necessary tool because even though data NFTs are ERC721, and they could be traded on platforms like Opensea, data NFTs have different attributes. So particularly how many times they've been sold or accessed with the hub of data tokens, so that actually is information that is important for buyers to see whether they want to buy that NFT or not. If that data doesn't generate sales, then it's not worth buying the data NFT.

Right. so yeah, I'm still a very early stages, but that's the idea. And, yeah, obviously we'll continue

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So, yeah. Thank you for putting in all that work and, yeah, thank you for taking the time and, and, and having the, the conversation here and getting a bit more, of a thorough understanding. Of, of yourself, of the work you're doing and, and, you know, some of those kinds of tricky concepts of, of oceans.

So hopefully people listening have, you know, taken away, a couple of learnings and maybe started to understand and grasp some concepts, and a bit more detailed that may be, they didn't have, prior to listening. Yeah, with that said, is there anything else that you would, like to say before we, close off.

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we learned from you as much as you learn

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