Everyday large companies are generating revenue by understanding large, digitally captured data sets. These data sets contain characteristics such as your age, location and even behaviours collected in the background of online activity. But in everyday life, do we actually know who is mining the data? What if we could know exactly what companies knew and selectively allow them access to our data and to be paid for it?
We’ve touched on the challenge around explaining a technology that can be complicated to explain (as above) in SheStarts episode “Finding their Story”. This week, we caught up with Co-Founder and CEO of Bron.Tech, Emma Poposka Kardaleva about the grand plans to tackle this very issue. Bron.Tech aims to redefine the entire economics of consumer data by building a platform to help consumers take back control and monetise their online personal data.
“We are enabling people to extract the financial value of their data” – Emma, CEO and Founder of Bron.Tech.
FROM FINANCIAL SYSTEM FAILURES TO POCs
My co-founder Voidan Kardalev and I come from a region in Europe that underwent an economic transition in the ‘90s, which resulted in one of the worst hyperinflations in the world. In 2007, I lived in the US and witnessed the emergence of the global financial crisis, which later spread to Europe, and I again saw the implications with my own eyes.
Throughout our lives we had experienced several first-hand accounts of financial system failures. That’s why unsurprisingly back in 2012, when we first heard about Bitcoin, we got really interested and excited.
However, I can say that we properly got involved in the blockchain space with the inception of the Ethereum project and its first release. Around the end of 2015/beginning 2016, we developed several proof of concepts (POCs) for different industry verticals in order to learn about the technology. Then we started looking into this huge problem with the current state of data and identity centralization and we decided to focus on that.
Emma at SheStarts Demo Day
UTILISING GREAT MINDS ACROSS THE GLOBE
Bron.Tech was founded one year ago. We are building decentralized infrastructure on top of the Ethereum blockchain.
Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third party interference.
These apps run on a custom built blockchain, an enormously powerful shared global infrastructure that can move value around and represent the ownership of property. This enables developers to create markets, store registries of debts or promises, move funds in accordance with instructions given long in the past (like a will or a futures contract) and many other things that have not been invented yet, all without a middle man or counterparty risk.
– excerpt from Ethereum.org
Bron.Tech: Redefining the relationship between people, personal data and mone
A VARIED TARGET MARKET
We are currently working on partnerships with banks, insurance companies and data analytics companies to provide value for their data.
On the one hand, Bron.Tech is enabling people to extract the (financial) value of their data.
Currently, every time we log into an app, use our bank account or shop online, some company stores part of our personal data and in many cases that information is sold without our knowledge.
Bron.Tech provides a platform where users can connect several different accounts, help them extract their personal information and place it on an open marketplace. Every time, a third party buys a data product on the marketplace (e.g. aggregated anonymised data from 1,000 accounts) the users split the profit.
THE GLOBAL COMPETITION ISSUE
There are only a handful of companies that own most of the data in the world. This asymmetric access to information restrains competition, especially when new entrants need this resource to deliver or add value.
We are enabling companies to have an alternative source of information, which they can use to build their own products.
Bron.Tech is leveraging the Ethereum blockchain together with distributed data storage to build a decentralized architecture for information exchange. The platform also has a native digital currency called The Bron that is managed on Ethereum.
CURRENT STATE OF PLAY
Right now, the platform is in public alpha stage and our users can access their personal data wallet at www.mybron.com and earn Brons. We have started signing up corporate clients that will be using our technology to either provide transparent way for their customers to manage their personal data, or get access to the decentralized data pool.
Our short term goal is to acquire as many MyBron users as possible that will support the decentralized infrastructure of the platform. In parallel, we are building the data marketplace backend and at the moment we are testing our API with several corporate partners.
In the future, the intelligence will be created. We are currently witnessing the emergence of machine learning and artificial intelligence, however these do not work without proper data, as data is a crucial component for the algorithms to be trained and tested.
“If most of the information in the World (read knowledge) is owned by a handful of companies than that creates an asymmetric distribution of power on global scale.”
Centralization is a huge problem and it will become more evident in the years to come. We believe that this is the right time to focus on figuring out the solution before it is too late to recover from the consequences.
BEYOND THE ACCELERATOR
Last year, I saw an ad on one of the social networks about the SheStarts program and I thought it was brilliant as I was experiencing almost every day the lack of diversity in the tech sector. We applied right away without any expectations. Luckily we got in and I’ve met some of the most amazing and ambitious female founders.
Since then, we launched our first public alpha version for the data wallet and are working hard to refine our business model and all sorts of details around the tech, with the invaluable help and experience from BlueChilli.
We have quite a strict agenda in the following year. We need to move the MyBron platform from public alpha to stable beta with a decentralized infrastructure.
We are currently partnering with organizations that are willing to buy anonymised data directly from our users on the MyBron open marketplace. Our focus by the end of the year is to grow the user base on both sides of the platform.
It’s a big project, but we are excited about the progress and learnings so far and know we are more than capable of pulling this off.
This is such an exciting space for the future of data both on a personal and global scale and we are excited to learn more about the future blockchain and Bron.Tech as their mission and technology evolves, what a privilege to have a bird’s eye view into such amazing tech!
To catch up on all the episodes and watch next week, stay tuned here!
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