Ocean Protocol is one of MOBIX’s strategic partners- and the protocol plays a key role in delivering the MOBIX Marketplace’s full functionality. But what is Ocean? In this post, I’ll be explaining what the protocol is and how it interacts with the MOBIX Marketplace.
What is Ocean Protocol?
Ocean is a decentralised protocol that runs atop the Ethereum, Polygon and BSC blockchains. The protocol enables entities to exchange and monetize data and data-based services and it achieves this by hosting a market of datasets, which it then offers to start-ups, researchers, businesses, advertisers and anyone else who might need to make use of said data.
Ocean protocol uses ‘data tokens’ to ringfence datasets- which are redeemed as users access the information- and each dataset possesses its own data token that needs to be purchased via the marketplace for access. Ocean uses balancer automated market making pools to set up a balancer pool for each data token, which allows the market to price the value of that underlying data autonomously. These tokens are automatically purchased through the Ocean cryptocurrency token when a user wishes to access a dataset, which is the overarching unit of exchange on the marketplace, a governance token in its own right and is also traded speculatively.
But… how is this different to how the large technology companies offer data? Aside from offering downloadable datasets and server space to store datasets, Ocean has an incorporated, privacy-forward ‘Compute-to-Data’ feature. This feature keeps the dataset at arms-length from a consumer of that dataset, preventing the consumer from accessing the data itself, but allowing them to run specific queries against the data or portions of it. This is achieved through the consumer of the data informing the provider of the query they want to be run, which then takes place on the providers own server.
Currently, only a few large technology companies are in a position where they have both sufficiently large datasets and the AI with which to process the datasets. Ocean’s goal is to be the connecting market between entities that have data or AI … but not the other. Not to mention doing so while protecting the privacy of those holding the data and the particulars of the data itself (or those within the dataset).
Ocean Protocol and the MOBIX Marketplace
So where do MOBIX and Ocean Protocol interact? Ocean’s marketplace is key to offering MOBIX users personalised goods and services, in addition to the less-targeted publicly available offerings that will be found within the MOBIX wallet application.
MOBIX utilises Ocean to deliver context-sensitive, privacy-preserving advertising, based on Ocean’s compute-to-data feature. This means that users will be able to receive personalised product offerings without having to have their data held and processed by the advertiser or a third party. We’ve all experienced a perfectly targeted ad on a mainstream shopping or social media site- but with the combination of Ocean, MOBIX’s SSI (provided by Datarella) and Fetch.AI’s Autonomous Economic Agents (AEAs) your data is fully protected and you can still enjoy adverts for products you may actually want… without any extra effort.
How it Works in Practice
A user will agree to provide their data to their AEA in order for their AEA to plan their trip, i.e., if the individual is driving into town, then they will likely be looking for a deep-parking solution (to save time), a multi-modal micromobility solution (to get them to their destination 5-10 minutes from their parking spot) and, potentially, a coffee on the way (if the user has stated to the AEA they were interested in a coffee).
Their AEA is linked to the Ocean marketplace and will offer their users data on the marketplace- which can include receipts from past services purchased and their preferences- to entities that might want to advertise to the user (from the example above, likely a deep-parking entity, a micromobility service provider and a coffee shop).
Once an actor is linked with another actor then they are linked between encrypted one-time-use communication channels. To further protect their user’s data, the AEA will utilise Ocean’s compute-to-data functionality when it is paired with a potential client for the data. As explained above, this means the AEA will take the data consumer of the data’s computation and run it on the data itself, without the data being given to the data consumer (in this example, a business or advertiser).
So, no personal data is revealed but the people (or AEAs) sending advertisements can figure out whether the user is a match for their customised offer. This benefits everyone, as the user has their privacy protected but still has the convenience of having potential services hand-picked and presented to them; while the business/advertiser manages to sell a product or service and meanwhile effortlessly comply with GDPR legislation.
Once this compute-to-data is performed, within the Mobix wallet, the AEA will provide the results back to the advertising entity. They can then choose whether the user is suitable for their advertisement and if so, will send proof of a match with their intended personalised ad/offer to the user’s AEA.
To conclude our example above, once the AEAs had finished pulling offers for the user (based on their preferences and profile), these would then be displayed within the MOBIX wallet application on a map. The user will see the ad, with an ‘ad relevance score’ included, and if they accept then they will have a verifiable-credential (a receipt) saved within their data to further tailor adverts to their preferences in the future and the pseudo-anonymous, one-time communications channel will be closed, closing the gate between the user’s data and the advertisers.
This will allow users to accept or decline the advertised products (paying with MOBX or fiat) and, depending on the offering, earn MOBX reward tokens. For our driver wanting to park, grab an e-scooter ride and a coffee, while interacting with the Ocean marketplace their personal AEA would have found a number of spaces, micromobility providers and coffee shops. It would then highlight the best and most convenient offers for its user- like having your own personal assistant do all the work for you!
Auditing AEA Activity
Within the MOBIX wallet, users will be able to monitor their AEA’s background conversations and negotiations with other AEAs through a ‘mobile chat’ akin to the UI of any popular messaging app. Whether the AEA be asking whether there were deep-parking spaces nearby or negotiating with advertisers- you will still be able to audit its interactions in the background if you choose. (… and it is also very cool simply to watch autonomous agents talking to each other.)
If you’ve enjoyed reading this article about how Ocean, Fetch.ai and MOBIX interact- then you’ll be keen to see the integration in practice. As we announced on August 12th, MOBIX and its strategic partners (including Fetch.ai, Ocean, Datarella and Bosch) will be demonstrating a streamlined version of the MOBIX wallet application at the upcoming IAA Mobility. Look out for MOBIX at the IAA Mobility Blue Lane!