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For decades, tech companies have made a killing selling their products. After the dot-com bubble burst in the early 2000s and eliminated much of the chaff, the best companies became stronger and more dominant. Amazon, eBay, Apple, and many others found that their products and services had a huge demand.
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Interestingly, some of the wealthiest tech companies don’t actually sell products. Two of the most prominent platforms, Google and Facebook, earn billions of dollars without selling any meaningful product to consumers. They are widely used, easily accessible, and completely free.
In these cases, the product is the consumer. Tech companies like Google, Facebook, and many others are selling the data that they acquire from their users’ vociferous interactions with their platforms to advertisers who are using that data to create targeted advertisements that are, in turn, directed back at the consumer.
For instance, Google processes more than 40,000 searches every second. In total, that adds up to 3.5 billion searches every day and more than 1.2 trillion searches in a year. People rely so heavily on Google searches that the word “Google” is as much a verb as it is a proper noun.
These searches provide valuable information for Google as well, but this information is far more personal, and it doesn’t come with a clever verb remix. Every search query generates user data that can be sold to advertisers. For Google, that amounts to more than $70 billion in revenue each year.
Facebook enjoys a similar scenario. As users engage their profiles, their likes, page views, friends, and searches create a compelling data set that can be sold to advertisers. In 2017, Facebook is expected to make more than $30 billion from these ad sales.
When viewed through this paradigm, consumers are being royally ripped off. They possess the most valuable commodity, their information, yet their only payoff is free access to their Facebook feeds and quick online searches. Those things are nice, but they don’t even begin to account for the value of their personal data.
Reimagining the Relationship
Now, new technologies are reimagining the relationship between consumers and their data. Primarily, the blockchain, the technology that accounts for digital currencies like Bitcoin, provides consumers with the ability to take back control of their data and to monetize it on their own terms.
Wibson, a blockchain-based data marketplace, does just that. It’s a decentralized marketplace where consumers can privately and securely sell their data to interested third parties.
Benefits of Blockchain
Interestingly, the blockchain embeds benefits for consumers and businesses. In this way, it’s a rare technology that operates with equity and fairness to create compelling opportunities for everyone involved.
Benefits for Consumers
By using blockchain-based platforms, users can regain a level of privacy and control of their data that has been lost since the onset of the internet. Through the decentralized blockchain network and the tokenization of information, users are simultaneously more secure and more equipped to navigate a digital marketplace.
What’s more, it’s estimated that a user’s personal data can be worth almost $250 a year, if not exceedingly more than that. In this case, Wibson is bringing monetary incentive for consumers to share their data.
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Benefits for Businesses
All data is not equally valuable. Wrong clicks, digressive browsing habits, and even bot activity can devalue or delegitimize the user data that is so crucial to developing effective targeted marketing campaigns.
Therefore, Wibson validates all user data, so advertisers know that what they are purchasing is authentic and usable.
In addition, the cost and responsibility of storing and securing the droves of information collected online is a hindrance for companies focused on developing great marketing content. Nobody wants to be the victim of a data hack that destroys their company’s credibility and trustworthiness, and Wibson use of the blockchain and tokenized data ensures that this won’t be a problem.
In the early 2000s, the internet brought new opportunities for businesses and consumers, and it changed the relationship between consumers and their data. Now, the blockchain is helping to restore that fragmented relationship. Incredibly, the blockchain and its accompanying applications give everyone more of what they want while also demonstrating technology’s ability to make our lives more fair, efficient, and rewarding. That’s an arrangement that works for everyone.