By Bruce Pon, Founder, Ocean Protocol

Data is an untapped asset waiting to be unlocked. Through a combination of new technology, mindset changes, and new business processes, this is now possible. The decentralised space is moving very fast and accruing significant value, which makes data ripe for the crypto cycle. However, there are still a lot of challenges to improving the user experience. As a starting point, organizations must acknowledge that publishers need to feel safe, secure, and comfortable in order to share data. 

The need of the hour is to raise awareness and educate people to streamline the process of onboarding users into the new Data Economy. 

Barriers to Data Sharing 

Data can be collected in countless different ways; despite this, it often just stays locked up in silos. Many individuals today want to share and monetise their data but lack the means to get started. They want to have a comprehensive understanding of the legal, safety, and privacy implications involved in the process, which is crucial to building the open Data Economy that we aim to unleash at Ocean. 

We need more experiments that put small amounts of value and reputation at risk in order to learn and adjust organically. Interested data publishers must be willing to take that first step because no one can predict the market’s reaction. As organizations seek to enhance their services and AI capabilities, it’s imperative to develop ways to share and monetise the data that will help them do so. Unleashing data from silos will enable higher interoperability across organizational lines and improve business processes around the world. 

Ocean Protocol: The Key to Unlocking an Open Data Economy

There are a lot of features in the Ocean tech stack that enable users to share their data and monetise it on their own terms. In Ocean’s upcoming technical release V4, these features present a whole new set of opportunities. 

Ocean Market is the main way that people interact with Ocean. It is a front-end application that you can access from any browser. Here you can see, stake, buy, and consume data sets. We’ve integrated concepts related to both DeFi and NFTs into the Ocean Market so that data can be financialized using the latest innovative tools that reduce friction. The engines for Ocean are the Smart Contracts that serve to enforce the conditions of access, facilitate payments, execute the transactions, and interact with the multiple Layer 1 networks like Ethereum, Polygon, Polkadot, Energy Web, and others. 

Another core feature of the Ocean toolset is Compute-to-Data, which meets the needs of both data owners and AI researchers by providing a secure environment for data to be ingested and algorithms to run on the data without either being exposed. To enable all these actions on Ocean powered marketplaces, the OCEAN Token acts as the means of payment in the ecosystem and is also used for governance, grants, staking, and more. To further unlock the potential of data sharing, we have architected datatokens through the idea of tokenizing access to data, and Data NFTs to enable the licensing of intellectual property.  With datatokens, users maintain control of the data asset, watch over how many people are trading it, and monitor the price from a dynamic perspective. Complementary to that are Data NFTs, which allow users to generate sublicenses and sell them off. These NFTs are free-floating, but whoever owns a particular NFT continues to be able to access the associated dataset. 

These are native, future-facing technologies that we are going to hear a lot more about. With these building blocks, Ocean gives users the tools to sell and monetise data. This allows interested parties to test out different business models, encouraging a flowering of innovation and ultimately kickstarting the Data Economy. 

The 3-Step Approach to Getting Value Out of Your Data

The key to unlocking the Data Economy is to give all participants the safety, comfort, and control they need in order to share their data. To accelerate this, let’s take a look at a simple 3-step approach. 

Step 1 – Gather and Publish Data

Gather data with potentially monetisable value. This could be related to supply chains, manufacturing, energy consumption, etc. However, avoid any data that exposes personal information.

Once you’ve found a data set, package it up and publish it on Ocean Market. This is the best way to learn and demonstrate to stakeholders how to navigate the world of Web3.

Step 2 – Explore Value

If you don’t know what the data could be valuable for, issue a bounty to the community. This can be as simple as offering a $15k prize for the best insights on the data’s potential value and monetisation opportunities – $5k to the top 3 winners. Ocean Protocol can also publicize the bounty to its community of over 250,000 members, which will allow you to gather ideas from a broad swath of motivated people.

Step 3 – Get Value

Using your own insights, or the insights you’ve received from issuing a bounty, it’s time to price your data and reap the rewards! 


Data – when openly, transparently priced – can be extremely powerful. Through such a simple 3-step approach, you can get value out of your data and incentivize a global community of data scientists using bounties. At Ocean, we have been building the infrastructure to enable this kind of safe data sharing. As part of our future Ocean V4 release, Ocean will give publishers more control, transparency, and increased options for monetising their data. It’s the most advanced technology stack in this rapidly expanding space. However, its true potential can be realized only with increased experimentation. In light of this, Ocean will continue to support participants in the new Data Economy. 

Imagine the discoveries that are just waiting to happen once we unlock open data sharing! 

About Ocean Protocol 

Ocean Protocol is a decentralized data exchange platform spearheading the movement to unlock a new Data Economy, break down data silos, and open access to quality data. 

Ocean and MOBI have a long-standing history of active collaboration. Ocean supported the MOBI Grand Challenge with a $1 million commitment to help make data and services available and solve challenges to coordinate vehicles, identify obstacles and route autonomous cars. 

Ocean Founder Bruce Pon has also delivered multiple lectures to the MOBI community over the past years. His talks have covered topics ranging from tokenizing and monetizing data to data monetization for mobility. You can access them here: