A new cryptocurrency, Datum (DAT), promises to allow users to securely manage their own data and share or sell it if they choose. Datum is having an initial coin offering (ICO) allowing investors to purchase DAT tokens from October 17 to November 17, 2017.
According to Datum, the amount of data stored is growing exponentially, leading to social and economic disparities with those possessing or controlling the data having a clear advantage. This has led to the erosion of privacy as well as unchecked surveillance. Among the companies known for collecting user data and using it for marketing in exchange for offering “free” service are Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The erosion of user privacy has become so rampant that many users have simply resigned themselves to surrending privacy.
By contrast, Datum aims to establish a secure, decentralized network on the Ethereum blockchain where users can create smart contracts to determine who will be able to view their data. In this network, users will be able to profit from their own data. DAT tokens will be used to store and share data, which in turn can be easily converted to other cryptocurrencies or fiat currencies at major exchanges.
There will be at most three billion DAT tokens initially on the market, ensuring their liquidity and preservation of value. About half of these will be available for sale during the ICO. Unlike many cryptocurrencies on the market, DAT is not minable and does not have an inflating supply, which potentially leads to greater volatility and a reduced value for cryptocurrency owners. DAT is ERC20 compatible, which will allow users to store it in many popular Ethereum wallets.
Over time, DAT tokens will be destroyed as they are exchanged for privileges on the network, leading to an increase in value of the tokens for holders. Those who choose to become a storage node on the network are paid fees for storing and transferring data.
The Datum client will be available for Android and iOS phones, desktops, and other devices. It will be user-friendly with a focus on security and convenience. Users will be able to view a summary of their data, their ownership of DAT tokens, privacy settings, and detailed reports. Users will be able to view data that is sent to other parties and to view who has viewed their data.
At first, Datum will be managed by Datum Network GmbH, a company based in Switzerland, but the ultimate goal is for the network to function as a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) managed by users and stakeholders through a non-profit foundation in Switzerland.
By empowering users with their own data, Datum can potentially play a revolutionary and transformative role in bringing privacy back to the people. This is a momentous change in consciousness coinciding with technological innovation. Just when the advancement of technology made it easy for big corporations to exploit personal data, further advancements, notably the blockchain and decentralization, have put the users back in charge of the platform.