Business

Steve Kaaru

7th largest telecom operator to trial blockchain data marketplace

Spanish telecom giant, Telefonica, will trial a blockchain-based data platform that rewards users for their data. Telefonica will partner with Wibson, a decentralized data marketplace for the initiative. The Madrid-based multinational will play the role of verifying the consumer data. However, its Uruguayan subsidiary Movistar will be the one to run the initial trial.

The chief innovation officer at Telefonica, Gonzalo Martin-Villa was full of praise for the initiative. Blockchain will allow the company to work with new business models related to personal data, he stated. It will also allow the company to “add a trust layer to operations and design new disruptive services.”

The partnership is yet another demonstration of a growing appetite by consumers to control their data. Despite data being the new oil in the digital era, it rarely, if ever, benefits the users. Instead, the big tech companies such as Google and Facebook continue to collect and sell the data.

Chema Alonso, the chief data officer at Telefonica stated:

“Data is fueling growth for the biggest companies in the world, but new models like Wibson’s are emerging to reshape the space. Amid growing concern on personal data, Wibson is building an impressive team that’s focused on a future when consumers demand control of their data.”

There has been a flurry of decentralized platforms that have sought to take on the big tech firms. With blockchain technology, firms that need access to user data are able to reward users. Some reports have indicated that by 2030, blockchain data will account for at least 20 percent of the big data market.

Wibson will continue rewarding its users for the data, the CEO and founder Mat Travizano pledged. He said, “One of Wibson’s primary aims is to provide consumers with an easy way to be rewarded for the personal data they create every day. The notary feature ensures that data in the Wibson marketplace is always authentic, recent, and high quality.”

Wibson has been in operation since October and serves users in the U.K, Spain and Argentina. Telefonica, which is the seventh largest telecom operator globally and the second largest in Europe, was one of its early investors, alongside Kenetic Capital and DGG Capital. Wibson allows its users to share their data and get compensated for it. However, an automated smart contract has to confirm the data as true. The platform then rewards the users with the platform’s native WIB tokens.

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