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We are currently living in the age of the attention economy. How does this type of new economy work? Internet companies offer zero-cost services that allow customers to generate a lot of attention for themselves. This attention is then monetized by the companies: The data collected is sold to the highest bidder and our personal data profiles are sold to secret services, interest groups or advertising agencies.

The prototypes of this attention economy are tech giants like Facebook and Google. We do not pay for their free services with money, but with our data, which we generate eagerly on their platforms. It is particularly painful that we the users apparently sell our data far too cheaply. The winners are only those who, with a bit of luck, manage to use the platform as a successful marketing tool for themselves. The majority of data creators, on the other hand, have no monetary gain, while Internet companies are making huge profits – it is not for nothing that they are among the financially most powerful companies in the world.

Will Blockchain solutions like Valid save us?

Since technology seems to have created this problem in the first place, it might also be able to provide a remedy. Enter the Blockchain. This new technology is a kind of decentralized database that enables the exchange between parties without a central authority. There are many plans to create a digital identity based on the Blockchain. Direct access to this data is only granted to those who have a private key that – ideally – only the person in question has access to. Third parties can only view the data if the real person behind the digital identity consciously makes this information available – sometimes anonymously. The data is stored in a public Blockchain, whose decentralized structure offers less attack area than conventional data centers.

One of the projects that aims to protect our digital data is Valid, a non-profit and open source project of a Swiss company named Procivis. Valid is intended to create independent digital identities based on the Blockchain, which are managed by the user in a self-sovereign way and are not dependent on third parties. This way, everyone can create their own digital identity by feeding it with personal data. In order to gain credibility, the data profile can be certified by trustworthy third parties. A personal data platform, a kind of marketplace, is also planned on which identity holders and data consumers can trade with each other without intermediaries. An app, Valid Wallet, is planned as an interface between the personal data and the marketplace.

Own your own data

What was previously only available to large corporations will be possible in the future for everyone: turning their own data into money. Valid is convinced that large data consumers such as the pharmaceutical industry, advertising agencies and market research companies will be highly interested in using the Valid platform. This could pay off for them because they can use it to circumvent the high margins they nowadays have to pay to intermediaries such as Facebook and Google. It is estimated that those who want to reach specific individuals earn only 44 cents on every dollar spent on digital marketing. It is, therefore, no coincidence that Harvard Business Review, in a recent article, rejoiced that Blockchain-driven innovations “could restore the power and profit of data management for large, established corporations to the hands of individuals.

Valid’s vision is widely accepted. The topic of the independent management of personal data seems to burn many people under the nails. Valid is currently conducting its Initial Token Offering to secure the necessary support for the implementation of the project via the community.

Valid Introductory Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMdsfYA9590

Valid Telegram Channel: https://t.me/valid_global

Disclaimer, The author of this article is a community manager of Valid

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