When you talk about blockchain-based big data in the context of Bitcoin, the connection to Big Data seems a little tenuous. What if, instead of Bitcoin, the blockchain was a ledger for other financial transactions? Or business contracts? Or stock trades?

The financial services industry is starting to take a serious look at block chain technology. Oliver Bussmann, CIO of UBS says that blockchain technology could “pare transaction processing time from days to minutes.”

The most significant benefit the blockchain could offer is security. In the United States, insurers such as Anthem, UCLA Health, and several others lost more than 100m patient records to hackers in 2015, a breach that left patients at risk of identity theft. Under blockchain, one could need multiple authorized “signatures” or permissions from other parts of a network to access records.

A blockchain-based big data system would also allow providers to share records with any other sector with an interest without the exponential increase in risk factors that comes with stretching a network thin.

Nevertheless blockchain integration in big data are a long way off. There would be a need to rebuild database infrastructures, train staff, and persuade directors that blockchain is worth the financial outlay.

 

The data within the blockchain is predicted to be worth trillions of dollars as it continues to make its way into banking, micropayments, remittances, and other financial services. In fact, the blockchain ledger could be worth up to 20% of the total big data market by 2030, producing up to $100 billion in annual revenue. To put this into perspective, this potential revenue surpasses that of what Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal currently generate combined.Big data analytics will be crucial in tracking these activities and helping organizations using the blockchain make more informed decisions.

Blockchain-based Big Data intelligence services are emerging to help financial institutions, governments, and all kinds of organizations delve into who they might be interacting with on the blockchain and uncover “hidden” patterns. Ultimately, the blockchain could become a key enabler of data monetization by creating new marketplaces where companies and individuals can share, sell, and offer their data and analytical insights directly with each other.

According to Bill Schmarzo, CTO of Dell EMC Services, blockchain technology also “has the potential to democratize the sharing and monetization of data and analytics by removing the middleman from facilitating transactions.” In the business world, this gives consumers stronger negotiating powers over companies. It allows consumers to control who has access to their data through the blockchain. They could then demand pricing discounts in exchange for revealing data on their personal consumptions of a company’s product or service.

Schmarzo also explains how the blockchain may lead to new forms of data monetization because it has the following big data ramifications:

  • All parties involved in a transaction have access to the same data. This accelerates data acquisition, sharing, the quality of data and data analytics.
  • A detailed register of all transactions is kept in a single “file” or blockchain. This provides a complete overview of a transaction from start to finish, eliminating the needs for multiple systems.
    Individuals can manage and control their personal data without the need for a third-party intermediary or centralized repository

Ultimately, the blockchain could become a key enabler of data monetization by creating new marketplaces where companies and individuals can share, sell, and offer their data and analytical insights directly with each other.