Sooloox Turns Consumers From Data Providers to Data Authorizers 0 169

The ICO space is anything but dull. What started out as a small market a couple of years ago, in which a million dollar sale was a rarity, has now become a fast moving train that everyone’s clamoring to get on. But while a new ICO may succeed at raising funds (certainly a necessary start), that’s no guarantee of success in this uncharted landscape.

Almost half of the ICOs released in 2017 have already failed. And with Ether’s boss predicting that as many as 95 percent will go belly up this year, what’s needed to succeed in this cutthroat marketplace is a truly viable idea that stands out from the crowd.

Moreover, the truly interesting ICOs are the ones that heavily rely on blockchain technology — the component of ICOs that experts agree will long outlast many of the speculative coin assets.

Sooloox is a company that’s dedicated to placing the power over what happens to their data into the consumers’ hands. Seeing as the main characteristic of the blockchain is its decentralization, which goes hand in hand with the democratization of transactions and information, Sooloox certainly has an interesting idea.

“Consumers are currently the cash cows of the advertising industry,” they say, “and data is collected and processed in countless places with or without the consumer’s knowledge.” Blockchain technology will change all that by cutting out the middlemen (large data warehousing companies) and allowing consumers to have control over how their data is used–and make money from it in the process.

How Does Sooloox Work?

The vision behind Sooloox is that consumers should be able to earn with their data and trade directly with the companies who want to buy it. The Sooloox platform uses a digital tool called an IDTX (Interest Dimension & Transaction Box), which allows participants to join a large community — a kind of giant marketplace in which data is bought and sold. Users then become the authorizers of their own data, as it is no longer owned by any one company. The data has been democratized.

Those in the market for certain consumer data can see what kind of information it contains and purchase data in the form of leads that are truly relevant to them. When vendors can buy leads that are qualified and targeted, they can convert them into purchase agreements much faster and with less expense than buying irrelevant data blocks.

If you’re wondering how much money there is to made from selling your personal data, the answer is, quite a lot. In fact, the blockchain already houses data that’s racked up trillions of dollars of value. As the technology expands into further areas, such as finance, healthcare, and retail, that figure will only rise.

By 2030, the blockchain has been predicted to make up some 20 percent of the entire big data market (more than PayPal, Visa and Mastercard put together).

Disruptive Marketing

Through the Sooloox IDTX platform, not only can consumers earn money with their data, but a revolution in the marketing industry begins to make its presence felt. Sooloox takes traditional marketing, from company to consumer, and turns it on its head by creating a model that starts with the consumer and bubbles up to the company. Both company and consumer win.

The company receives the exact information they require and the consumer is compensated. And if the consumer doesn’t want to allow certain companies to use their data, they have the option to refuse to sell, as well.

There are already enough ICOs in finance (around 14 percent) and plenty of ICOs competing for the same ideas. Sooloox and its plan to empower consumers, give them control over their data, and disrupt the marketing industry may just make up part of the 5 percent that succeed in the long term. It’s certainly one to watch.

 

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Starting her career on Wall Street at just 19 years old, Danielle went on to be one of the youngest equity traders in the industry. After a successful career in Financial Planning, she went on to found her media company What Vibes Your Tribe, which connects the worlds of digital marketing and public relations. Her experience in brand strategy along with successfully developing the thought leadership of C -level executives has played an integral part in her client's achieving prestigious awards such as Inc 500, Forbes Next Billion Dollar Startup, Entrepreneur 360 among other top level recognition.

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Kenya Looks to Blockchain for Affordable Housing Project 1 142

The “Silicon Savannah” is moving deeper in direction of tech. The Kenyan government has announced a plan to manage the property allocation and funding of 500,000 affordable housing units with blockchain technology.

The units, which the government aims to build by 2022, will be set aside for households with an annual income below 100,000 Kenyan Shillings, about $990 USD. The World Bank estimates Kenya’s gross national income per capita at $1,290, according to Business Daily.

Blockchain will help ensure that the affordable housing is in fact going to those who fall below the average income bracket. Land title fraud has caused problems for Kenyans, as land grabbers target homes and even schools for illegal sales and development. Blockchain’s ability to store verifiable proof of title could help safeguard against fraudsters.

“Kenya will use blockchain technology to ensure the rightful owners live in government funded housing projects,” said Principal Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Charles Hinga, speaking with the World Bank on Monday.

Hinga said the plan will be financed by the National Housing Fund, which will raise over $59.5 million per month to get the project underway. But Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development James Macharia said it will take $31.7 billion to build a million homes, each of which will cost between $3,000 and $30,000. Macharia called for support from private sector financing.

Under the financing plan, working Kenyans will contribute 1.5 percent of their salary, which will be matched by their employers. “On affordable housing one should not spend more than 30% of their disposable income for housing,” Hinga tweeted yesterday. “Anything above 30% is not affordable.”

A Trustless Relationship Between People and Government

The initiative represents a considerable push to solve housing and title problems for the nation’s lower income families. But how will the government decide to whom the housing units will go? With so much talk about financing underway, people are already calling on the government to outline a plan for how they’ll distribute the affordable housing units.

The government will need to deliver the housing projects in a time when, Hinga acknowledges, the public is skeptical. Earlier this year $78 million went missing in a corruption scandal involving the National Youth Services. Where there is little trust between the people and their government, Kenya hopes to establish transparency through the blockchain’s distributed ledger system.

Kenya’s Move Toward Tech

In March, Kenya’s Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology appointed a blockchain taskforce to explore the ways the nation could use blockchain technology in the public and private sectors. They called it the Distributed Ledgers and Artificial Intelligence taskforce, and by September its chairman, Bitange Ndemo, was calling on the government to tokenize the economy.

Ndemo also proposed government implementation of blockchain to certify the authenticity of retail goods, so consumers can be sure of where their food is coming from, for example.

Governor of Kenya’s central bank Patrick Njoroge has also voiced support for the use of blockchain technology to strengthen service delivery, although he’s opposed the use of tokens and digital currencies.

But the affordable housing initiative could be the Kenyan government’s first real world implementation of the blockchain.

There’s an Inflatable ‘Bitcoin Rat’ Staring Down the Fed 1 126

Someone has put a giant inflatable rat outside the Federal Reserve Bank in New York.

It’s covered in Bitcoin code, printed in rainbow colors, and is apparently a piece of installation art aimed at subverting the federal institution that controls the US dollar. Or is it pale, puffed-up pariah a commentary on Bitcoin bros themselves? Or does it have something to do with Warren Buffett, who earlier this year called Bitcoin “rat poison squared”? According to CoinDesk, who first reported on the inflatable rat, the meaning is intentionally ambiguous.

The artist behind the puzzling prank is Nelson Saiers. He describes his own work as “mystifying” and “singularly original”, notwithstanding the long history of rats being inflated as protests or used as economic and political icons in art and entertainment around the world.

“It’s art, so I hope they’re entertained by it,” he said, apparently implying that art is entertainment. “It’s informative, I hope people will learn [and] I’m hoping it’ll at least help people understand bitcoin better and be kind of faithful to what Satoshi would have wanted,” he added, citing the mysterious pseudonym of Bitcoin’s founder with a touch of reverence.

A $50 Million Artist

Saiers, a phD in theoretical mathematics, was a hedge fund manager who did that thing where you give up all the money to chase your dream of being an artist.

His financial experience includes a stint as managing director at Deutsche Bank’s prop trading desk, before becoming CIO of Saiers Capital, the hedge fund that bears his name. His creative career gives credence to the theory that working as an artist is more and more a privilege of the very wealthy.

CNBC estimated Saiers’s wealth to be around $50 million at the time of he departed from the financial industry to pick up his paintbrushes.

The Rat Joins a Tradition of Sculpture-as-Commentary in FiDi

The Bitcoin rat, which stands on Maiden Lane, isn’t the first pop up sculpture to grace Manhattan’s financial district. Last year, Kristen Visbal’s 50 inch bronze ‘Fearless Girl’ statue made waves by staring down the famous ‘Charging Bull’, to the outrage of ‘Charging Bull’ sculptor Arturo Di Modica. The 3.5 ton ‘Charging Bull’ itself was left on Wall Street in the middle of the night when Di Modica originally created it, obstructing traffic and drawing the curiosity of passers by.

When Saiers placed the Bitcoin rat, he initially set it up on private property and was promptly ushered off by security guards, who he says were good natured about the situation. He expects the sculpture to be more temporary than the aforementioned Wall Street bronzes, and will probably only be around for a few days.

A Critique of the 2008 Bailouts

The placement of the rat on Maiden Lane seems to be no accident, but rather a reference to the Maiden Lane Transactions, more commonly known as that time when the Fed bailed out the big banks after they all caused the 2008 market crash. The Bitcoin crowd’s antipathy towards the Fed and the big banks is palpable in Sairs’s rat sculpture, and while a more specific meaning eludes, perhaps the success of the piece depends upon its ability to start conversations about the state of finance.

We’ll leave it to the viewers to decide who’s the rat—the Federal Reserve, or Bitcoin itself—and what that means for the future of currencies.

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