I’m delighted to finally announce a project the team at SettleMint has been working on for several months. Allow me to introduce to you, the DataBroker DAO. A peer to peer marketplace created to provide IoT sensor owners with a clear path to data monetisation and data consumers with a decentralised market to buy IoT sensor data.

The challenge

Individuals, companies, researchers & governments are spending hundreds of billions each year on buying and maintaining IoT sensors. The growth of the investment and applications in IoT is truly staggering, and yet, all data captured by these devices is locked up in silos and walled gardens.

The amount of money spent on IoT is truly staggering. The global market for IoT sensors has surpassed 600 billion USD per year including the purchase, installation and maintenance of sensors and the software packages to interpret and enrich the data. With no clear path to monetization.

And, whether for primary usage or enrichment and direct resale, the data remains grossly under-utilised and the utility for society locked away in closed organisational silos. Stifling innovation and holding back society as a whole.



Our solution

With the DataBroker DAO, we aspire to unleash this long-tail creativity and facilitate the conversion of powerful ideas into value adding services. Doing so with a distributed foundational layer for the buying and selling of IoT sensor data we expect that unimagined uses of the data will emerge to create incredible value adding services that enrich the quality of life in our cities and our societies as a whole.

In a sense, the DataBroker DAO can be likened to a “secondary market” for IoT sensor data and has been referred to as an “eBay” or “Amazon” for IoT sensor data.



The current parties in the IoT space have a lot to gain:

  • Sensor owners can monetize their data and turn a sunk cost into a potential money maker and at least the opportunity to recoup some of their investments in IoT sensors.
  • Network operators gain scale and speed in the adoption of their network as connected telcos can present a win-back to their enterprise accounts, a clear USP.
  • Sensor manufacturers can stop the “race to the bottom” for production and pull resources and capital out of manufacturing and allocate these to more successful SaaS offerings.

At the same time, the new types of buyers have unprecedented access to data and options to monetize their own data:

  • Smart City Initiatives can limit the upfront cost of populating the town with sufficient sensors and turn the expense into an investment with a 2–3 year payback period and a continuous income stream after that.
  • In the Agricultural sector in Belgium today, 10% of farmers are “techie”. They deploy sensors include for the wind, temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, PH level in the soil. The platform will provide the possibility to recoup some of this cost.
  • Academics get access to thousands of sensors and can buy data directly and more cheap on the marketplace, cutting out established data providers.

And the platform does not stop there. Many organisations specialise in enhancing, aggregating and filtering of IoT data. They can now easily resell their improved feeds on the marketplace as well.

Underpinned by public and private blockchain technology

The core marketplace functionality is powered by an Ethereum smart contract, written in the Solidity programming language, which enables the listing of the data for sale by IoT sensor owners and the purchase of the data by data consumers with an ERC20 utility token.

The data sold on the platform is recorded on a private/permissioned blockchain or traditional cloud infrastructure and subsequently anchored to a public blockchain to ensure that the integrity of the data.




We have been working on this project for a long while now and have a beta version available at https://beta.databrokerdao.com for you to test and experience the application. The sensor data is mocked for demo purposes and integrations with one network operator are ongoing.

DataBroker DAO on the road…

In the last few months, we have been actively showcasing this application, you might have seen it, on events like the Blockchain Expo in London, Dublin Tech Summit, IoT World Paris, Smart City Saudi Arabia, IoTX Dubai and last but not least the Smart Dubai Office’s Blockchain Challenge. The feedback and interest have been off the charts, and we feel it’s ready for the next steps. Any event inquiries can be sent to hello@databrokerdao.com

Next steps for DataBroker DAO?

The biggest obstacle to the success of DataBroker DAO and the full valorisation of IoT sensor data is on the supply side of the equation. That is the adoption of the marketplace by data sensor owners who are generating data. The token sale is meant to further this goal and extend and develop the platform.

We will release the full whitepaper on August 1st and would love to gather your comments and feedback in the meantime. Join us on Slack or any of our other channels on https://databrokerdao.com/#beintheknow