DataBroker DAO Live AMA with Roderik van der Veer & Matthew Van Niekerk

DataBroker DAO Live AMA with Roderik van der Veer & Matthew Van Niekerk

Last Sunday we sat down with the founders of DataBroker DAO (CEO Matthew Van Niekerk and CTO Roderik van der Veer) and our community on Telegram to talk about the data marketplace DataBroker DAO, DTX tokens, ownership and trust. It was our first AMA in a while that sparked conversations and brought our community closer. 

Q: Is DataBroker DAO generating revenue? How are funds and resources divided over SettleMint and DataBroker DAO?

Matthew: At this moment, DataBroker DAO is pre-revenue. The business model is driven by our commercial activity (data buying and selling) and, as we are still in the process of on-boarding data sellers, this revenue is yet to kick in. SettleMint is generating revenue. The cashflow is healthy.

Roderik: On a technical level the SettleMint’s middleware product, Mint, powers 90% of the DataBrokerDAO platform (or at least the new upcoming one) so incentives are aligned there.

Matthew: We are, thus, in a phase with DataBroker where SettleMint is incubating DataBroker DAO until it reaches independent and sufficient revenue generation status. Please be aware that DataBroker DAO is part of the SettleMint’s long term strategy.

Q: If big companies trespass on your technology, do you have a patent, security or a contract for that?

Matthew: We have looked into patents for our technology and based on our lawyers opinion (and that of 3 other patent lawyers) the prospect of patenting in Europe at least is not promising.

That said, given the size of the opportunity for data marketplaces in the next 5-10 years, there are sufficient opportunities for 20-30 companies with the same business model.

“The key to success is not patenting. Network effect will be much more valuable than a patent.”

Q: Tell us more about the exchange situation.

Roderik: We are highly aware of the exchange situation. Over the last two years we submitted for almost all reputable exchanges. We made sure that after the recent delist wave we kept an exchange reporting to CoinMarketCap (unsure why YoBit does not) and one with a fiat on/off ramp. Adding more will not change the low liquidity, we believe any changes in that respect will come from commercial adoption of the platform.

Q: Can you release the pilot version to the public?

Roderik: We are now working on the next commercial release version to go live at the end of October at a big event.

Q: Data transaction process generates more gas costs than other tokens, why? Is there a way to reduce gas costs?

Roderik: At the time of creating the token, best practices (like Aragon, Giveth, … for example) were to base the token on the MiniMe standard. This token stores full history, so we can get, for example, token holders at block x or y. This results in some more gas costs. Read more

Q: Does the platform include all configurations such as Sigfox, LoRa, gsm and telco (WSN) networks?

Roderik: The platform, or the piece that transmits and receives data, we call the DXC (Data eXchange Controller) in v3. DXC can handle files, tcp streams, and acts as an API gateway. Via those options, any protocol can pipe in, and depending on the customers we might add more specific connectors, like ThingsNetwork, Sigfox, etc.

Q: What is the difference between the stream sensor data and the data set in the marketplace?

Roderik: A data set is a “file” so a one-time transmission/download to the buyer. A stream is an open “pipe” where data flows through when a sensor reading happens. In v3 we are adding a third, API proxy, where the DXC is in front of existing API’s.

Q: Can we know the volume of data transactions when the data marketplace v3 goes live?

Matthew: We will take this in our discussions on the design of the upcoming update to the website. It will be interesting to add it as a feature at some point.

Q: The difference between the two configurations is simply downloading and streaming?

Roderik: Yes, also the timing of the data coming in, and the type of data: a stream can not get historical data for example, a file can.

Q1: How does DataBroker DAO relate to the MindSphere ecosystem?

Matthew: We are a MindSpere partner and conducted integration tests with their edge computing hardware together with them. It is early days for MindSphere and we are looking forward to future steps with them.

Roderik: We were able to deploy the middleware on their edge computing machines (so machines at the factory flow next to the PLC that manages the “robots”) and since the two platforms are using the same core, the way to run the DXC on an edge computer is open.

Find out more here

Q: Can you show us some of the designs for v3 platform?

Roderik: The current Alpha version is not functioning. The v3 version is under development. As soon as we can share something, we will! We are very excited about it. Adding experienced UX and graphic designers really ups the game.

Big thanks to everyone who joined us! Stay tuned, as there is more to come.

Why DataBroker DAO is investigating Decentralised Exchanges.

Why DataBroker DAO is investigating Decentralised Exchanges.

One of the good things about cryptocurrency is the idea that we don’t need to trust anyone, as well as being in full control of our own assets. So, if you’re still unaware, having your coins on Binance, Bittrex or any other current popular exchange, doesn’t assure your coins are stored safely. If you don’t own the private key to your wallet, you don’t own the coins.

The use of centralised exchanges may contribute to the ecosystem from a usability perspective however it is somewhat contrary to the principles of cryptocurrencies and represents a clear trade-off between usability and security. The latest news about the Bitgrail hack, should’ve opened a lot of eyes in the cryptosphere. It doesn’t only have bad financial influence for people’s gains, but exchange scams and hacks have a bad PR impact that ruins the reputation of the crypto space. If you’re here for the technology, you should understand that we cannot achieve the ideological goal of decentralisation without decentralised exchanges.

Trust issues

Unlike banks, where you have semi-protection from the government, a centralised exchange will only choose to refund you if it’s financially convenient for them. In many cases an excuse labelled ‘a hack’ will be made to deflect attention and skirt responsibility for paying out customers. Don’t believe me? Well, let’s have a quick stroll down the memory lane. Here are the most popular exchange downfalls from the past few years.

  • Mtgox
    By the end of 2014, being the largest bitcoin exchange in the world, Mtgox became a victim of a massive ‘hack’ and lost 740,000 Bitcoins that belonged to its customers. This resulted in the exchange filing for bankruptcy, whilst users of the exchange lost their assets.
  • BTCe
    The exchange that was founded in 2011, allegedly ignored KYC laws in order to cater to a “specific” customer base. After a fine of $110 million against BTC-e for facilitating crimes like drug sales and ransomware attacks, the exchange was forced to close it doors in July 2017.
  • Coincheck Exchange
    In January this year, hackers broke into a cryptocurrency exchange called Coincheck Inc. and made off with nearly $500 million in digital tokens. It’s one of the biggest heists in history, with the exchange losing more than 500 million of the somewhat obscure NEM coins.
  • Bitconnect
    During a bear market in January 2018, Bitcoin investment and lending platform Bitconnect abruptly announced it is shutting down it’s services. Although Bitconnect doesn’t really count as an exchange, it perfectly shows how easy a centralised entity can shut its doors leaving it’s users in the cold.
  • Bitgrail
    BitGrail was until recently one of the main portals for the trading of Nano, a cryptocurrency formerly known as RaiBlocks. Last Thursday, BitGrail founder Francesco Firano claimed to have discovered that 17 million Nano tokens, then worth roughly $195 million, had been stolen by hackers. Which basically means, everyone who had their Nano tokens on BitGrail, can whistle for it.

Hacks are not the only issue with centralised systems. When interest peaks and new account openings spike, exchanges tend to cease sign ups without warning for new customers. Moreover, centralised exchanges are known to reduce withdrawal limits without warning and having unscheduled downtime preventing users access to their funds. Suddenly delisting coins is also happens, resulting in profit loss in some cases. For instance, this recently happened to CEX.IO. And the worst part? These exchanges act like totalitarian governments and demand high prices to get a coin listed.

Slow adoption

Unfortunately most people who are new to the market have no idea what a decentralised exchange is, or more importantly why one would be needed. A lot of people who joined the crypto space in the past half year, did it mostly to “ride the wave” of financial gains. Furthermore, there is sometimes friction when a token changes exchanges as this requires people to change exchanges as well. It also falls short in that the most existing decentralised exchanges lack trades and liquidity. This seems like a chicken and eggissue. Because unless there is enough volume on DEXs, it will prevent people from using them.

The Solution

Fortunately, the near future is looking bright for decentralised exchanges. We see more and more interesting projects surface that offer amazing functionalities and beautiful UI’s that should ease adoption. They allow you to exchange values peer to peer, meaning that you never have to submit your private keys to a third party upon deposit. You hold your keys, you are in control.

Other benefits:

  • Trading in privacy
  • Protecting your funds from hackers
  • Retaining control of your assets
  • Trading diverse coins (not limited by central entity)
  • No hacks or server downtime

The following DEXs are the ones we are investigating for listing the DTXtoken:

  • Waves
    Waves’ DEX allows you to trade any token pairs that are on the blockchain. In addition, there are no restrictions on withdrawals from the DEX. As soon as your transaction is complete, the cryptocurrency will appear in your wallet.
  • EtherDelta
    EtherDelta is a decentralized Ethereum token exchange, brought to you by Etherboost. The exchange currently has only one fee, which is the 0.3% buyer transaction fee. Deposit, withdraw, and seller transaction fees are all free.
  • IDEX
    IDEX is allegedly the fastest and most user friendly decentralized Ethereum exchange available. With support for market orders, instant order books, and instant gas-free cancels, IDEX provides traders with the speed of a centralized exchange combined with the ironclad security of decentralization (including support for MetaMask and Ledger Wallet).
  • Blocknet DEX (Bèta launch March 1st)
    This is a decentralized exchange we’re most excited about. Blocknet DEX will have no central points of failure and will mimic the functionality and trading experience of central exchanges.
  • BarterDEX
    BarterDEX has decentralised order books that initiate Atomic Swaps through light-weight Electrum servers. The result is a basis for a secure and universal decentralised exchange.
  • Token Store
    It’s based on the principles first established by EtherDelta and uses a very similar smart contract with some minor additions. But it features a completely rebuilt orderbook, UI and has some extended trading capabilities like instant orders.
  • Radex
    Radex is a secure, efficient decentralized exchange on the Ethereum blockchain. All transactions happen directly in the smart contract added security. And because Ethereum is a public blockchain, other developers will be able to write their own applications on top of this exchange, such as alternative user interfaces and trading bots, and benefit from shared liquidity without having to pay for it.


As you have already figured, DataBroker DAO is looking to list the DTX token on decentralised exchanges, primarily for the additional security for DTX token holders. That said, the choice for a decentralised exchange does not mean DTX will not be available on some popular exchanges in the future. Centralised exchanges are definitely a needed bridge to the coming decentralised ecosystem today as they provide fiat on-ramps into the crypto space. It’s also important for us that our customers can easily exchange our token with one another. We believe that both centralised and decentralised exchanges can successfully coexist, giving the token holder more options and allowing them to decide what trade-offs they want to make rather than imposing a one-size fits all approach that forces a choice on them.

This blogpost is mostly an informative piece to highlight the importance of decentralisation. We care profoundly about this amazing technology like the most of you. Being fairly confident that the transition to decentralised exchanges will happen soon, the only thing we can do at the moment is spread the word about how to store assets in a safe way.

Any questions, opportunities or partnership requests are welcome on any of these channels: