3. Market opportunity

3.1 The era of data capitalism

“Data will become the biggest production material in the future, it will become a public resource like water, electricity and oil. With computing capabilities and data, mankind will go through changes that flip heaven and earth.”[8]

Jack Ma, Founder and Chairman of Alibaba Group

“We never throw away data, simply because it is difficult to know when it may become important for a product or service offering down the road.”[9]

Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon.com

Data has become capital and power. The current capitalism is rapidly shifting towards data capitalism. Corporates profit

from the ownership of data. Among firms, the gap in data ownership results into the gap in power.

Meanwhile, the overwhelming market dominance of large data corporates and the ownership problem of private data is a hot potato in the industry.

Especially, the claim that users do not get properly rewarded for their data contribution is gaining attention.

Glen Weyl, microsoft researcher, states that “data is labour” and claims that the contribution of private data must be rewarded. He claims that artificial intelligence is made out of raw material from humans rather than from algorithms. [10]

Mithril team believes that individuals can become active partners with data business companies. Individuals willingly provide a type of data that is not sensitive to themselves, and data companies create profits and share them with individuals. Voluntary data provision and profit distribution will be a promising business model in the era of data capitalism.


[8] Bloomberg news, “Alibaba’s Ma Says Data Resource Is Oil, Water of the ㅇ0ㅇ” Oct.14, 2015 [Online]. Available :https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2015-10-14/alibaba-s-ma-says-data-resource-is-oil-water-of-the-future

[9]Thomas H. Davenport, “What it takes to succeed big data” April.16, 2014 [Online]. Available :http://data-informed.com/takes-succeed-big-data/

[10] The economist, “Data is giving rise to a new economy” May.6, 2017 [Online]. Available :https://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21721634-how-it-shaping-up-data-giving-rise-new-economy