DEX, PwC and IMDA to collaborate on new decentralised data sharing model to drive data innovation amongst businesses

DEX and PwC Singapore today announced that they are working together to develop a framework and technology that seeks to enable safe, trusted, and effective data exchange so as to help Singapore leverage the value of data as an asset, such as accelerating the development of artificial intelligence (AI).

This initiative is supported by the Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA), which will provide regulatory guidance and co-create new codes of practice to mitigate risks that will ensure appropriate data practices in usage, handling and sharing.

The collaboration aims to address trust and security concerns by piloting a new model where data providers and consumers can transact on a DEX reference marketplace, built on Ocean Protocol, a new blockchain-powered decentralised data and services exchange platform founded by DEX and BigchainDB, to unlock data for data analytics and AI.

While vast amounts of data are generated each year, mass sharing of information has been hampered largely due to concerns among data owners over trust and security. While most data exchanges currently operate under a centralised model, data remains locked up, unable to be leveraged to develop AI, propel growth and advancement for industries and societies. Hence there is an impetus for new models that could offer more flexible pricing mechanisms and better transparency on how the data is used to bridge the gap on trust and security between data owners. In 2016 for example, only an estimated one percent of the 16 ZB of data generated worldwide was analysed.

Chirdeep Chhabra, CEO of DEX, said: “We are excited about this new collaboration with PwC and IMDA. The benefits of increased data access will be highly tangible. For example, it will provide healthcare companies and professionals the insights necessary to continuously innovate and come up with solutions to address currently incurable diseases, while transportation businesses and bureaus can better understand consumer behaviour to improve efficiency. Once the model has been proven successful, Ocean Protocol and DEX will open source the technology so it can be replicated and more data marketplaces can be built to enable data sharing worldwide, propelling the growth of the global data economy.”

To support the development of the data exchange framework and marketplace technology, six industry-led pilots have been launched in the Built Environment, Finance, Healthcare, Mobility, Consumer Goods & Retail, and Utility sectors. In the Healthcare stream, Aviva and ConnectedLife are applying data analytics and artificial intelligence to enhance protection and care for the ageing population and support independent living, while Roche Diagnostics is exploring ways to improve management and treatment compliance of patients on blood-thinning therapy, and Johnson & Johnson is working on a clinical trial to leverage access to multi-source, motion and lifestyle data to help improve orthopaedic evaluation and recovery. Among other partners, Unilever is using the framework to unlock new shopper insights in Singapore and help smallholder farmers thrive in Southeast Asia.

Mark Jansen, Data & Analytics Leader at PwC Singapore, said: “The potential of the data economy is immense. Companies are generating vast amounts of data, and they are increasingly being tasked with leveraging and monetising these assets to remain competitive. We anticipate an increasing need for a safe and secure data exchange platform to address this new demand. We look forward to working with DEX to build and promote the trusted data framework that will serve as the benchmark for the governance of data sharing in the future.”

Zee Kin Yeong, Assistant Chief Executive (Data Innovation and Protection), IMDA said: “IMDA is heartened that industry are taking the lead to develop innovative solutions for data sharing, as well as collaborating together to overcome challenges in expanding the data sharing economy. The critical ‘how’ in generating trust in data sharing business models is one that IMDA is keen to work on alongside industry, to ensure the right balance between data usage and good practice in handling data. Such initiatives will be vital to the digital transformation of Singapore into a Digital Economy. 
We encourage companies to embark on similar efforts to leverage their data assets for further business value.”

Find out more about the development sprints here.

About DEX

Based in Singapore, DEX is committed to empowering the global data economy to better people’s lives. By building an open-source reference data marketplace and tools on the Ocean Protocol, removing friction in pricing, and addressing issues in consent and compliance, DEX enables people to share and monetize data and services in a decentralized and trusted environment to solve problems. DEX introduces a community-powered approach and provides open-source software, tools and services to facilitate more marketplaces to be built on the Ocean Protocol, enabling data sharing worldwide. Visit to find out more.

About PwC

At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. We’re a network of firms in 158 countries with more than 236,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see for further details.

About Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) will develop a vibrant, world-class infocomm media sector that drives the economy, connects people, bonds communities and powers Singapore’s Smart Nation vision. IMDA does this by developing talent, strengthening business capabilities, and enhancing Singapore’s ICT and media infrastructure. IMDA also regulates the telecommunications and media sectors to safeguard consumer interests while fostering a pro-business environment. IMDA also enhances Singapore’s data protection regime through the Personal Data Protection Commission. For more news and information, visit or follow IMDA on Facebook IMDAsg and Twitter @IMDAsg.


About Ocean Protocol

Founded by DEX and BigchainDB, Ocean Protocol is a decentralized data exchange protocol developed to unlock data for artificial intelligence and beyond. Through blockchain technology and native token, Ocean Protocol connects data providers and consumers, allowing data to be monetized and shared while guaranteeing control, auditability, transparency, and compliance for all stakeholders involved. Ocean Protocol is designed to scale. It allows data owners to have control over their own data sets and prevent them from being locked-in to any single marketplace.

Visit to find out more.

About BigchainDB

BigchainDB is scalable blockchain database offering decentralization, immutability and native assets. BigchainDB allows for the deployment of large-scale applications in a variety of use cases and industries from intellectual property and identity to supply chain, IoT and artificial intelligence. BigchainDB provides unique solutions for developers, start-ups and enterprises to successfully build their concepts, platforms and applications as big as they can dream.

Visit to find out more.