A step towards an open financial data market
Digitisation and the ever-accelerating human desire to dissect and understand our environments has fuelled an unprecedented rate of generation, collection and analysis of vast amounts of data. The International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that in 2025 the amount of data collected annually will surpass a staggering annual 163 zettabytes (163 trillion gigabytes). In financial markets specifically, trillions of data points about buy and sell orders are being collected and curated every day.
As abundance keeps growing, the infrastructure to access verified, high-quality financial data lags behind dramatically. To access a broad source of high-quality financial data today requires significant investments, often ranging in the tens of thousands of dollars per year per account. This effectively excludes smaller players from entering and participating in financial markets to the extent that larger corporations and financial players can. Retail investors, startups and SME’s can seldom afford such rates and the use of lagging or incomplete data puts them at a disadvantage in the markets.
Another inefficiency of our current financial data market environment is that we are confronted with a plethora of data silos. While Bloomberg has a quasi-monopoly on the provision of financial market data, a diverse range of peripheral data is offered by the many market players that often employ proprietary collection techniques. What is more, new sources of data like the crypto-asset markets have not yet been taken into the equation. This siloed datasphere was borne out of the need for specialisation, making it more cost effective for organisations to lift data for specific market sectors and demands, yet today’s surge of new fintech business models and availability of new data types and sources drive a need for a more holistic and efficient new way to get access.
A new market infrastructure for financial data is overdue
The rapid emergence of blockchain technology and crypto-assets has created an entire new market with a dedicated range of data and providers thereof. Despite its emergence 10 years ago, the maturity of markets and adoption of its underlying technology is only now seeming to make its way to the mass markets. With this in mind, it is not surprising that the infrastructure to provide data is not yet fully developed and exhibits startling inefficiencies. Questionable data sourcing, calculation irregularities and suspicions of manipulation have given rise to harsh criticism of current data providers in the crypto community — the most recent data glitch at Coinmarketcap proves this point in case.
All of the above factors call for an overhauled data provision infrastructure. One that is accessible to investors of all types and sizes and that is characterised by efficiency, transparency and trust. With the availability of blockchain technology, this is finally possible. We are able to create a transparent infrastructure that enables a community-owned process of sourcing, vetting and standardising data. This is exactly what DIA sets out to accomplish: the creation of a non-profit platform for open-source and verified financial data, sourced and made available through a transparent, community-driven process.
DIA hosts an ecosystem of data providers, data analysts and DApps
DIA is a not-for-profit association that provides a platform where the need for various types of data can be articulated and a community of analysts, developers and data scientists is incentivised to provide it at the highest possible quality. An open API (so called ‘oracles’) provides access to this vetted data to all kinds of decentralised applications like trading screens, content portals, automated calculation agents and many more. This ecosystem of data providers, data analysts, data users and the attached marketplace represents one of many, yet a fundamental building block in the creation an open financial data market.
Today marks the launch of the beta version of DIA, which provides the basic infrastructure for and a first step towards a truly open and democratic market for financial data, both from the crypto and traditional markets. In the coming months, DIA and its community of analysts, developers and data providers will begin to source, verify and make available trusted financial data, continue developing the platform and drive the adoption of an open-source financial market data infrastructure that improves access to and inclusion for all market participants.