A New Financial Data Marketplace — Part 1: Infrastructure

This article is the first of a 2-part series where I explain how the Credible model fosters competition in a new type of financial services marketplace.

When we built Credible, our mission was to create a solution to the credit data problem that many emerging market SMEs are facing. I’ve discussed some of these problems in my earlier article, What is Credit Data and why is it so difficult to obtain?

But Credible was designed to be so much larger than merely sharing credit data or scores. At its heart, it allows for sharing of data in an open and decentralized way, not just for credit scoring but for many purposes beyond that. Especially uses that we have not thought of yet. So we set out to build an ecosystem that allows us and others to provide financial services in a distributed way.

We’ve previously established what types of data-sharing Credible can used for. Some of them include:

  • Credit scoring
  • KYC and Identity certification
  • Lending
  • Market research
  • Supply chain optimization
  • Trade partner assessment
  • Economic research
  • Advertising
  • … and more!

Each use case is its own Marketplace, and within it, competition between individual operators competing to be the best (in terms of extracting the most information, thus adding the most value) will arise.

In the Credible model, Trusted Escrow Agents (TEAs) take on the role to provide these services to its users as well as the vital link to the underlying blockchain and the mechanisms to ensure the integrity of the data within the blockchain.

More than just sharing credit scoring data on the blockchain, Credible’s focus on data and the conception of the roles of TEAs creates an environment that fosters the trading of financial services.

This chart below illustrates the Credible model and the dual role of TEAs. Underpinning the data is the infrastructure layer which is a full node and associated key management. On top of this, is the SAAS layer which is the topic of this article.

In the discussions on Credible, we have talked about the buying of raw data by users of Credible and this is facilitated directly by the SAAS system under the ‘data searching’ module. However, most users do not have the algorithms to turn raw credit data into meaningful information, such as a credit report, for example. Enter the Financial Services layer where companies can produce, market and sell their reports and services to users. Need a credit report on a company? Just search and pick the one you want from the team that has the best report for your needs, at a price you like.

As specialist service providers adopt Credible in greater numbers, we will see the emergence of services in the SAAS top layer being advertised in the marketplace not only for buying and selling of reports (i.e. processed data and analysis instead of raw data), but also facilitation of transactions (e.g. loans and insurance).

I like to think of this model like an iPhone and its App Store. When the iPhone was launched, there were no 3rd party Apps available, but Apple’s vision allowed anyone to make apps for it, adding to the robust use of the phone.

Similarly, Credible’s goal is to create an environment in which other businesses can utilize and use to compete for financial gain.

Large tech companies like Facebook and Google own the underlying data which allows them to continuously improve their algorithms, adding new machine learning as well as AI systems to uncover new uses and value from the same treasure trove of data. Had they thrown away the source, this reinvention would be impossible.

Likewise for Credible. Sure, we can and will provide a good credit scoring system, but how can we be sure that it is the best? How do we evolve and improve it over time?

Our answer to that is an honest one: We can only know if we allow others to write their own algorithms and test theirs against the same data. May the best system win. For us, this is what it truly means to be open, decentralized and an ecosystem. We not only enable others to compete, but actively encourage it.

Consider the web — it was designed as a tech project with the goal of allowing open access and the free sharing of information. No one knew then how it would be used, but making it open and flexible allowed the best talent to take advantage over time.

Similarly, we believe it’s impossible, even dangerous, to presume that we already know all the use cases. Credible was designed for decentralized data gathering and ownership. All we can do is to project a few steps ahead, but beyond that, it’s “hold onto your hats” time.

And so that’s it. That’s what we mean when we say we are building a new ecosystem, and this is our vision for it.

In part 2 of this article, I will talk about more use cases for Credible in our envisioned financial services marketplace.

For a comprehensive write-up on Credible’s envisioned marketplace, download our White Paper.

Questions? Comments? Do reach out to us out on our channels.

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