Streamr and Fysical to partner to reshape human location data market

Shiv Malik
May 1, 2018 · 3 min read

One of the world’s largest providers of human location data to the advertising industry is changing its business model in the wake of the Facebook scandal and is seeking to put consumers back in control by partnering with blockchain-backed data platform Streamr.

Founded 3.5 years ago, Singapore-based Fysical ($FYS) now sells some 15 billion location data points from mobile and IoT devices to chart how people move through cityscapes and commercial spaces.

This data is currently being bought by scores of organisations from industries such as advertising, real estate, financial services businesses, academia, and organisations with interests in machine learning. Fysical co-founder Ben Smith, however, has now stated that it is time to change direction and allow consumers to reclaim and monetise the real-time data that is being generated about them from hundreds of mobile apps and other devices.

Anonymous data supplied to Fysical during 2017’s Presidential Inauguration weekend which shows foot traffic patterns during the Inauguration and the Women’s March on Washington.

Smith will work with Swiss-based data monetisation platform Streamr ($DATA), to vend the data on its real-time data Marketplace, which will be launched at Consensus 2018 on May 16 2018. But the two companies will also work together to create an easy-to-use permission mechanism that will give people the ability to deny the use of that data altogether, or if they choose, to ‘double verify’ data being produced about them. By double verifying their locations, people will increase the data’s reliability, creating a new standard in digital advertising and the location monitoring industry. They will also be able to share in the proceeds of monetisation.

Streamr’s CEO, Henri Pihkala, welcomed the partnership.

Streamr’s aim is to do data differently, and this partnership shows just that. We know that the IoT economy is already generating vast amounts of information about human behaviour. We have to make sure that this wealth of data isn’t captured by a select few data giants of the future because we don’t want to make the mistakes of the past. That’s why we’re putting Streamr Labs to work on ensuring we build something new from the ground up, that has the right values baked in from the start.

“Facebook, Google and Amazon currently own the ‘online’ data world,” said Fysical co-founder Ben Smith.

The next frontier is ‘offline’ or physical world data. We think that decentralisation can allow us to tackle this next frontier the right way, rather than building giant monopolies with high privacy costs for consumers.

In the decentralised space, there has only been one model to allow consumers to own their data and that’s a consumer-first model, where companies provide a mobile app to consumers which allows consumers to make money from their data,” Smith continued.

Most companies that offer such an app tout that they’re allowing consumers to finally claim their data and take it back from the data giants, but that’s not actually happening. Rather, these apps just create more data to sell with a consumer monetary kick-back and they do nothing to allow consumers to claim or own the data generated from the thousands of other apps and websites that still collect and sell their data. Fysical allows users to efficiently claim all of this data downstream at the aggregate marketplace level where it’s pooled, instead of just from one of the many sources creating it upstream.

Smith added that Fysical’s mission was to become the industry standard for businesses to buy and sell location data, “while allowing consumers to claim their data from this B2B market”.

More about Fysical

Fysical is a decentralised location data market that provides a protocol for the transparent and compliant exchange of physical world data on the blockchain. Currently, Fysical trades more than 15 billion data points every month.

  • Fysical is fully functional and launched live on the Ethereum Main-net in February 2018.
  • Fysical utilises the FYS token to facilitate all data and market services transactions as well as for decryption of datasets published to the blockchain.



Trump Inauguration case study:


The decentralized platform for real-time data. Distribute unstoppable data streams over a global open source peer-to-peer network and discover Data Unions — scalable crowdsourced data sets.

Shiv Malik

Written by

Author. Broadcaster. Data Unions instigator. Former Guardian investigative journalist. Passionate about economics, decentralization & Mutualism.


The decentralized platform for real-time data. Distribute unstoppable data streams over a global open source peer-to-peer network and discover Data Unions — scalable crowdsourced data sets.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store