The World’s 1st Blockchain-based Business Data Marketplace: Real Use Cases [Part 1]

Jeremiah Smith, PhD
The DX Network
Published in
7 min readSep 10, 2018


The DX Network is the world’s first business data marketplace. It combines Blockchain and the Semantic Web stack to enable secure, open and efficient data exchange between organizations — turning data into a tradable asset.


This marks a major milestone for the data economy to become a reality. It will be the first time that data owners and consumers of business data will be able to transact directly with each other on a fully open market. Here is a recap of the innovations brought by the DX Network:

  • Data owners are able to autonomously list their goods (data) for sale! And because of the network’s standard data listing format and unique storage paradigm, this crowdsourced data behaves just like a single HUGE database as far as data consumers are concerned—saving them minutes/hours/days by offloading data collection, cleaning, organization and aggregation to the network.
  • Data consumers can select the data sources (data owners) they want to buy data from and purchased data comes with cryptographic proof of provenance and integrity. Critically, data consumers pay-as-they-go and pay-per-datapoint they consume, replacing subscriptions and pay-per-query pricing. This follows the Machine Payable Web movement pioneered in the Blockchain space by 21 (now, acquired by Coinbase).
  • While data consumers only pay for the data they consume (this might sound trivial but is far from the status quo), data owners are guaranteed to receive the exact payment corresponding to the data that has been consumed. Thanks to the DX Network’s state channels, consumers pay data owners directly, bypassing any middlemen, effectively making these transactions similar to face-to-face transactions of tangible goods—QED.

Real world impact and use cases

Equidam, Blockdata, Forward Fooding and Symbid are four data-driven companies in the Tech sector participating in the DX Network’s pilot.

The first marketplace to open on the DX Network is for Tech Industry data: structured data about companies, products, investors, investments and news. For this, we assembled a strategic pilot group of 15 companies in the Tech sector last April. From San Francisco to Dubai and from startups to established venture capital firms, we’ve gathered a diverse group of actors in the Tech sector to help iterate over the network’s interface and ensure its integration into existing workflows/products is as easy as possible. While usability is often left as an afterthought in blockchain technology, it is one of our primary concerns as it is an indispensable ingredient to scale network adoption.

👉 We are at capacity for the alpha release, but if you’d like to join the pilot group for the DX Network’s upcoming candidate release please apply here.

Thanks to our pilot group’s precious input, the network’s development is guided by real world use cases and feedback. Here are four typical use cases we’ve gathered from the pilot group:

Equidam • Compute company valuations online

Equidam is the leading provider of online business valuation. More than 80,000 startups and small businesses from 80+ countries use their platform to compute, understand and negotiate their value.

👉 Learn more on or get a free valuation for your company here!

DX use case: Equidam uses 5 different models to compute company valuations. These require constant inflow of up-to-date funding data for as many companies, locations and markets as possible. By enabling previously isolated small, medium and large data owners to make their data available to others, the DX Network provides a new data source to complement existing data collection efforts. It offers a single, standard interface (API) to previously locked up industry data from a wide range of heterogeneous data owners.

Blockdata • Discover and track Blockchain projects

Blockdata is an upcoming platform to discover and track blockchain projects. It focuses on providing unbiased data about blockchain ventures, tokens, products and teams by cross-referencing data from multiple sources.

👉 Learn more on or apply for early access here!

DX use case: Blockdata collects, cleans and consolidates data from a wide range of sources to provide users with impartial up-to-date data about the Blockchain ecosystem. Beyond providing an additional data source, the DX Network is the only turnkey solution which enables business data collectors to maximise the value extracted from their collection efforts. It provides a new distribution channel for data by taking care of the tedious infrastructure and payments elements of its monetization and providing data owners with an immediate customer base (data consumers on the network).

Forward Fooding • The hub for Food and Agri tech

Forward Fooding is the world’s first collaborative platform for the Food and Beverage industry and a global hub connecting Food and Agri tech startups with corporates to foster innovation in the industry.

👉 Learn more about Forward Fooding here and, if you are a food or food tech innovator, apply to join their Food Innovation hub in London here!

DX use case: To help make the right connections between corporates and startups, Forward Fooding is mapping out the FoodTech sector (quite literally! See their Global FoodTech Map). Alongside automated methods, Forward Fooding crowdsources and manually collects vast amounts of unique data about companies, investors and accelerators in the Food and Beverage industry. The DX Network not only provides an API to off-radar data sources for complementing automated data collection, but also directly rewards owners of specialized data for making some of it publicly available on the DX Network — offering a new monetization strategy to specialist data collectors.

Symbid • The Netherlands’ #1 crowdfunding platform

Symbid is the leading equity crowdfunding platform for startups and SMEs in the Netherlands. It allows promising Dutch businesses to raise money from individuals and professional investors through a single platform.

👉 Learn more on and get funded if you are Dutch company!

DX use case: The growth team at Symbid constantly monitors the Dutch entrepreneurial scene on the lookout for potential companies which might be a good fit for their platform. For companies to be crowdfundable, they must match a multitude of criteria from size to revenue. The DX Network leverages over a decade of research in knowledge representation to offer data consumers a query language (DX/SPARQL) to allow for fine-grained queries. Consumers are thus able to construct tailored data queries matching their exact use case and receive data from all selected sources at once, in standard format, saving time and costs compared to manual/ad hoc data sourcing.

DX for X: Beyond Tech Industry data

The DX Network is not only engineered for scale with respect to the amount of data and number of users it can support, but its architecture is designed so that launching a new DX data marketplace is entirely straightforward. It can be done by simply adding a new data model (or ontology) for the desired marketplace to the network in the same format as the DX Tech Industry Model. This gives the DX Network the fundamentals needed to enable data exchange in virtually all application domains e.g. Healthcare, Insurance, Artificial Intelligence, Finance, Retail or Government — just to cite a few.

The DX Network’s beachhead Tech Industry data marketplace was chosen because the technology industry’s impact on the world economy is increasing (the top 5 companies by market cap are now all tech companies) and with this, so has the demand for data about the sector. Launching the DX Network with a Tech Industry data marketplace is not only a strategic choice because of this, but also because the technology sector itself is one of the most open to innovation, facilitating the technology’s adoption.

Cherry on the cake, our core team also founded Startup Tracker — a popular startup company search engine — in 2015. Our domain expertise, the data we’ve collected, and connections we’ve made in the process, makes us uniquely positioned to develop the world’s first Blockchain-based business data marketplace and drive its adoption!

Now that we’ve covered the DX Network’s core features and some of its natural uses cases, it’s time to dive into the practical aspects of using the network with the DX Network API overview in part 2. Continue reading ➔

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