Updates from the Dev Cave: What Do We Mean by “Data Sovereignty?”

On yesterday’s livestream and AMA, CEO and architect Arie Trouw brought up the idea of data sovereignty. What exactly does that mean, in the context of XYO?

Traditionally, data sovereignty refers to the idea that when data is collected, the collector needs to follow the laws of the region they’re collecting data from. This is where issues like GDPR come into play — a US company is bound by EU laws when it comes to data they collect or store within the EU. This can become complicated when applied to blockchain projects, where data is by definition decentralized.

When we talk about data sovereignty, however, we want something more. We think that the individual — you — should have knowledge of and control over where, when, and how data you provide is collected, used, and monetized. As Arie says, we think of sovereignty in the sense of owning your own castle and being the sovereign ruler of your data. This is one of the cornerstones of XYO — when you provide useful data, you should be the one rewarded for it! Similarly, we want you to have control over the data you provide to XYO, and how it’s linked to you and your devices.

Here are some of the ways we approach data in order to keep you in control:

  • All nodes in the network are rewarded for providing useful data. If your Sentinel or Bridge provides information that’s used to answer a request, if your Archivist stores that information, or if your Diviner calculates the answer, you’ll receive part of the XYO that was paid to make the request. In a centralized system like Google’s, you’re providing valuable information when you use their services, but Google reaps the rewards when it sells that information to advertisers.
  • You can control what information you provide and how it’s linked to you. At any time, you can reset the Proof of Origin Chain on your Sentinels or Bridges. From the point of view of an outside observer, it’s no different than if you’d destroyed your devices and replaced them. By providing more information, through a longer Proof of Origin Chain, you’re more likely to be rewarded. By resetting your Proof of Origin Chain, you’re de-linking previous interactions from your current and future interactions, which makes the data you provide less likely to be used and thus rewarded.
  • Unlike some other platforms, we don’t work off of a pooled Proof of Work mechanism. You’re rewarded for the data you and your devices provide, rather than for being part of a mining pool that shares rewards.

Ultimately, we feel that the most successful economies are ones that give the most control to their participants. That’s how we’re approaching every aspect of development, from the reward structure to governance to issues like data sovereignty. By giving you control, we’ll all be more successful.

Johnny Kolasinski
Head of Community
XYO Network