Quadrant Enables Complex Data Transactions with Blockchain

Asia Blockchain Review

October 14, 2019

Asia Blockchain Review recently spoke to Mike Davie, CEO and Founder of Quadrant, a data and technology company that makes it easier to buy, sell and map mobile location data. Davie talked about the Quadrant Protocol engine, stamping and mapping disparate data sets, and developing data technology that enables complex data transactions.

Asia Blockchain Review: What was your inspiration for founding Quadrant? How have your previous experiences played a role in establishing the company?

Mike Davie: I saw the need for a better real-time system of connecting data producers, vendors, and buyers while studying for my Master’s of Computer Information Systems at Boston University. In fact, I was one of the first public users of Amazon Kinesis, an early project to collect, process, and analyze real-time streaming data, and I have been focused on optimizing data ever since.

I founded Quadrant (formerly DataStreamX until it rebranded in 2018) in 2014, which at the time was the world’s first online marketplace for real-time, high-value data sets across industries and borders processing billions of data records a month. We were working with some of the largest companies in the world, and I saw an issue of transparency in the industry, with many of these companies buying data from organizations but not having a clue as to what was the original source of that data. This meant that they opened themselves up to buying data that was either poor quality, replicated, or even false. 

I was already aware of blockchain and knew that it would be ideal for bringing transparency to the data economy. In 2018, I launched Quadrant Protocol, which uses blockchain to timestamp data and ensures that any changes from the time of stamping are known. This allows users to know if data has been changed (i.e. falsified, tampered with) and allows us to trace data to its source (as of the time of stamping). Quadrant Protocol also allows us to map disparate sources of data, organizing it so that entrepreneurs and companies can develop new and innovative technologies and services. 

ABR: What particular solutions do you provide and for whom?

MD: Quadrant works with any organization looking for solutions to their location data needs. For example, one of our clients, Quorum, an out-of-home (OOH) advertising solution provider based in the United States, uses our authenticated location data to allow their clients to target the consumer in motion. They are able to understand who is driving past one of their OOH advertisements and can then target those consumers with mobile advertisements, bridging the physical-digital divide. Importantly, they know that the data they are basing this on from Quadrant is accurate as well as at scale.

We work with a range of clients in Asia and the United States who are seeking location data that can provide them with more insights into their own consumers and target markets, audience segmentation, and customer behavior analysis, among other things.

As I mentioned earlier, we use blockchain-enabled data authentication technology to stamp data with a unique signature (also known as a ‘hash’), placing it on Quadrant’s blockchain. This guarantees that from the time of stamping, any change in or corruption of the data will result in a misalignment of its unique signature, signaling to the buyer that the data has been changed. This creates the accountability and trust that businesses need. 

Quadrant aims to bring transparency to the data economy, creating accountability and trust which leads to more innovation and data use. We allow companies to access accurate data that they can then use to inform decision-making. We allow governments to understand the movements of people, so they can better serve those people.

 

ABR: Why did you decide to use blockchain technology for your solution?

MD: Blockchain technology gives organizations confidence in knowing that the data that they use is accurate from the time it is stamped. Should there be any discrepancy in the data, then we can go back to the data source (as of the time of stamping) which encourages accountability. Furthermore, the technology enables us to map disparate sources of data together, organizing the data and making it easier to innovate and develop creative solutions and products.

Blockchain technology is well suited for creating provenance and authenticity in supply chains. We are seeing this in other industries such as retail – Walmart has requested its suppliers of green vegetables to upload their data to the blockchain for instance – as this allows companies to know the source of the products they are using. Many industries have long, opaque, and complex supply chains with various middlemen – just like the data economy – and blockchain is the perfect technology to create transparency. 

ABR: What makes Quadrant stand out from other developers in the blockchain space?

MD: From the beginning, we have reflected on the needs of enterprises. We introduced Quadrant Protocol which uses blockchain technology to authenticate data, creating more accountability and spurring the creation of more authentic and better quality data. This data is then used to generate insights into consumer behavior, helping firms better execute their marketing campaigns. We allow advertisers to understand exactly where their customers (or potential customers) are; we enable retailers to scout the right location for their next store or outlet and more. 

We have real-life, revenue-generating use cases, as enterprises from around the world are using us to solve their data problems. For example, our Data Smart Contracts have generated over US$628,728 in Annualized Recurring Revenue, in which we have purchased over 27 million eQUADs. Enterprises large and small are accessing the Quadrant platform and using it to subscribe to authenticated, quality location data that provides them with in-depth behavioral insights into their target markets.

 

ABR: Can you tell us more about the recently-launched Data Smart Contracts?

MD: The Data Smart Contracts Payment Module brings enterprise data subscriptions onto the blockchain and facilitates the production and use of quality, authentic data by making it easier for producers to monetize, and users to access their data. For the initial two-month pilot period, over 27 million eQUADs were purchased on behalf of major enterprises who accessed location data through the Quadrant platform. The Data Smart Contracts Payment Modules have allowed these enterprises to pay for data in fiat, while the data suppliers are paid in either fiat or QUAD (as per their wish).

What the Data Smart Contracts ultimately do is reward producers of good quality data by making it easier for them to be remunerated (in either fiat or QUAD). This, in turn, increases the supply of data, which benefits the user (governments and enterprises), who is now able to pay and access this data via subscription. By moving payments onto the blockchain, we are facilitating the smooth flow of data between supplier and buyer. 

The Data Smart Contracts Payment Module works by making data available through a subscription model for enterprises, who purchase data on the platform from data producers. Buyers purchase this data via fiat currency, which is then used by Quadrant to purchase tokens from the open market. Once the contract has been executed – the buyer has received the data from the producer – then the data producer will then be paid in QUAD or fiat depending on their preference. As previously mentioned, we generated US$628,728 in Annualized Recurring Revenue, purchasing over 27 Million eQUADs in the two-month pilot period.

ABR: Who are your clients and partners, and how are they helping to drive Quadrant towards its long-term goal?

MD: Our partners include data producers (such as mobile apps, for instance) who want to get their quality data to market and monetize it. Our customers include organizations and enterprises that use this data to make better decisions – ranging from some of the biggest companies in the world to SMEs and data-driven startups. I mentioned Quorum earlier, the US-based OOH advertising firm that uses our high-volume location data to allow its clients (advertisers) to more deeply understand the customer journey – to and from where they are traveling and when – and to target those consumers with a more strategic and customized approach.

We have also partnered with Foursquare to further enhance our own data universe, providing user-authenticated point-of-interest data that complements our location data. This highly targeted and accurate location data is meant for advertisers in Asia and is available on a number of partner platforms, including Lotame, The Trade Desk, Google Marketing Platform, AppNexus, and TubeMogul.

 

ABR: What are your plans for the future? 

MD: We intend to stay focused on the needs of enterprises and develop solutions that will solve their data problems. Later this year, we intend to launch our Data Smart Contract Compliance Module, which will focus on bringing transparency and user privacy protection to data transactions. We intend to launch a number of new technologies and solutions around data compliance that will allow companies to benefit from the ever-increasing amount of data that is being produced on a daily basis. 

We have come a long way over the past few years. Last year, we developed the Quadrant Protocol, which uses blockchain to map and authenticate disparate sources of data. Earlier this year, we launched our Service Credits, which allowed organizations to adhere to traditional regulatory and taxation standards by letting them purchase credits for our services using fiat currency. Recently, we launched our Data Smart Contracts, which allows data producers to monetize their data and facilitates the flow of data between buyer and seller.

ABR: In your opinion, what will the future of blockchain look like?

MD: From cleaning up the data economy to bringing safety to food chains to helping to tackle the illegal wildlife trade, there is a strong future for blockchain where transparency and trust are required. I believe it is only a matter of time before Blockchain becomes mainstream with wider enterprise adoption.


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Asia Blockchain Review is the largest initiative for media and community building in Asia for blockchain technology. We aim to connect all blockchain enthusiasts on a regional scale and facilitate the technological foundation of blockchain through a range of group discussions, technical workshops, conferences, and consulting programs.

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