TX – Tomorrow Explored: Ben Sheppard’s Vision (Pt.3)

Anil Prabha

July 18, 2020

TX - Tomorrow Explored: Ben Sheppard's Vision (Pt.3)

Asia Blockchain Review recently sat down with Ben Sheppard, Managing Director of Tomorrow Explored, TX. This is the third and final part of the interview. The company is an advisory and software development company specializing in the application of blockchain technology and data ecosystems.

Referring to the recent Forbes article, what’s your take on monetizing data as a whole? Obviously, optimizing supply chains or other processes is one of the benefits of monetizing data. Perhaps you could tie in how Tracey from TX plays its role in monetizing data.

Doug and I have spoken a few times, he’s a world-leading expert on the subject of data monetization. I agree with the article, direct monetization is one way of creating value from information, but there are also many other ways of creating value through indirect monetization.

Essentially, this is when you swap data in return for something other than currency. One example we see often involves the use of an app that is free to use, because you are effectively agreeing that the app provider can sell your data to advertisers.

I think the important insight to take from the article is that data is an asset. It has intrinsic and extrinsic value. When organizations like TX look at data as an asset, they can begin to re-imagine business that can deliver operational cost savings or create brand new commercial business opportunities.  We are currently seeing this transition of mindset in our projects within pharma and health, infrastructure, banking and supply chain industries.

Our Tracey app from TX is free for the fisher folk to use. The intended commercial model behind the app is that third parties wishing to access the data have to buy the data feeds. The revenue is then shared between the data producers and TX.  Among other things, what differentiates this traceability app and other ‘freemium’ models is that we put the user in control of their data and they decide what to sell, when and to who.

It is anticipated that data sales will involve two primary customers: banks such as UnionBank of the Philippines and retail chains. Banks can use the data to ascertain creditworthiness and subsequently issue microfinance to artisanal fisher folk in the Philippines, whereas retail chains need the data to demonstrate a full chain of custody of sustainably caught seafood products, which ultimately allows them to sell at a higher price.

Finally, the Covid-19 crisis has made the need for a decentralized economy even more pertinent. Widespread adoption of decentralized, peer to peer lending could definitely re-imagine the overwhelming need for capital. Crowdfunding capital could also be on the cards. It is said that during trying times such as this, blockchain systems can provide efficiency, trust and transparency through decentralization and disintermediation to build more robust economies. What’s your opinion on all this from TX’s perspective?

We see blockchain as a tool for providing capital and payment services particularly in situations where the traditional financial services are not functional or available. With the Covid-19 situation, systems that rely on face-to-face interaction are not always available, which limits their availability also in places where they normally function well.

For the traditional financial industry, we see the cost of doing business as a limiting factor for them serving a wide range of customers and cases. Here we especially see the potential for using data-driven blockchain solutions that integrate with lending solutions, whether they be centralized or decentralized, offering huge opportunities.

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About the author
Anil Prabha

Editor In Chief

Anil started his career in journalism all the way back in 2003. After traversing the sphere of editorial, corporate communications and advertising, he has now come full circle and is back in the world of journalism. He believes in the power of the written word, and its ability to enthrall, delight and inform the reader.

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