The rise of the Ethereum blockchain has resulted in the creation of thousands of DApps – decentralized applications – that connect users and developers directly, without the need for a middleman to host and manage the code and user data. And as more DApps are created each day, a growing number of big data is being generated.

A key benefit of DApps is that the data generated is more secure than data obtained through traditional apps. This is because data on DApps is typically stored in decentralized storage systems. Having access to data generated through DApps can result in a number of benefits for many industries. However, due to growing concerns involving security, usage rights, data quality, and the like, data sharing has become problematic and risky in both centralized and decentralized ecosystems.

Securing Big Data On The Blockchain

In order to solve the problems associated with data sharing, the App Alliance Association Chain (AAA) came together to form a decentralized, autonomous organization that is applying blockchain technology, smart contracts and consensus mechanisms to create a public blockchain for large-scale data sharing. In December of last year, AAA launched the AAA Chain Project as a standalone public blockchain, committed to building a decentralized, fully autonomous open-data platform consisting primarily of DApps.

The founder of the AAA Chain Project, Song Liu, recently spoke in San Francisco at the 2018 OnePiece Blockchain Summit. During the conference, Song pointed out the huge potential that blockchain technology has to transform the big data industry.

“The possibility of reconstructing the entire big data industry can be performed on the basis of a public blockchain,” Song said. “Using blockchain technology, the big data ecosystem can be rebuilt across industrial application providers, general technology providers and platform application providers. This can be achieved through a decentralized, fully autonomous open-data platform as the cornerstone.”

While blockchain technology has the potential to transform the big data industry in the future, the AAA Chain Project was designed to accommodate a new ecosystem that promotes secure data sharing across DApps.

In contrast to a traditional, centralized open data platform where data could easily be stolen from the cloud, the AAA Chain uses asymmetric encryption algorithms to encrypt data. This means that all data on the AAA Chain network is encrypted and stored by the data provider to ensure that data cannot be accessed by a third party.

For example, when a data provider on the AAA Chain receives a purchase request from an individual carrying the data provider’s public key, the owner of the data decrypts the encrypted data for the data buyer. The data provider then signs the data over with the private key and sends a smart contract to complete the transaction.

Three Key Features Ensure Data Security

While the AAA Chain relies on asymmetric encryption algorithms to encrypt data, the platform has three characteristics that ensure secure, open data sharing.

Those features are: full autonomy, meaning no individual or organization can have full control of the platform or its data; confirmable and traceable data ownership, meaning the rights of the data providers are protected; and end user privacy, meaning users have absolute control over their private data.

1. Full Autonomy of Data

Organizations and individuals can voluntarily join AAA and become nodes in the AAA Chain, as long as the rules based on cryptography and data are agreed upon and understood. One of the main rules is that the openness, transactions and usage of the open data platform cannot be manipulated by anyone in the organization.

2. All Data is Traceable

All data on the AAA Chain is traceable and transparent. The blockchain acts as a distributed ledger which securely records updates, transactions and user behavior associated with all of the data provided. Once these records are confirmed, they can’t be tampered with. This ensures the ownership of all data, which can also be traced on the open data platform. As a result, data usage rights are always protected.

3. Users Control Their Private Data

The AAA Chain combines user privacy protection with user data autonomy. By taking a unified digital identity approach, the AAA Chain platform generates a set of both public and private keys for each user with asymmetric encryption.

In this case, the private key is accessible only by the data provider (the user), and only the person who holds the private key can view the original data. The private key ensures sole control of the data. The user’s private data is signed by the public key, meaning the user can decide who to authorize the data to and what to charge for said data.

The entire process is traceable since everything is recorded on the blockchain. Furthermore, data on the platform has a unique signature. So, if the data buyer resells the data, the income is credited to the initial data provider. A data scoring mechanism is applied, based on smart contracts and community consensus.

Finally, as an incentive to join the AAA Chain network, data providers (AAA members) will receive AAA tokens (ERC-20 tokens) as a reward for joining the AAA Chain. As more quality data is exchanged, more tokens will be rewarded to providers. Moreover, data buyers (advertisers) will also use AAA tokens to pay for data trading. Currently, 21 billion AAA tokens are in circulation.

What This Means For The Future Of Data Sharing

While the AAA Chain takes a particular approach to securing data over an open network, the idea behind the project demonstrates the impact blockchain technology will have on data sharing. Blockchain technology has created a number of opportunities for decentralized models to be applied within various sectors seeking better security solutions.

The big data industry in particular can benefit from a decentralized, open blockchain approach, as its primary problem revolves around security. For instance, traditional relational database passwords are often easy to uncover. Data storage on the blockchain ensures secure hash algorithms and multi-signature features. In the case of AAA Chain, asymmetric encryption algorithms are used to encrypt data, which in turn provides a number of secure benefits. By applying this approach to other use cases, more secure data storage and transactions are sure to be implemented in the future.