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Intro to Data Unions
An overview of the Data Union framework

🧱 Fundamentals

What is a Data Union?
Why build a Data Union?
Existing Data Unions

The Data Union Framework

The Data Union framework powers applications that incentivize people to participate in the crowdsourcing of valuable data. It enables people to earn with their data.
Smart contracts and decentralized networks are used to transfer tokens and data. It is the infrastructure that powers Data Unions.

Framework Infrastructure

Click on the links to get a deeper understanding of the different components of this infrastructure.

Data Union Smart Contract

for the distribution of data sales between members, the Data Union admin, and the Data Union DAO.
The smart contract handles:
  • data price/data sells
  • admin fee (royalties from sold data to the contract owner, i.e. Data Union admin)
  • distributing and withdrawing earnings
  • member management
  • ownership
​Marketplace​
A platform where potential data buyers can browse many Data Unions and subscribe to their data streams by paying the fee you defined in the Data Union smart contract.
Check out the marketplace here.
This is your client application/device that provides the data. Ideally, it's an application with a continuous flow of data coming from the client. For example, a temperature measurement, browsing data, or user behavior.
Check out some existing Data Unions for more examples here.
Gnosis Chain (token transfer)
an Ethereum side chain for the transfer of money (i.e. tokens). The transfer of tokens is visualized with the red arrow in the illustration below.
Their documentation can be found here.

Streamr Network (data transfer)

a peer-to-peer network for the transfer of real-time data.
All the client data gets published to a data stream that flows through the Streamr network. We visualized the data stream with the black arrow in the illustration below.
The official documentation of Streamr can be found here.
An overview of the Data Union framework infrastructure

Workflow of the Data Union framework infrastructure

  1. 1.
    User joins a Data Union
  2. 2.
    User grants permission and consent to the data union to have their data monetized
  3. 3.
    Data is created and crowd-sourced through the Data Unions' application
  4. 4.
    Data flows through Streamr Network into the marketplace
  5. 5.
    Data is bundled as a product for sale on data marketplaces
  6. 6.
    Data is bought by a buyer
  7. 7.
    Revenue from data sales flows through the smart contracts via Gnosis Chain and is split between the members, Data Union and DU DAO.
The more active members/data providers in a Data Union the more valuable it becomes to potential data buyers/data subscribers.
A Data Union earns a percentage of the data sale for maintaining and growing the organization and its members. That percentage can be set anywhere from 10% to 90% (although it is usually around 30%). The Data Union DAO (DU DAO) receives a 1% protocol tax from data sales for providing the Framework and for growing the Data Union ecosystem.
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🧱 Fundamentals
The Data Union Framework
Framework Infrastructure
Workflow of the Data Union framework infrastructure