The Ethereum standard ERC-20 blockchain startup, DIRT Protocol, backed up by Silicon Valley, aims to become the Wikipedia of data and raised $3M seed. It claims to be the Wikipedia of data using transparency feature of blockchain, an open source where people can add information they have a knack of.
Yin Wo, founder and CEO of the DIRT, enthusiastically reveals the $3M seed funding obtained with involvement of various partners: General Catalyst, Greylock Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Pantera Capital, Digital Currency Group, SV Angel, HustleFund, Village Global, DDC, #Angels, Elad Gil, Fred Ehrsam, Linda Xie, and others that helped DIRT become a reality. Despite that DIRT will not be released until later this year, Wo has been very open to ideas and comments given by experts from around the world. She has further detailed that DIRT applications are also being worked upon and is eagerly looking for more partners.
What is DIRT Protocol
Today, data and information are the building blocks of everything. With tons of data accumulating together and being updated continuously, it takes a lot of time and money to authenticate it. To approach centralized data facilities, it is not only expensive to have hands on such data, making it isolated from most but again, it cannot be ensured that the data owned by only a few people have kept the latest version of it and is not contaminated by personal bias.
Then comes DIRT – a decentralized, open source protocol, open to all giving them optimal transparency and allowing more people too add and update data.
Yin Wu reveals in Medium post that this dispersed data curation is important to remove dependency on a single data source, against privacy and expensive centralized information centers that hinders creativity and doesn’t ensure honestly. Her motivation behind this venture goes back to her former startup, ‘Double Labs’ an Android application, now bought by Microsoft, were she would usually face issues and concerns regarding local data validation.
Thus, not only its sharing but making a decentralized center accessible for future applications and technologies to emerge.
Why DIRT Protocol
The idea behind the name DIRT, asks people to think of the basics of everything. Talking at the Token Summit, Wo stated;
DIRT is foundational. Everything is built on top of it.
Thus she aims to provide the sound basics of credible and handy data using DIRT Protocols over which more services and applications can be made in the crypto space.
Wikipedia of data
Just the way Wikipedia holds data, using collaborative help from professors and sorts, DIRT also tends to collect and compile accurate information on it is protocol backed up by Ethereum standard ERC-20 blockchain collection of databases. Talking about the value of data, Wo states;
Data in the 21st century is like oil in the 20th century — an immensely valuable asset that is critical to the economy.
How DIRT works
DIRT assures authenticity of data by following the protocols of Token Curation Registry. Every time a person adds onto the curated dataset on DIRT, he first is required to deposit tokens to jot information down – he stakes his or her tokens. Being an open source and transparent medium, anyone can stake tokens to challenge and criticize that piece of information. This challenge calls for a vote. Those votes, weighted by tokens, can confirm what information is correct. In case default of information is proved, the challenged person not only losses tokens but also his stake. Keenly following these protocols of DIRT, misinterpretation can be avoided. However, she still seems unsure of how to spread tokens around;
If anyone in the network finds misinformation, they can also challenge the dataset and say this is incorrect. In order to initiate a challenge, you need a stake token. The challenge then begins with a vote. Anyone in the network can vote with tokens. … Whoever wins the vote, wins the tokens; if you lose the vote or voted for the wrong side, then you are penalized.
Other than describing her inspiration of the latest venture she is keenly interested in, she describes that once her application is good to go, she shall be curating information on cyrptocurrency projects and shall head towards others eventually.
I have been involved with blockchain projects since 2013. Five years ago, there was just Bitcoin. Now there is an entire ecosystem with alternative currencies and decentralized applications. But in this new decentralized world we still rely on centralized sources of truth — Twitter determines who is real and CoinMarketCap determines the price of a cryptocurrency.
She further added;
There needs to be a way to determine what is true and build trust without a centralized arbiter.We are building DIRT to solve this problem. DIRT is a protocol that crowdsources trusted information which rewards honesty and penalizes lying. Without relying on any single curator, DIRT is doing to data what Wikipedia did to the encyclopedia.