VETRI is bringing a new reality to millions of digital users. What if we tell you that you could be in full control of your personal data, that it would not only be secured inside your personal mobile device, but that you could also manage the information it contains and share it anonymously with data consumers? And, for the first time ever, be remunerated for this! What’s more, marketing departments will be able to save millions, if not billions, for distributing only relevant content to their clients, while creating a direct and natural bond without the use of intermediaries. “Too good to be true” is usually the feedback we receive and this biais towards scepticism is often difficult to argue with. But let us try using simple words.
After many years of proving our technology stack and business model using proxy markets (distributing opinion surveys), we are finally where we wanted to be to begin with. For the first time, not only do we have the technology to empower each individual to control their personal data, but we have also found Business Partners (new announcement soon!) that share our vision and willing to remunerate their users for sharing their precious data with them, albeit fully anonymised.
Our Data Vault is the new section we have enabled in the VETRI App, as originally planned. In this vault, we have grouped your data in categories that you can easily control. As a starting point, we are introducing four categories of Data: Geolocation, Basic Profile, Advanced Profile and Device Data. For each of these data group, you can manage and control who can send you offers, in a fully anonymised way. Based on your sharing options, you will receive notifications for deals that you will be able to accept in exchange for remuneration or to simply reject altogether, thereby choosing not participate to any economic activities in the VETRI ecosystem.
Below is a description of each Data category.
You can enable your Latitude and Longitude points to be used in order to received relevant offers when you move to your favorite places. What does it mean concretely? Well, you could receive a welcome greetings notification of up to 2 $ for simply going shopping. What? Yes, brands would love to know some of your attributes when entering in a place where their products are sold, and reward you for simply drawing your attention to them.
In this group, you will find your Gender, Age and ZIP code information. These are the most common data points advertisers use in order to target us. Despite all the cooky madness we are forced to accept, yet very often these basic attributes are not understood thus resulting in us being bombarded with completely irrelevant ads. Here, instead of paying the Big Tech companies and third-party Cookies to second guess who you are, when enabling your Basic Profile to “anonymised”, you are allowing our Partners (brands, publishers, advertisers) to request this information from you whilst remunerating you directly for doing so. Not only you are being paid for sharing these, but you will receive ads that are highly relevant to you while browsing online.
This family of data is non-exhaustive and as a starting point, we are enabling you to anonymously share the following attributes: Education, Activity, Sector, Marital Status, Parental Status and Age & Gender of child. Combined with your Basic Profile, this should help eliminate up to 95% of the irrelevant ads that you would normally receive while navigating online or reading your favorite newspaper.
This category might be handy when it comes to specific attributes based on your mobile device. In this section, we aim to capture the following information: your Device ID, Model, Operating System and Timezone.
If this is a great start and a world premiere to allow individuals to monetise directly their personal data on a decentralised and public utility infrastructure, this is only the beginning. Going forward, we want to allow each of our users to get control over many more information. Not only this will increase your revenues, but it will create a virtuous circle where only relevant information is prompted to you, whenever you feel for it. A cool idea would be to allow for a catalogue of preferences and hobby that you could create in your Data Vault, and increase the granularity and precision of your dedicated environment. See it as a “reversed” Instagram or Pinterest. You tag your favorite activities as you do there, and based on your preferences, not only will you receive relevant offers for what you are most inclined to like, purchase or click, but on top of it you are being remunerated for allowing access to these personal preferences in the first place. Again, in this activity, you will not need to disclose who you are. This belongs to you and we, at VETRI, very much value your privacy. To that end, we have created the Fair Data ® trademark and are actively promoting its values. Akin to Fair Trade ®, we want your Data to be considered with the same ethical and fairness standards as when you buy coffee and other fair-trade labelled goods. Anyone involved along the value chain should be treated fairly and have their privacy respected, unless required otherwise. Simple. And it starts by remunerating each user for accessing their anonymised personal data.
Besides the anonymous data that we are for now enabling, we will work with Partners looking for more and make sure that when they want your actual data it is clearly stated. In these type of deals (not yet available), you will be able to sell not only your attributes, as gender or age, but your actual name and date of birth for example. With these deals, it will be our responsibility to make it perfectly clear what the deal is about, without footnote nor fine prints, and for you to decide whether you believe the price is right. At any point in time, you are in full control, meaning you can accept or refuse any deal, and receive 100% of its value when you chose to transact. This is how we understand personal “data self-sovereignty”.
Type of Data deals
Speaking about deals, here are examples of what you can get on VETRI’s ecosystem.
Passive deals, such as the above described targeting offers using your anonymised data and prompting you with relevant ads.
Active deals, such as a survey that you can fill up to earn rewards.
Dynamic deals, such as a “scan me” offer when in a shop or a “view me” deal for watching a specific video.
It is important to understand that none of these data points can be used to know that you are Alice Jones or Bob Satoshi, only that you are a man or a woman, with a specific age, in a given region, with some specific attributes.
As for the privacy layer, we use blockchain technology and encrypt your data in your device. Your App is in reality a wallet, where you are the only one to hold the private key able to decrypt it. We only need your public address as single identifier to your assets, that will act as a Digital Identity (we will communicate more about DID soon, stay tuned).
The Business impact
For the VETRI’s Partners, it simply means that they can rely on their client’s personal data rather than buying third-party’s cookies and behavioural’s data in order to guess who you are when you arrive in their online or physical environment.
If you are a Publisher, you can offer a cookie-less experience to your audience, while being able to laser target each user. Instead of paying Big Tech companies, you can transfer your budget to your audience. Not only it’s a win/win valuing the end user, but as a publisher you can increase your level of relevancy and therefore optimise your online real-estate and challenge the GAFAM’s price for the same ads.
If you are a traditional, physical Retailer, the brands you represent have the opportunity to prompt clients with ads as they enter your store. Clients can receive up to 2$ for triggering a geo-fence when they share their Geolocation, and Brands can remunerate the shoppers for being able to target them individually, based on their personal data attributes. Once in the shop, we can gamify the relationship with “scan-me” offers that enable brands to stand out, and users to earn more. In the end, we collectively increase the buying power of each user using the VETRI app, while enabling Brands to laser target their potential clients.
If you are a Restaurant, you can easily create a marketing campaign, targeting surrounding students with a 30% discount whenever they pass by your restaurant between 12:00 and 14:00 on a specific day.
These examples are endless as most of digital marketing are based on user’s personal data, and we simply created a mechanism to collect data and consent. With our tool, we open a new playing field in order to create better interactions between Data Consumers and Users.
As a Foundation, our mission is to create a best-in-class personal data management platform built around the principles of ownership, privacy, and fairness. As a non-for-profit, we can provide our technology as a public infrastructure without becoming an economic intermediary when we facilitate these Peer-to-Peer transactions. In this way, we can offer competitors and collaborators to use the same tool that will enrich the whole ecosystem.
Why web3 matters?
Web3 stands for advanced technologies (such as blockchain and AI) applied in a set of core values and principles.
Being a non-profit Foundation is not enough even though we are submitted to strict audits every financial year and even though our bylaws prohibit us from ever monetising our user’s data. Blockchain is very often called a “trust-less” ecosystem. This is because the whole infrastructure is decentralised, which means that it doesn’t belong to anyone specifically, and therefore, one cannot manipulate the ecosystem nor temper its data. But don’t take our word for it. Instead, go ahead, explore and see by yourself that we do what we say. In other words, you can check by yourself that any transaction is indeed initiated as a “peer-to-peer” and transacted without the Foundation having to be involved or taking any commission. You simply can check the balance of a transaction, leaving the Partner’s wallet, and getting settled in the Users’ wallet, for the same amount. In our web3 world, transparency is key. Therefore, our moto is don’t trust us, simply check.
When it comes to privacy, and therefore confidentiality of your data, we are investing a lot of time and effort to push the boundaries of technology and sciences all together to get the most advanced data architecture. In the coming years, not only will you be able to track everything relating to your personal data, but also you will be able to sell it without ever to have to reveal it. It sounds crazy, and it’s called Zero-Knowledge-Proof. Most of Web3 companies are familiar with this and we all work towards making it a reality. When we push VETRI’s concept further, we want to be able to run all the matching activities within your personal device. This will ensure that we do not need to process any of your anonymised data outside of your device. On top of this, DID (Decentralised Identity) are on the verge to be adopted, and here, not only will you be able to access digital marketing opportunities, you will also be able to manage your KYC (Know Your Customers) activities, such as opening a bank account, or even voting.
Our economic model
Our economic model was originally designed as a pure web3 ecosystem. Very simply put, we do not need to act as an economic intermediary as all activities are decentralised and everyone is acting autonomously upon its best interest. In this context, our economic model rest upon our cryptocurrency, our native VLD token. We have kept 9% of the total supply to be able to maintain and develop the ecosystem. With these 9%, we are counting on the capital gain driven by user adoption given our fixed limited supply of 450M token. In that sense, this is akin to Bitcoin business model.
That being we have realised that only a few users and even fewer partners are ready. Not only are they not ready with our technology stack (smart-contracts running on chain), they are also not ready with the cultural paradigm’s shift web3 represents: you truly own your assets, and therefore you are responsible for it. This is why we recently launched a Basic Mode of our App, a simplified version of our ecosystem enabling anyone to use blockchain as a tool, without any of its complexity. In this new ecosystem, we help our Partners work seamlessly with us, not having to adapt their technology to the web3 space, and users to earn a local currency equivalent with a cryptocurrency format, a stablecoin. All this means that we are not acting in a decentralised way for users who do not see or understand the value in it. Who wants to pay 50$ transaction fees (blockchain’s gas fees) to remunerate a decentralised ecosystem if we don’t know what this means? Therefore, we created these capabilities on our side and we cover all these functions on behalf of our Partners and Users. In this setup, we are charging 20% fees to cover all the activities, and our Partners/Users can easily chose between sending/receiving 100% of the value in a web3 environment or simply navigate in the assisted Basic Mode and send/receive 80% of the total value. Below is a small recap of the different ecosystems, and how each of them work.
It might be hard to believe, but simply repositioning everything around the end user optimises the whole ecosystem. Whether you are a user able to protect, control and monetise your data, a Brand seeking to interact with your customers, or a Publisher, distributing targeted ads to your audience, it’s the same as today, only better. Inefficient regulation as GDPR becomes obsolete, and intermediaries become redundant. We have created a public infrastructure to make sure that this Peer-to-Peer marketplace remains healthy without intermediaries. Our web3 model enables us to offer a fully decentralised ecosystem, in which we will be able to dissolve the Foundation and propose a decentralised governance to all VETRI participants (users and partners), becoming a DAO – Decentralised Autonomous Organization.
It will take time before participants fully grasp the new paradigm shift that comes with web3 technology, and therefore offer to actively participate in the best interest of the ecosystem via voting. Education is key towards achieving this objective but many have already started on this journey, which makes us optimistic. In the meantime, the Foundation will support users and partners (our Basic Mode, cf our previous Blog post) to make their first steps into this new world, your new world.