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What’s Inside Nokia’s Blockchain-Powered Data Marketplace

The Finnish smartphone and telecom equipment giant Nokia recently launched a blockchain-powered data marketplace to provide quick access to datasets and help enterprises share data and AI models seamlessly. 

Nokia’s data marketplace as-a-service will allow businesses to monetise their data safely and securely. According to the Grand View Research study, the data monetisation market size is expected to touch $7.34 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 24.1% from 2020 to 2027. 


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Nokia believes data transactions worth billions of dollars are expected to happen through data marketplaces soon.

How it works

Today, every business entity requires reliable data to make the right strategic decisions. Nokia Data Marketplace (NDM) claims to provide trusted data by aggregating distributed datasets and exchanging them securely. The security and integrity of the data exchange are ensured through a private blockchain network. 

Moreover, the financial settlements/transactions between the partners are automated and are in real-time. If the data is sensitive and cannot be moved, Nokia’s platform uses federated learning to extract insights. 

Federated learning is a machine learning method that trains an algorithm across multiple decentralised edge devices or servers (like mobile phones, personal computer, CPU, GPU, etc.) holding local data samples. 

The edge devices or servers can download the ML model for the project. Each device can then use its storage data for improvising the model. With this, only the model updates are sent to the cloud and not the entire training data. Thanks to blockchain, the updates received at the data centre are in an encrypted format. 

Our customers need secure and trusted data access for effective business decision making, said Friedrich Trawoeger, the vice president of Cloud and Cognitive Services at Nokia. He believes, with NDM, enterprises can now benefit from richer insights and predictive models to drive digital transformation and explore new revenue streams.

Nokia said that businesses and CSP (communications service providers) could become data marketplace providers themselves, where they could monetise data exchanges between customers or business ecosystem participants securely. 

Source: Nokia (Data marketplace architecture)

Why are safety and security of AI datasets crucial? 

Almost every AI algorithm is vulnerable to privacy and cybersecurity threats. The data breach instances are plenty. According to the Adversa report, nearly 60.8% of image datasets are under attack, followed by 10% of text datasets and 5.5% recorded datasets. 

The report stated that the dominance of attacks against AI systems with image processing shouldn’t mislead you into thinking that other AI applications are less vulnerable to data hacks. Counterintuitively, AI applications that experienced fewer attacks might be at greater risk because the interest to develop defences for them is significantly smaller. 

Equinix CTO Kaladhar Voruganti said that NDM, combined with Equinix data centres, allows organisations to share data and algorithms globally at more than 240 metro edge locations.

“Sharing and processing of data close to its point of creation mitigate issues related to latency, compliance, and network backhaul cost,” said Voruganti. Their neural and secure edge locations are connected using high-speed and secure networks to data sources, spanning across public clouds, private enterprise data centres and data brokers.

Source: Nokia (Data marketplace hosted at an interconnection hub)

Use cases 

Besides offering secure data exchanges and authorisation mechanisms, Nokia Data Marketplace claims to enable a wide range of vertical use cases, including supply chain automation, aerospace, electric vehicle charging stations, environmental data monetisation and others. 

Through automated data exchanges among stakeholders, Nokia brings the transparency and operational efficiency required in the global marine supply chain, said shipping company Marlin’s CEO Wouter van Neerbos. It reduces waiting time and enables faster turnaround for ships, he added. 

Recently, European Union announced a grant of over €95 million in funding for 6G Research. Under its DEDICAT 6G initiative, Nokia is currently working on creating an AI and blockchain-enabled security framework and trust management platform for IoT applications running on B5G (Beyond 5G) networks.

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Amit Raja Naik
Amit Raja Naik is a seasoned technology journalist who covers everything from data science to machine learning and artificial intelligence for Analytics India Magazine, where he examines the trends, challenges, ideas, and transformations across the industry.

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