19th Ave New York, NY 95822, USA

StreetCred builds a blockchain-based market for location data

While apps like Google Maps and Yelp seem to provide an endless source of information about local restaurants, shops and other points of interest, they can also find short moments when you arrive somewhere to find out the hours that you have spent bad, or the store is closed for a holiday, or just shut down.

The StreetCred team is trying to build a better system for collecting and selling this data. And it raised $ 1 million in seed capital from Bowery Capital and Notation Capital.

CEO Randy Meech explained that if anyone wanted to build the next Uber or the next Pokemon Go, he would need location data to make it work. And while they could buy this data now, it's "very difficult, very expensive."

Moreover, he sees a lot more data – while Foursquare has data of 105 million points of interest and Google's 100 million, Meech believes that there is more than one billion POIs worldwide, many of which in developing countries the data are more uneven.

StreetCred therefore builds a marketplace where users should be rewarded for collecting this data, while interested companies should be able to buy the data more easily.

<img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-1660504" src="https://businessdigit.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/streetcred-builds-a-blockchain-based-market-for-location-data.jpg" alt=" Portrait of Randy Meech "width =" 680 "height =" 680 "/>

Meech has been working on mapping for years, as a CTO at MapQuest (which, like TechCrunch, is owned by Verizon / Oath) and as a CEO at Mapzen, an open source mapping subsidiary of Samsung. It's here that Meech met with her StreetCred co-founder, Diana Shkolnikov – he said that StreetCred was created in part in response to the disappointment of closing Mapzen earlier this year.

"If we can make sure that this protocol and this data economy are correct, they can not be stopped," Meech said. That means leveraging blockchain technology: "It's a very natural way to open and decentralize data and create a payment mechanism around that."

StreetCred is just starting to test the system around New Yor City. The idea is that users can download an app and then collect location data in the city, earning crypto tokens. (They take pictures to validate their location, and the data is also verified by other users.) Companies that want to buy the data can do so by buying tokens.

Meech drew a parallel with Foursquare, which started as a site-sharing application before embarking on an activity around its data. StreetCred, on the other hand, will have no social component – Meech said that the application will be "completely anonymous" and focus entirely on the collection of localization idea.

The team is still experimenting with specific details of how contributions are incentivized and compensated, but Meech said that users will be paid by an "anonymized wallet mechanism." And it's important to make sure that Meech StreetCred's tokens said that this approach should also mean that users are more invested in the success of StreetCred: "We want to build an asset where the value of the currency is tied to the value of the data. "

"Our thesis is that if you make the data much more accessible, much cheaper to buy … you will make things a lot easier and allow things that do not exist today. 39th, "he said.