High value data like land registry, educational documents, employment, transaction and health records are required by individuals and organisations as part of their routine activities. However, the current mechanism of data exchange is mostly manual, paper based, slow and fraught with risks of tampering or theft. Governments worldwide realise the need to add stringent data regulations to safeguard people’s interest with steep penalties for non-compliance. Examples include the European Union GDPR4, India Supreme Court Ruling on Privacy3 and Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act — data protection is a big deal.
In comes Zebi. Zebi makes high value (or sensitive) data readily available for legitimate use. It uses the Zebi gateway to connect data users, data providers and data requesters in a systematic manner which ensures transparency and security. There are two parts to the Zebi system, the Zebi Chain and the Zebi Data Gateway.
Zebi Chain is a proprietary light weight satellite application installed at various Data Providers’ premises to provide immutability using Blockchain technology. It is a private chain with a configurable amount of nodes which connect to the public Ethereum chain through the gateway. The Zebi Data Gateway connects Zebi Chain installations and on-board individuals and data requestors. It can facilitate instant data exchange through DaaS APIs by connecting to Zebi Chain instances and taking individual consent wherever appropriate. The whitepaper is very detailed and more information about each system can be found there.
When I invest I place a lot of importance on the team and the project scope. Zebi is well placed to become the market leader in this sector and the market is a big one. They are aiming primarily to corner the Indian market and given the metrics it’s not a bad choice.
India is on the cusp of huge economic growth, and they already have a rapidly growing digital ecosystem. I’m of the opinion that the biggest blockchain projects will emerge from developing nations in Asia and Africa. It’s important to be privy to the needs of each locale and what specific solutions are needed in the area that blockchain can address.
The team at Zebi is strong, and so are their partnerships. They have a live product already which is currently working to protect digitised land records for Andhra Pradesh (an Indian State Government). If you have a good memory you may remember that this government joined the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance a while back — perhaps this connection will get the Zebi team in rooms with other members of the alliance in future. In addition to the live solution with AP they also have already submitted proposals to two additional state governments of 160M population.
The engineers have worked for giants like Oracle, Intel and Tata, and their impressive list of advisors include names from companies like Microsoft, JP Morgan, Uber, Facebook and more. I have personally seen the demo of their product so I know that it’s working and that they have been working for a while even before their ICO. I did have some questions however, mostly related to the token, and the main concern I had was that the data requestors could bypass the use of the token completely.
Question: Can participants (data users and data providers) bypass the use of the public chain completely, or is it a necessary part of the system and hence the Zebi token is necessary?
Answer: In terms of paying for products and services on Zebi Blockchain Solution, currently, fiat is also accepted. Payments in Zebi Coin (ZCO) have discounts, so individuals and organizations are encouraged to move to using ZCO. Once there is enough traction and dependency built on Zebi data and DaaS APIs, we will make it mandatory. To ease transition, Zebi Pay (in early design stage now) will bridge between fiat and ZCO
From my perspective this is a satisfactory answer. I could tell it was unreasonable for now to expect governments to use a system where fiat was not enabled, however I’m glad to see that there has been foresight in this respect and they are planning to gradually shift towards complete use of the ZCO token and no fiat on the system, and are even building a specific fiat gateway for it.
Overall I’m bullish on the project. It’s a well thought out idea with a strong market and government backing. If you’ve been following me you know that government backing is very important to me because you can indeed be decentralised while still being able to exploit the power of nation states, and projects such as this one will be the ones which stick around when heavy regulation starts to rear its head in the global blockchain world.
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