South Korea’s weather and climate agency, the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA), has awarded a certificate to Blockchain-based weather data project OBSERVER recognizing it as an official weather corporation as of November 26.
As detailed in a Medium blog post published December 5, the certificate granted by the KMA allows weather corporations like OBSERVER to take part in public projects funded by the government, in addition to providing the startup with access to the climate agency’s climate and weather data, enabling the OBSERVER to provide more accurate weather predictions.
The OBSERVER project operates by crowdsourcing hyper-local weather data. In exchange for the information provided, the project offers OBSERVER coins upon to data providers. Virtually anyone capable of contributing weather observations can participate in the project’s ecosystem, allowing participants to earn royalty coins which serves as copyright protection for the contributed data.
This would not be the first time blockchain technology has been applied to gathering weather data, as evidenced by similar projects in the past. Among these initiatives include the previously launched platform Thor Weather, which provides user access to climate-related information in exchange for the platform’s proprietary crypto, Data Read Tokens. Users can also earn these tokens as they submit weather data to the platform.
Since the nascent technology’s inception, tokenizing people’s data contributions has been a core theme across a plethora of blockchain projects, a shift in economic views that RadicalxChange founder Glen Weyl calls “data as labor.”
Among such projects include the token SENSE which serves as a reward system for contributing information on the Sensay messaging platform.
Another platform that has also adopted a tokenized business model also includes blockchain protocol FOAM, which was developed for crowdsourcing location data. The protocol allows users to stake their tokens to determine whether or not a certain point of interest exists, with other token holders approving the legitimacy of the claim. While users are not necessarily rewarded tokens for their contribution to the platform, it provides an economic incentive that encourages more users to participate in the platform, with the token’s value increasing as more users join the ecosystem.
Steemit.com is another example of a blockchain-based social media platform that incentivizes users for their content contributions, representing another form of information commodification that usually goes uncompensated.