One of the core motivations behind our launch of our lightning application for data feeds was the ability for people to access data in a form not currently available. Namely, via a “metered” system as opposed to a more traditional subscription service. Subscription services have their place, but we believe with the growth of cryptocurrency, the future is more micro and metered.
We want people building services and products or who are just hacking on their own projects to have access to data. Likewise, we want providers of data to be incentivized and compensated for making their data consumable in such metered form. We believe this will open up opportunities to share — and if you chose to — be compensated for any data source you wish to provide be it financial, currency, sports, gaming, or others.
To understand the new world of crypto micro-transactions, a brief review of Satoshis is necessary. A satoshi represents one hundred millionth of a bitcoin.
Satoshis are currently the smallest unit of currency of Bitcoin that can be exchanged. While humans might look at the table above and have their eyes gloss over, machines can read and understand this level of specificity quite well.
Digital currencies, like Bitcoin, offer a granularity that enables very precise pricing. This, coupled with how bitcoin and the lightning protocol effectively works -trustless, automated, secure- means data can be packaged and distributed in ways not seen before. Typical API pricing structures typically follow one of three models: base subscription, usage fee with throttling, or a combination of both. With Satoshis, those options can be extended and broadened to allow for more efficient pricing models.
(We are only on testnet right now so you can play around and test using “fake” Satoshis.)
And once you are connected, you can query and stream any of the data feeds you wish. The data and the payment are executed simultaneously — its in the protocol itself.
So if you want just Tom Brady’s data, you can get just Tom Brady’s data. If you want the entire New England Patriot’s roster, you can get the entire New England Patriot’s roster. If you’re working on a more sophisticated or larger effort, you can stream any one of our current channels of Stats, Players, Games or Teams and consume as much as you wish. This fall we will be rolling out cryptocurrency data feeds with the same vision of the future of micro currency transactions.
Bear in mind, all of this is done without any account creation, no credit card information is entered (which means no credit card fees), no personal identifying information is stored. Its almost directly machine to machine conversation. And machines understand digital currency.
What Satoshi-level micro-currency will allow is for consumers and us and data providers to have precise feeds with precise pricing. We are excited to see how developers and data providers grow and expand this fundamentally new way of exchanging information.