Last Updated On November 13th, 2018
Dock.io is a decentralized data exchange platform meant to facilitate the exchange of professional data between platforms so as to facilitate users’ career growth. It seeks to address the existing market model that seems to disregard the data owner and empowers third parties that have access to and control over it.
The result of this has been a fragmented industry whereby your experience and accreditations on one platform cannot be accessed on another to help you land a job or advance in the existing one. In order to address this loophole, the Dock model presents an incentive structure that rewards sharing and discourages hoarding of information.
The job-hunting process has undergone a massive overhaul in recent years thanks to the internet explosion. As a result, people change jobs a lot more often and freelancing has grown to reach professional status. In the US for instance, about 35% of the workforce is made up of freelancers and the figure is rising consistently.
This has led to a reliance on centralized platforms to seek out new opportunities and sustain existing careers. Even though it is a massive industry currently valued at more than $200 billion, it is controlled by a handful of industries which include LinkedIn, Upwork, Glassdoor and a few others.
These platforms are characterized by a centralized data-handling system that makes it impossible to exercise full control over the credentials earned on from platform to platform. This leads to a fragmentation of personal value and experience and stands contrary to the connection aspect of the internet.
One of the main reasons behind information hoarding by these platforms is to maintain a competitive edge. Additionally, data has been monetized and is considered a business opportunity for the sites in question.
Many of the market applications are incentivized to hoard data preventing even their own users from gaining access. There are even more extreme cases where sites gather data with malicious intent. They do this by requesting data from non-native applications in exchange for open ecosystem integration.
Once they gather the data they need, they shut down non-native application’s access to the data provided. This is a familiar strategy employed by Microsoft, referred to as “Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.” It has also been used on LinkedIn.
The Dock Solution
Dock is aimed at disrupting this important economic sector and ultimately handing back the power to where it belongs, to the platform users. The platform will make it possible for the users to own their data such that they can easily transfer it between platforms as the need arises. Every important undertaking on the platform will be automatically updated on all integrated systems to allow for freedom of movement.
Users will also enjoy the opportunity of choosing where their signed content is shared and also where the data they receive from the different platforms is shared.
Furthermore, the Dock model makes it worthwhile for platforms to share data by offering rewards to the platforms involved. This system, therefore, seeks to address the pain points that both platform users and executives have to contend with in this competitive industry.
The model also has what are referred to as data providers. These are specialized applications running on the protocol used to push data to the profiles of platform users. This data could be anything from updated CVs and transactional data to user profiles and other data specific to applications.
These data providers will spend tokens so as to access data from platform users and thus increase its utility and ultimately its market value.
Dock is built on the Ethereum blockchain and has a native token model that work together to allow users to exercise full control over their data at all times. The token is meant to sustain a reward structure that makes it beneficial for the platforms involved in data transfers. The token is based on the ERC-20 standard to allow for easy integration with cryptocurrency exchange platforms and wallets.
Ethereum was chosen due to its promising scaling roadmaps, strong ecosystem and the easy integration capability that the platform offers with third-party applications, smart contracts and integrations.
Encrypted Secure Data Versioning
All of the data within the Dock model is by default encrypted and will only be decrypted by the parties that seek to exchange it. Before opting to push any data, a user will have to encrypt it first using the receiver’s public key.
This procedure first requires a user to create a delta of the data based on the latest information version. The use of deltas is selected for two main advantages. First, they do not require referencing of the old data set every time an update takes place. Second, this reduces the network’s applications and nodes bandwidth requirement.
This encrypted delta is used to generate a hash that is committed as a transaction and then encrypts it so as to send it securely to the recipient. The method ensures that all applications receive accurate and up to date data without the risk of exposing it on-chain. The encryption option makes it possible for the user to manage and control the recipients of their updates.
Alternatively, users could also choose to publish unencrypted data. This would make it possible for anyone on the network to access the data and verify its integrity. This could be such non-sensitive information as name, location, education background, certifications and contact information. This will add to the platform’s convenience in the sense that interested third parties won’t have to make data requests for such basic information.
Dock applies an open source standard for blockchain data anchoring. This standard is known as Chainpoint and was originally designed to anchor data to one chain on the Bitcoin blockchain. The Dock protocol uses a modified version of this technology both to anchor data updates and prove that the updates were incorporated at a specified block on the chain.
This means that when encrypted information is sent to an application on the network then it can decrypt the message and compare its hash value to the one on the public blockchain to confirm its validity. This makes it possible to ascertain that the information shared had not been made public before the time the block in question was created.
Future Applications of the Model
Data sharing problems today do not only limit the public’s access to appealing job opportunities. It also limits the development of numerous applications that would be realized from an open data protocol. Once the basic objectives of the Dock platform are met, there is no end to the number of future use cases for the concept behind it. Here are a few of the notable ones:
Automatic Relationship Mapping
Existing applications should have the capacity to study the interactions between a user and their applications so as to be able to map out a relationship. This could be presented as a graph for analysis or even as a contact list.
The Dock model makes this possible by enabling third party apps to get push notifications from users about their interactions with other apps. The user thus has the privilege of brokering data between platforms. This also means that they can exercise full control over their data. The receiving application can update the information received and push back the results to the user.
Work-related data on the platform can be used to generate performance reviews on the network’s users. This could involve the use of task managers or collaborative documents to check for individual work history and create a reputation score using a third party app. It could even allow one to confirm whether an individual works or has worked where they claim.
These future use aspects of the platform would all have the innate benefits associated with the distributed ledger framework and immutable nature of the blockchain technology.
Dock has a native token known as DOCK enabling operations on the network. This token is used as an incentive for data transfer between the platforms operating on the network. It also ensures that the user has ultimate control over their data unlike in the current industry structure.
An interesting twist to the use of DOCK tokens is that all fees will be denominated in fiat currency. This might in future evolve to use other currencies such as Basecoin or Dai. The feature will enable platform users to plan for future expenses based on the stability of existing market currencies.
It will imply that when token prices increase then fewer DOCKS will be bought for use on the platform and when it decreases more tokens will be bought. In the long run, this will make the token stable and predictable, unlike most other digital currencies.
In today’s market, the main reason why apps hoard data is that their competitors can use it to create a competitive edge and outdo them. When power lies in the users’ hands and applications are incentivized to share data then this token incentive model can restructure the market.
However, users are not included in the incentive structure for a number of reasons. If they were, they might be tempted to falsify data with the aim of maximizing profits. They could also end up faking accounts in a bid to manipulate the system and make the most of it. Incentivizing applications, on the other hand, eliminates the chances of malicious activity.
In addition to this, even though the system allows applications to access the data on other applications, they cannot control the nature of data that is accessible. Only users have this level of control.
Nick Macario – Co-Founder(LinkedIn)
He has founded several successful start-ups, the most recent being Branded.me. This was a professional networking site that had massive success, having more than a million users and being selected for a number of awards.
Elina Cadouri – Co-Founder (LinkedIn)
She also has a strong background as a multiple start-up founder and a marketplace operator. Her latest company is known as Outsource.com, a renowned freelance platform that makes millions of dollars and transacts tens of thousands of job opportunities.
Stenli Duka – CTO(LinkedIn)
He is a full-stack engineer with strong team leadership experience and a passion for machine learning. He also has a great interest in complex algorithms and natural language processing. He was the Director of Engineering at his previous firm, MotiveMetrics.
Evgeniy Zabolotniy – Lead Blockchain Engineer(LinkedIn)
He comes with more than a decade of experience as a security specialist, developer and systems architect. He was one of the founding members of Branded.me and has been part of the team for more than three years.
Others on the team include Todd Scheuring, Jeffry Harrison and Gabriel Moncarz all of whom have years of experience in related fields of operation.
Real Market Need
The Dock model addresses a real market need whereby users have a hard time landing good jobs on different platforms because they cannot transfer credentials between existing sites. This will greatly assist in driving its adoption by jobseekers.
The fact that the Dock system describes future applications for the network inspires confidence as the team seems focused on transforming the existing data sharing model.
The team behind Dock comes with years of experience in a variety of fields that are all crucial to the success of the project. This is another reason to believe that they will achieve the objectives.
No Working Model
Most of the project is still on paper and there is no working model to demonstrate the validity of the proposed structure.
The Dock protocol seeks to offer a disruption in an industry that is desperately in need of one. It is unfortunate that with the advent of the internet, the job-hunting industry is still monopolized by a few companies. This decentralized platform is set to revolutionize the space and hand back the power where it belongs, to the platform users.
Its incentive structure also ensures that companies will benefit from data sharing and this will help to reduce the current hoarding trend. The fact that it addresses a real market need and its unique blockchain solution to the problem is likely to propel it to success. Check out the Dock.io website and the Dock.io whitepaper.