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Web3 Series: Decentr and DEC Explained

Data is sometimes described as the oil of the digital economy. It’s useful and valuable. According to a Digital Realty report, data contributes over $1.7 trillion to the G7 economies.

However, the current way our data is shared with others is not ideal.

Instead of individual users exercising full control over their personal information, large companies and tech giants collect and sell their data to third parties to make huge profits without rewarding the original owners.

Decentr, a relatively new yet promising crypto project with an exciting roadmap, seeks to change this by introducing the concept of data as a payable value to create a true data economy.

What Is Decentr and How Does it Work?

Decentr is a decentralized, blockchain-based data platform that includes various DeFi and Web3 features in one solution.

The core concept behind the project is very similar to what Brave and BAT stand for: to give individuals back control over their data.

However, there’s a major difference between the two projects: While Brave allows users to earn BAT for engaging with ads while surfing the web, Decentr doesn’t offer direct rewards for active participation.

Instead, the latter project uses something called the “Personal Data Value” (PDV), which is basically a ratio that increases with positive online engagement and decreases with negative user activity.

Each user’s PDV functions as an exchange rate between all currencies, including fiat, cryptocurrencies, and data. In practice, this means that a higher PDV allows someone to buy a product or access a service for a discounted price.

For example, a PDV of 1.5 means that a user pays $5 for a $10 product instead of purchasing it at the full price.

To calculate the PDV, Decentr records all user activity on the web securely with DecID, which can be accessed by individual users only (but not third parties).

Decentr’s ecosystem is powered by its native browser and browser extensions (currently, only a browser extension for Firefox is available, the rest are yet to be released), which users will utilize to browse the web and interact with the project’s ecosystem.

In addition to the web browser, extensions, and DecID, Decentr’s ecosystem consists of the following products and services:

  • dHub and dFeed: The dHub is the main hub for social media activity on Decentr. dHub provides users a personalized feed that includes recommended content and posts from people they follow. In addition to that, dFeed shows notifications as well as an overview of the activity of followed users. It’s also important to mention the dPosting functionality, which allows users to follow others, post content, and create dPosts, which the project describes as “supercharged reposts.”
  • dWallet: A native cryptocurrency wallet on Decentr to hold, send, and receive coins, supporting multiple fiat and digital currencies.
  • dEX: Decentr’s decentralized exchange, which allows users to convert between various fiat and digital currencies. The dEX also takes individual PDVs into account, offering users a way to exchange their data into other currencies via the solution.
  • dPay: A solution that allows users to transfer fiat between Decentr accounts as well as leverage their PDVs to purchase products and access paid services at a discount.
  • dLoan: A DeFi lending platform where users can lend native DEC coins to others. Interestingly, dLoan will also take your PDVs into account, which means active engagement can get you higher yields after the cryptocurrencies you lend via the service.

Decentr’s whole ecosystem will feature web3 functionality, allowing users to connect with other web3, blockchain, and DeFi applications via the decentralized data solution.

Interestingly, once the mainnet is up and running, Decentr will use the Proof-of-Engagement (PoE) algorithm to reach consensus in its network.

What Is DEC?

DEC is Decentr’s native token that powers the project’s whole ecosystem. DEC’s core utility is to support exchanges between data as well as fiat and digital currencies on the platform via the dEX decentralized exchange. DEC will also be used to facilitate transactions via dPay while allowing users to earn interest on their lent coins on dLoan.

Currently, DEC uses the ERC-20 token standard on Ethereum, but that may change in the future as Decentr launches its mainnet.

DEC launched last July when the project held a token sale, raising a total of over $1.2 million from investors.

Since then, the cryptocurrency’s price increased from the initial $0.022 value to as high as $0.4185 by March 28, 2021, representing an all-time surge of over 1,800%.

What’s Next for Decentr?

Decentr is still early in development, and the project hasn’t yet rolled out its core solutions, outlined in the project’s roadmap.

However, Decentr has made quite some progress since its inception. Currently, the project’s testnet is up and running, with operating dWallet, PDV, and dPosting features.

While the standalone Windows browser is expected to release in beta in Q2 2021, Decentr has already released its solution as a Firefox extension (that currently operates on the testnet).

Also, later this quarter, the project is expected to add enhanced PDV functionalities and advanced analytics features.

However, Decentr will go through the most important updates in this year’s Q2, which includes:

  • The launch of the project’s mainnet
  • Tor integration
  • Adding a built-in VPN as well as a built-in ad blocker to the native browser app

Later this year, the Decentr team is expected to release the full version of its browser on both Windows and Mac, integrate ERC-20 tokens and multiple chains, implement delegated staking validators on the mainnet, as well as launch the dPay and dLoan products.

Decentr is an exciting project, and we are looking forward to seeing what the team can come up with when it launches its core features in the next few months.

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