Features, Interviews, Security, Technology

Exclusive interview: Decentralising Data

Dr Naveen Singh, CEO & Co-founder at Inery, a revolutionary decentralised database management solution powered by blockchain technology, tells Anita Joseph, Editor, why it is important for enterprises to have a decentralised Database Management System and how the company sets a new benchmark in this space.  

 The Advent of Web5

The term “Web5’ was first coined by Tim Berners-Lee, the father of the internet, as an open, connected, permissionless, and intelligent web platform, or simply, the Emotional Web or Symbiotic Web. It was recently revived by Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s co-founder, as an extra open-source, decentralised web platform, that will be an interconnected network able to communicate with humans the way humans communicate with each other. According to Jack Dorsey, Web5 will be the amalgamation of the best features of Web2 and Web3, built on top of the Bitcoin network. 

As a concept, Web5 should allow developers to utilise verifiable credentials, decentralised identifiers (DIDs), and decentralised web nodes in creating and deploying dWebs and dApps. The aim of web5, like Web3, is to hand back the ownership and control over data to the users/owners, or data self-sovereignty, from the shackles of the walled gardens of tech behemoths. 

Where is Web4? And where is Web3? 

Web3 was first coined by Gavin Wood, as the next iteration of the internet immediately after Web2, the current internet. This version of the internet is still in its embryonic stage, being developed by the mass as opposed to a single or few creators. Web3 is trying to solve the bottlenecks of the current internet, like data manipulation and privacy concerns, to create a decentralised, fair internet, with the users in control over their data and interactions over the internet. 

Web4 is the alternative version for Web2 and Web3, rather than the next internet iteration after Web3. Also dubbed the Mobile Web, its infrastructure enables it to adapt to the mobile environment– connecting multiple mobile devices in the physical and virtual realms in real-time, regardless of location. Web4 forms a symbiotic interaction between humans and robots, making everyday life dependent on machines. 

Relationship with Data Decentralisation 

Web5 employs blockchain features, meaning that it will be open-source and decentralised. As the collective effort of the mass, the data will not be stored in centralised data centres, but instead spread across the network. Data over blockchains is encrypted using cryptographic functions and makes use of private and public keys, where only the owner of the private keys can access and decipher the data. Hence, the data will be secure from manipulation by big tech and security breaches. 

As an advanced internet coming from Web3, Web5 has the capacity to revolutionise self-sovereignty with digital decentralised identities and data storage. It will connect more users and enhance their experience, given its robust and emotional aspect, while retaining their data and identity ownership. 

Why a Decentralised Data System is important for enterprises 

Businesses and organisations have become data-driven, making data-intensive applications the backbone of any company that strives to succeed. The massive influx of big data has left companies with huge chunks of data that they barely use to meet their full potential. The existing systems are not mature enough to handle the rapidly changing data landscape, nor support adequate analytics for informed decision-making. This is coupled with the recent increase in security breaches in supply chains and data silos in departments that hinder innovations. 

The drastically changing need for data prompts businesses to look for solutions that can meet the high demands of their consumers. However, centralised databases have proved to be costly, puzzling, and complicated, especially when extra layers are added to an enterprise’s database. In addition, the infrastructures don’t give businesses the ability to conduct query searches on vast amounts of data. 

A decentralised data system will break enterprise data out of data silos, enabling the seamless sharing of information that is consistent and reliable for decision-making. Hence, it greatly promotes innovation and the progress of modern business.  

Consequently, inheriting blockchain properties like decentralisation, tamper resistance, owner-controlled assets, low network latency, and search query capabilities, mature infrastructures like IneryDB ensure unrivaled data security, speed, performance, and privacy. For instance, Inery converts enterprise data into cryptographic texts and store it on blockchain to reduce the data weight and increase its security, thus, mitigating high cost. Its interoperability feature allows business departments or systems to communicate and share data at high speeds without compromising data security, ensuring businesses exceed innovation with decentralised characteristics. 

Decentralised Data vs Centralised Data 

A centralised database collects, stores, and manages data from a central location or data centre. The data is often controlled by a single organisation or a few entities, who have absolute power over the functionality of the database. This exposes the data to a myriad of risks. These are: 

  • High latency: Since data is accessed from a single location, the system attracts high data traffic, which creates bottlenecks and makes the data inaccessible or lagged. 
  • Siloed ecosystems: Centralising data creates data silos, making the data unavailable to some departments in a company. This hinders innovation due to slowed decision-making due to data inconsistencies. 
  • Single Point of Failure: If a single server fails, the data in the entire data in the data centre is affected or becomes vulnerable. 
  • Privacy concerns: It is not uncommon for centralised data systems to share user data with advertisers or other big tech companies for their own gain. This compromises the user privacy policies.  
  • Security concerns: Their immature infrastructure makes them vulnerable to security breaches and data thefts. Breaking into a single server, for instance, gives the malicious actor access to the entire supply chain data. 

In essence, centralised data systems are vulnerable, mainly due to the features that give them advantages in a sense; single location and centralised control. 

Conversely, decentralised data lacks the aspect of a single authority or central owner. The data in a decentralised network is distributed across multiple nodes/servers within the network. Every time data is added to the network, it is replicated on the existing nodes to ensure consistency. The changes or updates made to the data are added to the data history on the blockchain to ensure traceability. Generally, decentralising data solves the shortcomings of centralised databases. It ensures: 

  • Decentralisation: Data in a decentralised framework is spread across multiple nodes that belong to several users. This eliminates the risk of a single point of failure. Thus, when a single node is compromised, enterprises can still access their data from other nodes. 
  • Security: A decentralised database encrypts the data using cryptographic hashes, such that only the user with the correct private keys can access the information. 
  • Tamper resistance: Once data is stored on a blockchain, it becomes immutable or tamper-proof. This means that it cannot be modified, deleted, or updated. It makes the data resilient to changes by maintaining the data history to provide the information with more integrity and accountability. 
  • Scalability: Unlike centralised databases that offer finite server resources, decentralising data ensures that data can be accessed simultaneously without compromising performance even as the number of users increases. Thus, a business can easily scale as its consumer base continues to grow without having to compromise service quality. 
  • Data accessibility: Enterprises can easily access data at any time from the nearest node, and leverage it as they wish without third-party controlling functionalities. 
  • Low network latency: Since the data is spread across multiple nodes, data traffic is not restricted to a single location, resulting in low latency and high speeds. 

How Inery creates a new paradigm for Decentralised Data Management 

Inery is a proprietary layer-1 blockchain and decentralised data solution. Inery integrates blockchain’s decentralisation, immutability, and security features with distributed database management properties to enable next-gen innovation for data management. It aims to bring self-sovereignty back to the users using owner-controlled data assets and distributed databases. 

The network’s high-throughput capacity, unparalleled security, interoperability, and scalability, enable Inery to fuel the rise of a different economy, connect the disintegrated world, influence a new age of ownership, and introduce an agenda for the healthcare sector’s future, among others. 

Inery addressing privacy and data manipulation concerns 

Data privacy and manipulation concerns stem from the power vested in a single or central authority to manage and dictate how data is handled. Inery strips the entities of this power by enabling owner-controlled data assets. It allows businesses to implement value contracts that give only the value contract owner(s) access to the database. The smart value contracts allow the owners to predetermine access to the database, that is, the actions that can be done on the data, who can access it, how it can be accessed, etc. Inery also enables custom permissions to users for data additions that have also been predetermined in the value contracts, managed through authorisation by private key holders who push actions in the value contracts. 

The data spread across multiple nodes within the Inery network is encrypted using cryptographic functions to ensure that only the user with the correct private keys can access the data. This makes it impossible for tech monopolies to access and exploit user data for their own gains. To use, or even access, the data, third parties will have to ask for permission from the user or enterprise, who dictates all the actions and compensation for the data usage. 

Inery also provides users with a rich set of complex queries for document retrieval, query searches, and CRUD (create, read, update, and delete) functionality, to perform actions on their database. It allows them the flexibility to implement database usage. 

Inery’s Interoperability and Scalability capacity 

The importance of data cannot be stressed enough. It is the currency that fuels organisational growth that, when used appropriately, can help businesses and institutions scale or achieve their full potential. Inery understands the importance of data sharing and communication between departments and the impact data silos have on the growth of a business or organisation.  

By decentralising the data, Inery ensures that the data in an organisation is available to all the departments and up-to-date. Consistent data, achieved by replication of the same data to the involved nodes, is accessible to all the authorised departments for informed decision-making. Sharing data across the departments is fast, reliable, and secure, enabling the enterprise to communicate with shareholders without compromising the data quality. 

The core of IneryDB, the decentralised data system, is enabling data portability through various verticals, while providing users with intuitive and simple interactions with the system. It also provides developers with the tools to create and deploy applications. In a nutshell, Inery offers users, including governments, financial institutions, businesses, real estate, the gaming industry, etc., the capability to manage their own data. For instance, gamers can create, mint, own, and share NFTs in games, while the healthcare sector can handle its data, track drugs, verify the authenticity of medical products, and communicate with other healthcare verticals, among others. 

 What’s next for Inery? 

Inery’s potential to revolutionise data management has garnered attention from both Web2 and Web3 spaces.  Web2, Web3, or Web5, Inery plans to provide the foundation for a completely decentralised internet through its decentralised data management solution, IneryDB. Recently, Inery rolled out its first public testnet in preparation for its mainnet launch which is scheduled for Q1 2023. 

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