What Is Ocean Protocol (OCEAN)?

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by Oluwapelumi Adejumo · 6 min read
What Is Ocean Protocol (OCEAN)?
Photo: Coinspeaker

Ocean Protocol is seeking to take control away from tech giants to the actual data providers, or people. This guide explains how and by what means Ocean Protocol achieves that.

One of the challenges internet users are facing today is how to best protect their privacy and personal data. We are living in an age where every company, from small businesses to large corporations, wants to get access to these data. So here comes the Ocean Protocol (OCEAN), giving data owners the control and consumers the opportunity to access the data in the most ethical way possible.

Ocean Protocol Overview

Ocean Protocol is an Ethereum (ETH)-based protocol that allows data owners to monetize their data while allowing users to access data by simply paying for it. The protocol does this by using data tokens that the user needs to get access to the data sets. These tokens are fungible ERC20 tokens with Ocean smart contracts and libraries in place for users who want to publish their data services.

The platform’s purpose is basically to facilitate data exchange. Thereby, it is giving businesses, researchers, and everyone else in need of data accesses to it without the data owners losing control. It also connects those who need data or those without the resources to store data with those who have them. And in exchange, those who provide data are rewarded with the native OCEAN cryptocurrency.

To facilitate this exchange, there is the Ocean Market – an open-source marketplace for data. Currently, it is running on Ethereum mainnet. However, the developers are planning to deploy the platform on other networks as time goes on. The Ocean Market has its automated market maker (AMM) that makes automatic price determination possible. There is also an AMM pool to each data token with low gas fees. Due to its Ethereum compatibility, it enables crypto wallets to serve as data wallets, crypto exchanges as data exchanges, and so on.

The mission of Ocean Protocol is to unlock data, spread wealth and power, stay within ethical and legal limits, and be censorship-resistant and trustless. These goals are key to its top-level aim of spreading the benefit of AI by giving everyone the opportunity to access and monetize data.

Founders of Ocean Protocol

The Ocean Protocol was founded by Trent McConaghy, an AI researcher, and Bruce Pon in 2017. Before then, Bruce Pon has established a blockchain database software company BigChainDB. The project is managed by a non-profit decentralized autonomous organization, Ocean Protocol Foundation.

Beyond the founders, it has a team of experts in various areas such as AI, big data, business, policy, and blockchain. Since it started in November 2017 with Marketplace Framework and OCEAN token, its growth has continued gradually, adding over three thousand contributors in 100 countries, partnering with IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, and launching a decentralized marketplace.

Ocean System

The Ocean System describes the overall design of the protocol with its ecosystem, tools, and various stakeholders who are connected to one another. The developers are at the core of the whole system, as it is their work that leads to growth and revenue generation for the data ecosystem.

Various tools power the ecosystem, all of them have their unique selling points. They include Oceans Market, where you can earn rewards in the form of OCEAN tokens by selling data or staking on data to earn a percentage of the transactions. It is also possible to quickly convert data assets into crypto. As a result, cryptocurrency wallets can be used as data wallets and for data management. The same goes for Data Exchanges, data co-ops, and lots more.

Ocean Tokens

The OCEAN token launched in 2017. It is an ERC20 token that serves multiple purposes on the Ocean network. Among them are buying and selling data assets, staking on data, and community governance. The token supply totals 1.41 billion tokens. 51% of this volume will be distributed depending on a schedule similar to that of Bitcoin to fund community projects.

As of May 2021, there are 347 million ocean tokens in circulation. So whether you are buying or selling on Ocean Protocol, you will be using the OCEAN token. Besides, data providers earn OCEAN tokens as rewards for their services on the platform.

Users on the Ocean protocol can also create their own decentralized marketplace. There, they can exchange data assets and services. In the marketplace, the data providers and consumers connect. Links to the data are also displayed with an on-chain record of details about data assets from who owns what, bought what, and shared what.

What further makes Ocean protocol fantastic is the fact that the data exchanges are not stored directly on the network. Instead, consumers purchase an encrypted reference to the data, unlocked after certain conditions are met. Thus, the data owners will always have full control of their data even after selling it.

Pros & Cons of Ocean Protocol

In today’s world, the debate on whether it is necessary to commercialize data or not is longer necessary. However, the question is how much of this data to commercialize. Left to the big tech companies, almost every personal data has potential, and it is now up to people to find a way to protect their privacy. Ocean protocol offers a balance between the commercialization of data and the protection of privacy.

Ocean protocol offers several products that make this possible. First of all, it is the Data Ecosystem platform that allows users to upload, store and control access to their data even as they monetize it. The second product is the Data marketplace. It facilitates the exchange of data assets by connecting buyers and sellers.

Whether it is a business organization, government, or private individuals, you can sell or buy data assets on the platform. Speaking of cons, the fact that it is running on Ethereum alone means users on other networks will not have access to it. Besides, the scalability issue of Ethereum affects the platform as well.


Ocean Protocol has shown potential and has secured several partnerships, which puts it in good stead for the future. Its goal is a lofty one, with implementation so far showing it is very achievable. Ocean protocol unlocks the real value of data. At the same time, it is seeking to take control away from tech giants to the actual data providers. Knowing that ownership and data privacy is safe, people will have the confidence to share with ease. This opens up data access, connecting supply to demand.



What is Ocean Protocol?

Ocean Protocol is an Ethereum-based protocol that puts data owners in control of who has access to their data and allows them to monetize it by connecting data providers to data consumers.

Who are the founders of Ocean Protocol?

The Ocean Protocol was founded by Trent McConaghy and Bruce Pon in 2017.

How does Ocean Protocol work?

Ocean Protocol uses blockchain technology, smart contracts, and data tokens to create a platform where users can store data and control access to it by monetizing it on decentralized data exchanges and the marketplace.

What makes Ocean Protocol unique?

Ocean protocol unlocks the real value of data while seeking to take control away from big tech companies to the actual data providers, or people.

How is the Ocean Protocol secured?

The Ocean Protocol network is secured with an Access Control mechanism that authorizes users directly on-chain and with the Parity Secret Store. Only after authorization, the data is decrypted.

What is OCEAN token?

The OCEAN token launched in 2017. It is an ERC20 token that serves multiple purposes on the Ocean network. Among them are buying and selling data assets, staking on data, and community governance. The token supply totals 1.41 billion tokens. 51% of this volume will be distributed depending on a schedule similar to that of Bitcoin to fund community projects.

What are the advantages of Ocean Protocol?

Ocean protocol has many advantages; it is Ethereum compatible, which means seamless on-ramp and off-ramp for data assets into crypto. It comes with several tools ranging from a decentralized marketplace to a complete data ecosystem with all the needed tools. Apart from all these, it is secure, stable, and with several customizable features.

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