Recap of 2020 in the KRAKEN project

2021-01-19

Rob Holmes
Head of Partnerships at TX

In December 2019, TX – Tomorrow Explored embarked on a three-year EU Horizon 2020 funded project, KRAKEN. In the KRAKEN project, our role is to develop a marketplace for personal data with a special focus on two pilot sectors: healthcare and education. We’re now exactly one full year into this innovation project, and with the close of the calendar year, it feels like the perfect time to provide an update on our progress to date.

At TX, we engineer data economies. What that means is that we help industries, companies and people to find innovative ways to monetise and share their data. The marketplace being developed in KRAKEN promises to facilitate the sharing of potentially sensitive personal data by ensuring the preservation of privacy, enabling value creation from personal data.

A marketplace for personal data based on the Streamr technology stack

In KRAKEN, we’re leveraging the existing technology of the Streamr technology stack, adapting it with additional functionalities and integrating with other partner’s technologies to meet the project’s objectives.

The Streamr technology stack, with its real-time messaging system and data marketplace, is geared towards data generated in real-time by IoT devices and machines. It allows data from these types of sources to be shared and efficiently monetised in real-time in an open ecosystem and peer-to-peer fashion. For data monetisation, Streamr’s native crypto token – DATA – is used as a means of payment. Value is exchanged in return for time-based access to real-time data streams packaged within what we call Data Products.

The marketplace being built as part of the KRAKEN project will use the Streamr marketplace code as a basis and will also make use of the public Streamr Network. However, its target is different to that of the Streamr marketplace. The KRAKEN marketplace aims to enhance the data sharing and monetisation market by connecting data subjects with organisations or institutions needing more data for research and innovation, while respecting the privacy of the data subjects. The data shared may be personal in nature or it can consist of special categories of data.

“KRAKEN promises to facilitate the sharing of potentially sensitive personal data by ensuring the preservation of privacy, enabling value creation from personal data.”

Unlocking healthcare and education data to drive research and innovation

The marketplace will be tested in two initial pilot sectors: healthcare and education. The healthcare pilot will realise a GDPR-compliant infrastructure for the sharing of biomedical and wellbeing data by individuals and public or private organisations with interested third parties in exchange for economic value. Data sharing and monetisation will primarily involve two kinds of data:

  1. Health and wellbeing real-world data (i.e. heart rate, dietary, physical activity), recorded by mobile apps and other wearable devices; and
  2. Personal health records (i.e. lab results, medical histories) from healthcare facilities.

In the education pilot, data trading will involve the vast amounts of data that are generated by the education ecosystem, including certifications, credentials, career paths, courses attended, qualifications, and enrolment status.

When sharing and monetising personal or special categories of data, there are additional requirements that must be met in addition to the functionalities that currently exist in the Streamr technology stack. Here are just some key examples of the additional requirements we’re working on in the KRAKEN project:

  • The ability to share and monetise batch datasets such as patients’ health records or a student’s grades;
  • The need for transactions to comply with the legal landscape, such as the GDPR;
  • The ability to set dynamic user-centric consent and access control parameters; and
  • The need to preserve the privacy of personal data shared within the marketplace.

To meet these requirements, we’ll be making changes to our Streamr marketplace software and integrating with various technological components being brought to the project by our consortium partners. Mainly:

  • A Self-Sovereign Identity wallet to support registration and authentication of users toward the marketplace services;
  • A blockchain-backed GDPR-compliant tool for enhanced access control based on Hyperledger Fabric; and
  • Cryptographic tools for users to perform privacy-preserving analytics, such as Secure Multi Party Computation.

Recap of our work in 2020

Much of the focus of this first year for the KRAKEN marketplace team has been on the initial design of the marketplace architecture and its technical specifications. We’ve also begun work on the initial integrations with our partners’ technological components: mainly the GDPR-compliant access control solution provided by Lynkeus, and the Self Sovereign Identity services being developed by Atos and InfoCert.

The KRAKEN marketplace will be backed by a dual blockchain architecture, where both blockchains will act as gateways in the marketplace user’s journey towards gaining access to Data Products. The Hyperledger Fabric blockchain provided by Lynkeus will act as the initial gateway for data buyers, checking that a buyer has the necessary consent from the data seller and that they will be using the data for the permitted purposes, and also that any transaction within the marketplace is legally compliant with EU and national laws. The Ethereum blockchain will then act as the final gateway, permitting data transfer or data access only once payment using Streamr’s ERC-20 token DATA is confirmed.

From a development perspective to date, we’ve implemented a prototype for the user interface at the front end of the marketplace, which allows a data seller to set access criteria within the Data Product creation workflow for data buyers to access their batch Data Products. We’ve also demonstrated an initial prototype handshake between the marketplace and the SSI to be used for user registration and authentication. We’ve developed an initial prototype integration of the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain with the marketplace backend and frontend, so that when a data seller sets their data access criteria, these criteria are passed to the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain.

“Our focus in the first half of 2021 will be in preparing the KRAKEN marketplace for its first release in August 2021 and for use in the two pilots.”

Preparing KRAKEN marketplace for release and pilots in 2021

Our focus in the first half of 2021 will be in preparing the KRAKEN marketplace for its first release in August 2021 and for use in the two pilots. Our key focus will be on the following development items:

  • Extending functionality for sharing and monetising streaming data to also support batch datasets such (e.g. personal health records and education certificates) including integrating the necessary encryption libraries;
  • Integrating the marketplace with the SSI wallet for seller and buyer authentication services; and
  • Integrating with a Secure Multi Party Computation network to provide distributed and privacy-preserving data analytics services to users of the marketplace.

Beyond the first half of 2021 and looking further ahead towards the second release, one of the major challenges we’ll need to overcome is how to integrate fiat based payments into the KRAKEN marketplace. But that challenge we can discuss in a future blog post!

Meanwhile, stay up to date on the project progress at krakenh2020.eu.

If you’re interested in any of the technologies described in this blog post and would like to discuss the business opportunities, please get in touch with me at rob@tx.company.

Rob is the Head of Business Development and Partnerships at TX. He has led successful efforts to form large consortiums and put together winning proposals for European funding and grants, also managing and executing these web 3 projects post award.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement Nº 871473. Any dissemination of results here presented reflects only the consortium view.

Related case study

KRAKEN: We’re returning the control of data back to users with a marketplace for personal data

The EU H2020 funded KRAKEN project aims to enable the sharing, brokerage, and trading of potentially sensitive personal data in healthcare by returning the control of this data to citizens throughout the entire data lifecycle.

Related posts

2020-11-04 Podcast

TX Podcast: Developing a marketplace for health and education data with Atos

In this episode, we learn more about Atos, the multinational IT company working as our partner in the EU H2020 funded KRAKEN project.

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