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Oracle taps blockchain to introduce new revenue streams for startups

Adriana Hamacher


Oracle, the third biggest software company in the world, has announced it’s going to plug the data generated by 50 startups into a blockchain, for free. The idea is to help them unlock lucrative, new revenue streams. And boy are there a lot.  

The technology multinational estimates that, by 2027, $8 trillion—10 percent of global GDP— is going to be stored in the blockchain. Oracle also believes that Ethereum, with its ever-increasing network of smart contracts tech, is the key to unlocking the vast treasure trove.

Oracle’s announcement was made by Fernando Ribeiro, senior manager for Enterprise Cloud Readiness at Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. He said that by helping startups access blockchain tech, new, lucrative data would become available to enterprise.

“What we’re aiming for is a solution to connect non-blockchain startups—startups that are not necessarily using blockchain today to the blockchain revolution, to help them monetize what they have,” he said.

But smart contracts rarely operate in a vacuum. They need access to the real world data, a service performed by oracleproviders. Hence Oracle has announced that—to deliver the monetizing potential of blockchain tech to startups— it’s collaborating with decentralized oracle provider, Chainlink. The company is building a reputation as the gatekeeper to real-world data, after Google announced it was collaborating with the oracle provider earlier this month—taking the company’s partnership tally to more than 30

So how are Oracle and its oracle provider going about the job? Oracle—Ribeiro told his audience—knows a lot about startups, because part of its business is selling them cloud services. And it estimates that three-quarters of them are developing APIs, to allow their software to plug into applications from potential partners. The data streams produced provide a lucrative source of new revenue. 


To obtain this revenue, startups most often use a subscription service, said Ribeiro. But blockchain is more efficient, as payments are quicker and cheaper because they don’t rely on the clearing systems fiat currencies are typically built on. “This is an unexplored revenue stream for startups,” he said.

But developing APIs is a costly business, particularly for cash-strapped startups, so Oracle is offering to provide the service for free to 50 of them, enabling them to sell their data to Oracles’ 430,000 customers in 175 countries on the Oracle Blockchain Platform. The company’s also trying to incentivize its existing customers to do the same. 

  

Brazil-based, Smartrips, which provides data on the cost of flights, and cheaper alternatives; India-based Increff, which monitors inventory across brands to establish whether it’s being rebalanced by retailers, and UK-based iGeolise which has location/price data on delivering a package to a customer, were all identified as having datasets that could be financially lucrative, said Ribeiro.

Oracle will announce the names of the startups it will be working with at its annual event, Oracle Code One, in San Francisco, in September. But in the interim its rolling out content to instruct others how to integrate Chainlink and Ethereum into cloud infrastructure.

Perhaps most surprisingly, the code Oracle is rolling out to deploy the service will be open source, creating a bridge between Ethereum, Chainlink and a multitude of startups, that others could access and learn from. Who ever said old dogs can’t learn new tricks?