Factom Industry Analysis
Token Symbol: FCT
Industry: Data Storage and Security
ICO: 2278 BTC
Market Capitalization: $248,517,434 (As of February 23, 2018)
Coin Supply: 8,745,102 FCT (As of February 23, 2018)
Factom project description
USA based, Factom, is a project that seeks to offer blockchain solutions for data management and security by allowing the targeted audience to create unique software and/or applications on top of their self-in-built Factom Blockchain network, initiated in 2014, and which raised 2278 BTCs in its ICO. The purpose behind this is to tackle issues with security, transparency, and honesty that goes with data manipulation. It is built on top of the Bitcoin’s blockchain making it unalterable and decentralized.
The cybersecurity industry
The industry that Factom has placed itself in is data storage and security, which focuses on how users input, store, access, manage, and backup information. This is relatively a very broad industry as almost every aspect of any business as well as different industries would in one way or the other store data. The cybersecurity industry is one of the industries that has been forced to change and improve on a continuous basis due to the high level of technology advancements, and also the rate at which software upgrades is diminishing because of new ways of data breach and skilled hackers. Corporations and individuals need to understand and implement measures that will strengthen their data security using whatever it takes, this is because of the critical nature of compromised data that could result in a downfall of the whole company.
Current data state
One of the world’s largest data storage company Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company, with a current market cap of $766.748 billion, receives more than 3.5 Million searches per minute, Spotify music streaming company adds an average of 13 new songs every minute, SnapChat users share roughly above 500 thousand photos every minute, that is just to name a few. Recent research by IDC (International Corporation Data) which brands itself as “the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets”; shows that the amount of data that is expected to be created globally by 2025 will rise to 163 zettabytes (to break that down, one zettabyte equals 44 trillion gigabytes), this number was at 4.4 zettabytes as of 2013, this just shows how massive the industry in relation to data has been forecasted; this is mainly attributed the amounts of data that is being produced and created by the second.
Data management companies
Some of the top companies that currently hold these pieces of information and data, and which provide data management services include; 1) Largest individual company in terms of market share, Equinix, headquartered in Redwood City, Calif, at 9.5% in market share and serving more than 21 countries globally with plus 150 data centers, and which recently announced the possible acquisition of Verizon’s data centers, 2) Digital Realty Trust headquartered in San Francisco, Calif, having a market share of 5.7% managing 156 data centers and serving North America, Europe, Southeast Asia, and Australia regions, 3) China’s largest data center, China Telecom, headquartered in Beijing, China, with a market share of 3.3% controlling more than 400 data centers, with a main focus in serving the Chinese market, 4) CenturyLink, which got bought into and is now known as Cyxtera Technologies, but they still retained 10%, headquartered in Monroe, La, with a market share of 2.1% serving the regions of North America, Asia, Australia, UK, and Germany. Other major data service companies include China Unicom, Verizon, DuPont Fabros Technology (DFT), Level 3 Communications, CyrusOne, and Interxion. These data service companies are used by some of the largest companies who also happen to some of the top retainers and data enriched companies such as General Electric (GE), IBM, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Cloudera, and Kaggle.
Future of data centers
We need bigger and better solutions for data management. A US and Norwegian joint venture is currently working on a massive project to build the world’s largest data center, to be located in Arctic Circle. The project is named Kolos facility, surrounded by nature and will partly use hydro energy, that will result in a 60% drop in the costs associated with electricity. It is expected to induce 1000 megawatts of power, which is well covered by the conducive cold weather surrounding the area. An existing facility of the like, is The US National Security Agency’s data center, Bumblehive, in Bluffdale, Utah, which has the capacity to hold up to a yottabyte of data (that totals to one thousand trillion gigabytes).
Impact of data breaches
In the recent past, major companies have experienced cases of compromised data and hacking into their data systems that led to major losses. Based on a report by Gemalto digital security company, Breach Level Index Report for 2016, it is estimated that close to 1.4 billion data records were hacked and/or stolen. Some of the companies include, 1) Yahoo, in 2013 - 2014, which experienced a high level security hack that exposed the contact details of almost all its users in its database which costed them nearly $350 Billion loss in stock price, 2) Adult Friend Finder in 2016 whose 412.2 million accounts were hacked and 20 years of data recorded were accessed, 3) Ebay, in 2014, experienced a cyber attack that revealed the names, addresses, dates of birth and encrypted passwords of 145 million users, 4) Equifax credit bureau, one of the largest in the US, in 2017, reported that one of their websites had been compromised and that personal information of 143 million of their customers had been hacked, and 209, 000 had their credit card information accessed. This goes to show how critical data is, and the importance of having security as the top priority in its management.
Currently, the concerns with data management are filled with relatively great solutions and security management systems that are backed by some of the largest companies globally, most of which are stored virtually in the cloud. On the contrary, Based on a report by Institute of Directors (IoD) and Barclays, about 59% of the respondents in the conducted survey seek external sources for data storage and management services, and that about 43% of companies and individuals who use these services more or less are unaware of where their data and information are being stored. This goes ahead to show just how much critical information is out in the open and uncontrolled, and the level of indifference that is accompanied by it. They could argue that they trust these companies or something similar to that, but the fact that they are unaware of where the data is, is crucial in that the number of information that can be compromised that is out of their control is too much in that it could easily lead to a downfall of a company. The internet and technology boom contributed greatly to the present state of data availability and production, accounting for more than 90% of globally available data, and of which most of that amount is classified as unstructured data due to the verse distribution and venues of creation such as simple texts and photos created through messaging apps and camera applications respectively. Most of this data can be manipulated by a higher authority who has access, or by the single providers who offer the service.
Where Factom comes in
Security is the first priority that is attributed to data storage followed by accessibility. Factom seems to have captured that market quite well by focusing on the creation of a service/product that will allow users to not only secure their data/information using bitcoin’s blockchain but also control how it is inputted and accessed, this means copies of records are distributed all over the framework, and that the single point of failure in relation to a collapsed data provider facility which would lose customer's data and information, is eliminated. Factom will offer services for compliance, identity, transparent assets, and securities. It has already defined a couple areas of specialty, namely; Regulatory Auditing and Litigation, Quality Control, Mergers and Acquisition Due Diligence, Document Authentication, ID Document Chain, and Near Field Communication (NFC) RFI Solution. They do all this at a cheaper rate, offering one of the best security protocol currently available, and at the same time maintaining transparency and high standards.
Data becomes a major subject in the current world of technology and development, especially in understanding the current state of businesses and the potential they have, this is because of the use of big data analytics, which has facilitated the business models of big companies such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon in learning how to manage the interactions of their customers in their platforms in order to offer the best service and products to them. On the other hand, we have electronic and automotive companies such as Tesla and GE, who use data in their designs and products, integrating machine learning and robotics using big data to focus on numerous developments and new inventions. Other areas that data is impacting and will continue to impact are traffic and transportation systems, agricultural productions, and infrastructure. Being able to have legit and unaltered data to be used in those areas is very crucial as it will determine many factors that go into decision making in implementing new business ways or producing new products. Factom has positioned itself at a very strategic place, which will seek to offer solutions for almost all these areas, their growth will mostly be determined on how they specialize in their service and what areas they tackle, but the potential to succeed is very evidently possible.