SF Blockchain Startup Harmony Raises 18 Million to Enable Data as Universal Basic Income

A team of elite engineers and entrepreneurs from Google, Apple and Amazon, who are graduates of Harvard, Stanford, UPenn and CMU, have come together to create Harmony.

It is a fast and secure blockchain built to power the next generation of decentralized applications. The project aims to combat two major problems that impact the blockchain sector: inability to scale and prohibitive costs.

Harmony has already managed to raise 18M USD in seed funding from an impressive set of investors such as Lemniscap VC, Bca Fund, Btc12, Consensus Capital, Continue Capital, Hayek Capital, Hm Capital and Univalue Associates

With the vision of creating a radically fair economy, that is accessible to everyone in the world, Harmony is perfecting a blockchain project for providing Universal Basic Income through Data. Now why do we need a project like Harmony?

Firstly, it is a fact that technology is resulting in dwindling job opportunities. According to a report by McKinsey, robots will replace up to 800 million jobs by year 2030. Another major problem in the society is the increasing wealth gap and the disparity in living standards. According an analysis by the Pew Research Center, the top 1% holds 38.6% of the nation’s wealth as of 2017,which is up from 33.7% in 2007.

In stark contrast, the bottom 90% now holds only 22.8% of the nation’s total wealth, down from 28.5% in 2007. Big companies benefit from the data that we create, due to the resources they have at their disposal to build the required infrastructure.

Harmony can help tackle these problems by giving people control over their data, and helping them monetize it. They are adopting two approaches to ensure the above. The first one is Deep Sharding, through which, they are not only sharding the transactional layer but going a level deeper to shard the layer where consensus happen. It involves a level of parallel processing which will achieve scale and speed of blockchain that is unprecedented.

Another approach is via the Zero Knowledge Proof. It allows people to validate whether something is true without revealing the entire data. For example, a company will be able to find out what the user’s income is (a very intrusive question to reveal), not by asking the exact question but by conducting a sort of range query where they’ll give a range of income bracket that the user might belong to, and get an answer back in the form of true or false.

Using a combination of these two methods, Harmony aims to establish a layer of data infrastructure that can be accessible to all. Through this, the average person can monetize their data just by putting in the minimum effort and without having to blow their cover of anonymity on the internet.