One of the more dominant tropes of science-fiction over the past four decades has been information, tech and data management as the key to totalitarian control over the population, especially as technology and Moore’s Law combine to enhance human reach. Then along came Edward Snowden to show us how prescient some of our favourite dystopian science-fiction novels have proven.
The villains in this particular dystopia are, of course, silicon valley companies like Google (GOOG.Q), Alibaba (BABA.NYSE), Facebook (FB.Q), Microsoft (MSFT.Q), and Amazon (AMZN.Q).
They have a simple model: extract data from unwitting populations, pay nothing in return and repackage it to sell as a valuable commodity to commercial companies for advertising dollars.
But there are companies out there looking to break the monopoly and restore some of your personal sovereignty. Or at least that’s what they say in their press releases.
There’s ThreeD Capital (IDK.C), which spent USD$500,000 to acquire 248,201 Preferred Series A-1 stock in Todaq Holdings today.
If you believe what they’re selling: TODAQ is many things. They’re a founding member of the sovereignty tech movement, which is devoted to restoring ownership and control of identity, assets and data for everyone has a human right. They’re also a company that serves businesses, financial institutions and governments through their API TaaS (TODA-as-a-service) platform, which provides management and settlement options for all digital assets.
On its face, the sovereignty tech movement is against the globalization of data and information technology. It’s a political movement that seeks to keep information and communications infrastructure and technology aligned to the laws, needs and interests of the country where users are located. Essentially, in its most benign form, it means Canadian data should not be used by Americans to sell us American products. In its most productive, it would allow every individual citizen control over their own data streams.
Here’s Sheldon Inwentash, ThreeD’s founder, chairman and CEO:
“We’ve followed our thesis of investing in secure, efficient, confidential, scalable and interoperable decentralized technology and focusing on fundamentals rather than the hype cycle of a still nascent industry. I’m looking forward to bringing the TODAQ enablement factor to bear across our other investment verticals,” said ThreeD’s Founder, Chairman and CEO Sheldon Inwentash.
What is ThreeD Capital?
ThreeD Capital (IDK.C) are Canadian-based venture capitals focused on investments in early stage companies. Their value proposition is in finding and supporting companies using disruptive technologies to upset the existing status quo.
Their latest acquisition brings them TODA, a decentralized application that allows for the creation of digital assets (like tokens). The application uses the Proof of Provenance protocol to track the ownership chronology, custody and location of an object. It leverages blockchain’s immutable function to provide an audit trail of ownership and location over time. (As a side-note, this differs from the standard Proof-of-Work, Proof-of-Stake and Proof-of-Burn, etc, protocols in that they’re not substitutes for mining or coin generation.)
You can track an asset from person to person and space to space and from time to time.
They also provide some independent verification that the information or data being shared is legitimate, which is increasingly important today, where fraud and cybercrime are the order of the day (and big business). Especially on an international level.
“TODA’s proof of provenance data structure can wrap any type of data, providing a transferrable, self-contained, immutable proof of its history and integrity. The uniqueness enforced by the proof of provenance also allows the creation and distribution of assets that carry real value, without a central management system like a ledger or database. TODA enables digital things to behave like tangible assets,” the company said in a press release.
That’s not nothing, especially if you want to track a commodity over international lines. It could also be a more effective storage and transport receptacle for your metadata, which could then be offered wholesale to agencies inimical to your privacy.
Let’s look at the finances
There’s some definite risk associated with any early-stage investment, and it’s laid out below in IDK’s chart.
The company has been busy raising capital for the past four months to fund their M&A after a 1:3 rollback in May, suggesting the company may be in hot water. That shouldn’t be surprising as most blockchain companies are still struggling to shake off the remnants of the long crypto-winter.
The real question we should be asking ourselves is beyond the wishy-washy revolutionary hype, does this tech company have any actual products for sale that any reputable company would want? The answer is a shrug and a maybe, and until it’s a nod and a yes, then we’re going to see more downward price movement.