Enigma, a decentralised data marketplace protocol built by MIT graduates, is in partnership with digital assets exchange and payments processor, KyberNetwork. The collaboration focuses initially on initiatives around Enigma's Catalyst, a machine-based investing platform and trading infrastructure for digital assets.

Catalyst will be used to support reserve operators on KyberNetwork, while KyberNetwork will integrate with Catalyst as a data provider and as an exchange service, said a statement. In the longer term, both companies will work towards their shared perspective for the decentralisation of crypto-asset exchange and the expansion of blockchains through potential initiatives in different industries and verticals, it said.

Enigma co-founder and CEO Guy Zyskind said: "Enigma has an ambitious goal to build a protocol that can support mass adoption of decentralized applications. As a first step, this partnership will help build momentum and acceptance of the Enigma protocol, working toward our goal of democratizing data.

"All of us at Enigma have tremendous respect for the KyberNetwork team and their view for the future of decentralisation. Our companies are excited to work towards future strategic initiatives and believe this sets a strong precedent for our other partnerships in the space."

In terms of the history of the internet, we may come to regard the past decade as a period of great centralisation of data owned by a few large companies. However, an explosion of interesting startups focused on data science, AI, blockchain and advanced types of encryption look likely to change all that.

Data is quickly becoming the most valuable digital asset. Enigma says its primary aim is to return to the original vision of the internet and create a single, open-sourced protocol for permanently storing, sharing and processing of data. Enigma is building a decentralised, scalable blockchain data marketplace for the web by building a necessary second-layer, off-chain network, addressing issues like scalability and privacy.

Loi Luu, KyberNetwork co-founder and CEO, said: "Our partnership with Enigma solidifies our aspiration to be the leader in the crypto-asset exchange sector. With Enigma's vision, their deep understanding of blockchain technology and the power of Catalyst, this collaboration is expected to spark innovation and additional research into the intricacies of trading behaviour. In so doing, we hope that our efforts can close the gap between data demand and supply, and empower effective and efficient use of data."