Our team has extensive experience working with data in a variety of domains— to gain insights on costumer needs and usage patterns, to answer scientific questions, and to train machine learning and AI models.
As any data science practitioner knows, the vast majority of time is spent wrangling, managing and quality checking data as opposed to actually using it to solve your problem. Available sources may have missing information, poor or inconsistent labeling, or unclear definitions. And that's if a dataset is even available to answer your question!
Inspired by the Data-Centric approach to AI, we built Pangaea Protocol to motivate generation and sharing of high quality, consistent datasets through crowd sourced submissions and task completion.
Pangaea was a supercontinent that encompassed all land on Earth. Our aim is to recreate this, combining the "continents" of siloed data into one community by encouraging and incentivizing sharing and collaboration. Users are empowered to contribute through task-based payments and partial ownership of datasets they construct.
What it does
Pangaea Protocol has three types of users: Managers, Players and Consumers.
Managers create and maintain Datasets, providing a description of what type of data they are looking for (such as "images containing cats"). They can also create Tasks to augment Datasets with additional information (such as asking for a description of a scene).
Players provide Submissions to Datasets that match the requirements, and complete Tasks which can only be done by humans on items in the Dataset (like choosing which picture of cats they prefer). They also moderate Datatsets by Peer Reviewing Submissions from other Players with upvotes and downvotes, to ensure only correct items are included.
Consumers acquire Dataset Tokens for Datasets they are interested in, which can be burned to give them access to the data.
The goal of Pangaea is for all users to benefit while having fun! There are Leaderboards for several metrics, such as "Most submissions by a Player" and "Most active Datasets", and a Wall of Shame to bring notice to actions that adversely effect Datasets. Special rewards will be given to highly ranked users, while negative activity could be punished. This gamification provides additional non-economic motivation to produce excellent and unique Datasets.
Mangers and Players are compensated for their work in two ways: Dataset Tokens and GAEA, the utility token of Pangaea Protocol. Managers provide GAEA rewards for successful Dataset Submissions by Players. Upon creation of a Dataset, Dataset Tokens are minted and distributed over time to users for their contributions. A portion of these are used to create a GAEA-Dataset Token market on Serum, providing a means of price discovery and liquidity for the Dataset and allowing Consumers to purchase data.
Additionally, GAEA is issued as an incentive for all users, helping to bootstrap Pangaea into a thriving community. Bonuses are given based on performance and activity within the platform.
Pangaea is governed by holders of GAEA tokens, while individual Datasets are governed by their Dataset Token holders. This allows for both global and local changes to parameters.
Solana is a necessary component of Panagea, providing the backbone for a decentralized system of governance and data ownership— a user's Solana becomes a data wallet. Its fast and cheap transactions also lower the barrier to entry for users, and allow more interactions to be stored on chain.
How we built it
We built a user interface based off of the Solana Dapp Scaffold, where a Solana wallet is used to verify identity and ownership. Interactions with Pangaea Protocol are recorded on-chain, with transactions confirmed by the user though integration with a wallet app like Phantom. While Dataset Submissions are not stored on the Solana blockchain, their storage location is recorded within these transactions. This allows us to flexibly choose storage backends for Datasets while access is linked to the proper user wallets.
Challenges we ran into
While we are experienced developers, our team is small and relatively new to Rust and Solana programming. Despite our efforts, we were unable to attract additional talent to join the project, such as a dedicated front end/UI developer, during the Ignition hackathon. This has led to a slower than expected progress in building out Pangaea.
Accomplishments that we’re proud of
We took a loose set of ideas for a project in the decentralized data space and turned them into a clearly defined product that we believe has real world utility.
By the time of submission, we have built a working demo allowing for basic user interactions. While not yet publicly available to allow more time for feature development and polish, we plan to have an alpha version released by the end of 2021.
What we learned
We learned how to develop for a Web3 model, where user management is done solely through a wallet connection with no centralized control from our backend. Pangaea Protocol harnesses the speed and security of the Solana blockchain to store all actions within the app on-chain. This allows any Solana wallet to become a Data wallet, with the ability to use and trade Pangaea Datasets.
Our team did a deep dive into decentralized governance and token economics, focusing on the Solana ecosystem as well as other protocols in the space (such as Ocean Protocol). Using this, we aim to build a truly fair platform which allows for multi-layer governance (on the Pangaea Protocol and individual Dataset levels. Our roadmap will be carefully implemented with this in mind.
What’s next for Pangaea Protocol
After Ignition is over, our team will continue its hard work executing the steps in our Roadmap (available in the Litepaper from our website). We will be actively seeking more developers and funding sources to help us achieve these goals.
We will have a closed alpha where users can sign up to join as Players by the end of 2021. Based on feedback from this, we hope to open a beta version of Pangaea to any user in early 2022. We plan to release version 1 of Pangaea Protocol in mid 2022, allowing for users to start creating and sharing their interesting Datasets. By late 2022, there will be an official launch of the GAEA token coupled with DAO formation and Governance.
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