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Arkham Launches 'Intel-to-Earn' Marketplace to Reveal Wallet Owners

Blockchain data provider Arkham launched the first on-chain data information marketplace. Are Web2 economics taking over Web3, or are “Intel bounties” going to make it a better place?

Crypto analysis firm Arkham Intelligence is launching an on-chain data marketplace, the 'Arkham Intel Exchange', allowing users to uncover (or monetize) information regarding the real-world identities behind crypto wallet addresses.

Announced on Twitter on July 10, Arkham will connect a growing number of blockchain detectives with data-hungry buyers in what is described in the whitepaper as the “first decentralized network to power, incentivize, and rewards on-chain analysis at scale.”

Blockchain used to be a tool of protest against the data-centric economic models that make up today’s society. But as it becomes more ubiquitous it enables something rather opposed to this through deanonymisation - a complete and continuous view of its users’ activities.

Arkham Intelligence is leveraging the transparency of the technology to provide its users with a “holistic view” of entities engaging in decentralized transactions, making the new platform a place where information can be shared regarding transaction history, portfolio holdings, balance history, profit and loss, and exchange usage. It will do so by “systematically linking blockchain addresses to real-world entities, and providing aggregate data and analytics that give a complete picture of their behavior.”

In Arkham Intelligence’s view, comprehensive on-chain information is a necessary step in crypto’s route of integration into the financial system and blockchain’s wide adoption.

“In crypto, raw transaction data is visible to everyone due to the public nature of blockchain, but in practice, it only becomes usable once processed, aggregated and analysed by data platforms.”

“In a world where crypto is used by all, crypto intelligence tools are more like smartphones, because they are useful for anyone using crypto, from those tracking their stablecoins remittances back home, to multibillion-dollar firms trading complex derivatives.”

Buyers can request information by placing bounties, which get locked away until the requisite data is provided. On the other hand, those with information to sell can offer it for a fixed price or via auction. Information deriving from private transactions will have a time-bound exclusivity of 90 days, after which it will be made public, helping to create a “real-time map of the new financial system.”

To analyze and understand on-chain data requires particular expertise, for which the currently available solutions such as Chainalysis, Glassnode, Dune, Nansen, and others charge a high price. “Existing tools are expensive and limited only to a selected few,” says Arkham, which wants to step in to solve this market failure, believing this will “contribute to the ultimate decentralisation of the community.”

So is this an epic fight for the democratization of information or just a rather sour-tasting money grab that goes against many of blockchain's founding principles? Arkham will be tapping into a market it expects to be worth at least $30 billion annually, based on its valuation of traditional finance intelligence tools.

For now, in its first round of financing Arkham gathered $12 million, receiving support from the founders of projects such as OpenAI and Palantir.