Today we introduce a new utility use for PolySwarm’s Nectar token for average users: distributing rewards for security-relevant data about TLS certificates, DNS resolutions, and potentially malicious files encountered in daily computer use. Many of these telemetry sources are already collected from user devices by Antivirus (AV) providers. Still, there are a number of serious issues with how they are collected, how users are compensated for their information, and how these results are shared. By re-imagining how this marketplace works, we can increase collection transparency, fairly compensate all participants in the marketplace, and, most importantly, create a more unified source of security telemetry that will better protect users worldwide.
In our original whitepaper, we discussed the fragmentation of the AV market and how, in its current form, this fragmentation leads to worse outcomes for users in the marketplace. However, this fragmentation is not limited simply to the world of scanner providers: it affects many other parts of the security industry as well. As we built the PolySwarm marketplace, we realized that many of the disparate pieces of security information our customers were trying to connect are often ones that exist, but in practice, are inaccessible due to the fragmentation of the market.
To attack this problem, we are extending our original design and adding a decentralized marketplace for security telemetry. Users will install a browser extension and, later, a system daemon that reports their telemetry, using privacy-sensitive data structures. Telemetry reports are received by Aggregators and are associated with a reporting user’s wallet, allowing querying by PolySwarm’s cyber security focused consumers who pay for query hits in NCT. Everyday users get paid to provide this telemetry, and, Aggregators and backers with NCT get rewarded for timely telemetry that highlights high-priority attacks and under-the-radar malware campaigns.
This new marketplace provides immediate benefits to all participants. Users get more control over their data and are actually compensated for the value they provide, as well as receive early warnings about threats they have encountered. Aggregators are no longer dependent on their own install base for data and earn NCT for providing query computation and telemetry validation. Stakers help the network determine the most useful sources of telemetry and help reduce the threat of spam on the network, for which they also earn a portion of NCT. Finally, Consumers will now be able to access a truly worldwide network to find the data they need to identify and fight emerging threats.
At PolySwarm, our mission is to bring the security community and users worldwide together to fight malware. By leveraging Ethereum’s global, decentralized network, our new marketplace will greatly further our efforts to bring these groups together by enabling (and incentivizing!) everyone to help solve this difficult problem.
Read the whitepaper here