Seasoned Fintech CEO Greg Pelleteri is the creative visionary behind Bridge. Leveraging his experience as a retail banker, Greg has gone on to launch several successful start-ups, most recently Bundlefi. One day while walking through Manhattan a green light went off in Greg’s mind which fueled his passion for helping to “level the playing field” for consumers on the blockchain platform. This was the foundation at Bridge to create a disruptive business model which allows consumers to mint NFTs of their own data on the Web3 platform and get a piece of the highly lucrative data market which has been in existence for nearly two decades. Here we speak to Greg about how Bridge works, the enormous market potential, implications for a global consumer base, and the buzz behind this exciting launch in March 2023.
How did the concept for Bridge evolve to what it is today?
We have always been interested in crypto, NFT, and blockchain technology as early adopters. In the collectible art market NFTs prove authenticity. When I was walking one day, and I started thinking about NFT’s and how they can reference a person. I know everyone’s data has value and tried to figure out how to get that data referenced by an NFT and how can we get consumers compensated directly for it. This is where Bridge came into play, and we started to build the platform. Data is a $500 billion a year market and we’re able to get consumers a little piece of that for their data.
We use the Web3 blockchain that utilizes crypto and NFT. If a consumer comes to us and signs up for their NFT on Bridge with the cash application, they can input basic information about themselves, and we can mint an NFT for them. There’s a huge amount of security protocols that have been put in place as the consumers go through the journey, and they then have an NFT that will reference their data.
How does Bridge work?
What the consumer sees is super easy but on the back end it’s very complicated. We would go to consumers and inform them that we have a data buyer that is a broker, looking to buy data for a specific industry for a specific product on behalf of someone else. We investigate our database of NFT wallets and identify a group of 10,000 people fit into that demographic. We then send that information over to the data broker who has a key to open it, and they’re able to market to that consumer for say 30, 60 or 90 days depending on how the contract is written. This wasn’t possible in the Web2 world, so we needed the evolution of Web3 to really make this possible because it lets us put additional security in place. And the smart contract makes the makes the whole system work.
What is most important to the consumer is their compensation. Every consumer has a value to the market that they’re consuming. If someone wants your email address, your phone number, or home address to contact you to sell you something, there’s a value to that already which is already getting paid. The data industry has been in existence for almost 20 years, the difference is that we’re creating is a place for the consumer to get in the middle of that transaction. We don’t know anybody’s data, all I know is wallet addresses, and I’ll never know their data, nor do we even want access to it. For us to access the date, we need three different executives in the company to access it through keys, if we needed to for a legal reason. The only people that see the data is the consumer and the person they sell their data to and a monetary transaction is made between the buyer of the data and the owner. From a consumer standpoint, it’s very simple. We pay the consumer in crypto, and they’ll have a choice on how they want to do that. The important part of using the crypto is that it lets us do this anywhere on the planet and we don’t have to worry about fiat currencies. Once consumers get the crypto into their account, they can transfer it to another wallet or send it to their bank account. whatever they’d like.
We can’t go back and take away data that already exists, the only think I can do is to put a cork in the data flow as tight as possible for data going forward. But the buyers of data want the freshest data that’s available on each individual customer.
There’s also a significant environmental impact by blockchain technologies as the computing power uses a lot of power. To offset that, we’re going to plant trees for these NFT’s that will give us somewhat of a carbon offset and give back a little bit to the environment.
What kind of proprietary IP does Bridge have in place?
We have IP protection in place that uses Web3 and blockchain protocols, and we’ll probably have additional patents filed as time goes on. The way we do this is proprietary, using again, web three and blockchain protocols. The NFT is just a reference point for the data within the wallet so lets the computers know where to look for the data. The crypto becomes involved for compensation.
When you set up a cash NFT on our platform it’s super verified, unlike a social media platform like Facebook which is easy to set up fake profiles. We know who these people are, and it’s not only the freshest data possible but we can assure the data buyers that these are the actual people in order to mitigate some of the pitfalls that current social media has regarding data integrity. We have ways to verify the person and make sure it’s the right person.
Do you think some people would create different profiles in the metaverse so they can collect additional revenue?
There’s two ways that we mitigate this situation. First the verification process, if they just throw their information into any data bar, the value of their data will become deflationary. We get feedback from data buyers, and we have an algorithm to determine who has the higher value and who has the lower value. We could in real time to monitor what wallets are doing something that looks nefarious or underhanded. There’s always that 1% chance someone slips by the process but we have a very specific security protocol process for signing up for your first NFT. You can also add data to your profile to increase your data value. Also, a higher end product with a longer lifetime value for the company would pay a higher premium for your information, such as a bank looking for the consumer to open a new account.
How growth opportunities do you see for Bridge?
The scope of this product is enormous, and the global impact is huge. There’s zero cost to the consumer. And everything we built is 100% consumer centric and we’re getting as much money as we possibly can for them and have their best interest at heart. The more people that use it, the more robust the ecosystem becomes. The consumer gets the lion’s share, we get a piece of it, and then another piece will go back to the blockchain itself. Theoretically, just creating your NFT and never selling your data, you can make money from it. Over time, if you’re just a member on the blockchain, money will just be added to your account as more and more people use it. We want to build a community around this. The social media platforms and data aggregators have their own community, and no one has a consumer side community which is what we’re creating. This is happening already all I’m trying to do is get them a little piece of it.
We’re looking at early March to have a full product launch that’s out of beta which will be our alpha version and available in Apple Store and Google Play Store.