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Can Blockchain Technology Incentivize Open Ecological Data?
  • Robert Lewis,
  • Kjell-Erik Marstein,
  • John-Arvid Grytnes
Robert Lewis
Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research

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Kjell-Erik Marstein
University of Bergen
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John-Arvid Grytnes
University of Bergen
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Cyberinfrastructures in ecology have coevolved alongside fields excellent at expanding the landscape of big data acquisition. Arguably, they offer better technological solutions for mobilising ‘born digital’ data (e.g. sensor technologies and citizen science), then they do for low velocity, resource intensive ecological data which are inherently tied to sociological and cultural constraints limiting sharing. Such barriers can be summarised as trust, transparency and control, fundamental properties on which blockchain technologies have been prefiguratively designed. While this nascent decentralised ledger technology (DLT) is receiving increasing attention among the sciences, focus is yet to be directed at its potential utility to bolster open ecological data. In this viewpoint we offer insight into how blockchain technology could be leveraged to help normalise and incentivize open ecological data and its potential to help culture a paradigm shift from data proprietorship towards data stewardship.