This site uses cookies to provide you with a more responsive and personalised service. By using this site you agree to our use of cookies. Please read our PRIVACY POLICY for more information on the cookies we use and how to delete or block them.
  • Three interesting business ideas that combine artificial intelligence and blockchain

Three interesting business ideas that combine artificial intelligence and blockchain

28 March 2018

Alina Ley |

Ever since I began working on my master’s thesis about the success factors of cryptocurrencies, I’ve been fascinated by blockchain technology.  For me, it’s clear that blockchain will be a real game-changer. This is one reason I write regularly for a German-language online magazine about bitcoin and blockchain, along with my work at BDO for banks and financial services companies. In addition, I think it’s critical to spread the word about applications for blockchain.

I would like to use this blog to bring your attention to some business models that have caught my eye recently. They combine artificial intelligence and blockchain. Both technologies are highly complex and have reached buzzword status. The hype around both make it that much more important to understand them.

Business idea #1: Making more data available for analysis by incentivizing data providers

That leads me to my first example of an interesting business idea: making far more data available to those companies that have sophisticated data analytics capabilities, but not enough data to crunch. One company that has positioned itself in this niche says the main reason data is not shared is because of lack of trust. By using a data-sharing platform based on blockchain technology, the company wants to remove the “trust” question. The idea is to incentivize data providers to provide a vast supply of high-quality data for training artificial intelligence models.

Business idea #2: Connecting artificial intelligence tools in a decentralized market

Another idea is a decentralized block-chain based marketplace for artificial intelligence and machine learning tools. I came across a start-up which wants to help users bring tools together, since AI tools tend to be used in closed development environments. The company’s marketing materials say it is creating a “global commons infrastructure for the benefit of all” – e.g. users can add AI/machine learning services to the network and receive network payment tokens in exchange.

Business idea #3: Allowing bot authentication to enable unique digital assets for trading

A third business idea is based on the understanding that the way interaction on the web takes place is changing from graphical user interfaces to conversational user interfaces – e.g. “bots.” One start-up wants to create an independent bot community where developers can access open, modular architectures for API aggregation. They are doing it to make sure the capability is not left only to the dominant giants, like Facebook, Apple or Google. The company says that with bot authentication, unique digital assets (such as bot components, bot services and user data) can be bought, sold or licensed with remuneration tracked and distributed automatically and securely.

As you can see, each AI/blockchain business idea being developed by start-ups is complex but also very exciting for its potential benefits and applications. To my knowledge, most of these ideas remain in the pilot phase and therefore are unproven and highly risky. That’s one reason I decided to speak in general about business ideas and not about specific companies.

Even with business models in their infancy, I consider it valuable for established companies to learn about the models and look for possible applications in their own business.

Often new ideas can be sparked by examining your own business goals for applying blockchain technology - such as cost reduction, process automation, data storage, security, or faster transactions - and then cross-applying concepts or technologies.

In short, I strongly believe this is an area companies must stay on top of because of the disruption poised to happen.


Alina Ley | BDO Germany

Alina is an expert on blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies at BDO Germany. She is also interested in the sector of fintechs and digital transformation.