Marine Data Security System

There are a lot of parties interested in collecting data on the health of the ocean: governments, researchers, companies, even the tech sector. As a result, there is a literal ocean of ocean data, and the traditional methods of storing and protecting such vast quantities of data in today’s highly digitalized world appear to fall short of the task. Four researchers working out of Qingdao, China proposed a new method of storing marine data in 2018: a Marine Data Security System based on blockchain. They see blockchain as an ideal solution because of its security, its simplicity, and the fact that it would hypothetically release the need for a large amount of data to be stored on a centralized server (the current technique). Storing data on a centralized server is a security risk, expensive in terms of hardware and maintenance, and is generally cumbersome for sharing and importing information. Blockchain could solve most of these issues. It is important to note that the Marine Data Security System still largely exists as a construct; the researchers have not yet partnered with any institution to test the system. So as with any emergent technology, a certain allowance is granted for the technology to grow and change as it moves from theory to reality. However, a critique that could be levied against this technology— and any other technologies or systems that use blockchain for data storage— is that blockchain puts a heavy strain on global internet networks by requiring a great deal of energy to store, maintain, and handle any new inputs. To meet the energy demand, there is a growing awareness that blockchain may well strain global energy supply and force the use of cheap fossil fuel energy to meet global energy demand, contributing to climate change. As the Marine Data Security System moves forward, it will be important to keep the environmental cost of blockchain in mind, and how it may ultimately be to the detriment of the ocean. 


Blockchain, Data, Ecological Monitoring, Regulation