Project Update: SportChain

How the SportChain project evolved to its current state and how it can benefit sports leagues with trustable data

Since the beginning of the SportChain project, when it all started as an idea, huge progress has been made. This progress consists of several individual milestones that have been achieved and are further explained below. SportChain is a two-phase project and is currently approaching the end of phase one.

Market Research

At the beginning of the project, we started with market research to determine the issues and needs of the sports and related industries to figure out where to place SportChain within this landscape. In this market research, the sports and associated industries, such as the betting and insurance companies, were involved.

Identified Business Opportunities

Through our market research and its results, we identified business opportunities. These opportunities supported us when designing the architecture and where the focus of SportChain should be directed.

Designed an Architecture

We have designed a SportChain architecture that drastically enhances the state-of-the-art digital processes within the sports industry. Also, we added features to increase data security, privacy, and trust in the sports data. The figure below shows the high-level architecture.

Figure 1: SportChain high-level architectural view including actors, components and main interaction flows

Implemented a Proof-of-Concept

Part of phase one was also the implementation of a proof-of-concept of the SportChain design. The most relevant parts are the SportChain portal, the integration with VIDwallet, and the integration with VIDcredentials studio.

SportChain Portal

The SportChain portal is the heart of SportChain. It offers the user interface between the users and the SportChain services. For instance, this portal will use team managers, league officials, notaries, and data reputation and analytics consumers. SportChain portal allows team managers to manage the team credentials, such as creating, issuing, or revoking player credentials. League officials use the SportChain portal to manage the league by issuing credentials for team managers and notaries and are also able to create matches and enter sports data that are being notarized by a dedicated notary afterwards. Last but not least, the portal offers a data catalogue that data consumers can use to search for data sets and statistical operations that will be performed on notarized data.

 

Figure 2: SportChain portal’s landing page with the different login options

VIDwallet Integration

VIDwallet is an SSI identity wallet developed by Validated ID. This identity wallet has been integrated into SportChain so that the actors can identify and authenticate themselves towards SportChain and also store and manage their digital identity data within their domain to ensure data security and privacy.

VIDcredentials Studio integration

VIDcredentials studio is a tool for credential issuers that provides a rich user interface with an advanced user experience. This tool is developed by Validated ID and has been adopted and integrated into SportChain, adding additional functionality to SpotChain. For instance, player credentials, special achievement credentials, or role credentials such as notaries or team managers can be issued and managed through this integrated tool.

Outlook

So far, exciting results have been achieved, but the journey for SportChain does not end here. Instead, the SportChain team is planning further to develop the platform, not only the basic functionality but also by implementing new exciting features. These planned features are detailed below in a short outlook.

Notarization Data Anchored on Blockchain

As data notarization is the process defined where a trustworthy party with special permissions, a so-called notary, verifies data and notarizes that these data are correct. This process can be performed in analogue and also in a digital way.

SportChain enables the data notarization of sports data, which have been entered by a league official. The notary verifies these data and confirms their correctness. In SportChain, the notarization process is based on hashing the data set that is being notarized, followed by timestamping and electronically signing these notarization data. This way, a verifier can verify if a specific data set has been notarized and also when this notarization was performed. As a new feature, SportChain plans to anchor these notarization data on a blockchain, in particular, on the Alastria blockchain. The benefit of having these data on the blockchain follows the general benefits of blockchains, such as transparency, immutability, decentralized and improved security. This new and exciting feature is planned to be implemented in phase two of SportChain.

Data Analytics Based on Notarized Data

Data analytics, reputation systems and forecasting systems (also known as Artificial Intelligence) have been hyped in recent years. This is because these methods offer enormous potential when applied correctly.

SportChain offers a data catalogue consisting of available data sets and data processing methods such as data analytics, data reputations and forecasting. All of these data processing methods use as input data only the notarized sports data. This way, the authenticity and integrity of these data are ensured, which elevates the trust in the calculated results. SportChain plans to implement data analytics such as various statistics and a basic reputation system that utilizes notarized input data stored on the Alastria blockchain. The reputation data could be used by a recruiting team to support their decision-making process. The benefit is the increased trust based on the ensured
properties data authenticity and integrity. This feature is planned to be released in phase two.

Contact

Contact SportChain: Please click on this link to the project page, including an overview of the team members.

SportChain Project Page (TruBlo)

 

Screenshots & visuals: Sportchain

 

27. September 2022

Written by Mirko Lorenz

Mirko Lorenz, Innovation Manager Research and Cooperation team at Deutsche Welle. More: DW Innovation

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