How can people and businesses create more value from their knowledge? The short answer is digital knowledge marketplaces

How does an effective market develop if the product is something as intangible as knowledge? As you might expect, this is a significant challenge. Even with an organization, as McKinsey point out, this can be highly problematic [1]:

“Companies — including small ones — find it hard to exploit the valuable knowledge in the heads of even a few hundred employees… In a large, diverse company, the task expands to cover thousands of highly educated professionals and managers spread across a variety of specialties, locations, even countries. But difficult as it may be to profit from this diffused knowledge, the power that such large-scale interaction yields can dwarf what individuals or small teams, however brilliant or effective, can accomplish.”

Now imagine the potential of external knowledge-sharing across organisations, industry verticals, and countries. The collective intelligence could be as transformative as the internet, with knowledge marketplaces rivalling the likes of Amazon. More practically, there is great value in sharing proprietary insights into customers, competitors, products, production techniques, and emerging research. This potential is why the Knowledge Industry is projected to reach $1.1 trillion by 2026 [2].

Traditionally, expertise is found externally via recruitment agencies or speaker’s bureaus, who operate as traditional middlemen. The consulting industry is another example — consultants solve specialist problems using specialist knowledge. Early pioneers like GLG and Lynk are beginning to disrupt this traditional model by building learning consortiums called “Expert Networks”. These “Expert Networks” are made up of leaders from many industries and is estimated to be worth $1.5 billion [3].

So, what does the future promise for the knowledge industry? According to Forbes the next wave of innovation will help deliver “super” intelligence via collective judgement [4]. Companies like Good Judgement offer a “Superforecasters” service, which is a type of expert network that provides crowdsourced predictions [5]. Group think, without the Group Think. Imagine expert predictions being applied across industries to inform decision making; financial predictions for economies, predictions about fashion trends, scientific predictions applied to disease research, or price predictions for art auctions. Decision making without bias offers staggering potential, something that is increasingly exciting thought leaders like Ray Dalio [6].

With these knowledge industries already growing at a 20% annual growth rate according to Integrity Research, the opportunity is hard to ignore! But who benefits from the growth in knowledge industries? Direct benefits are reaped by companies using this collective intelligence to improve their businesses. Further, there is clear potential to support key decision makers in government and elsewhere with expert predictions. And the good news is that these benefits will accrue indirectly to all of us.

We believe the knowledge industry is something we can be excited about. But, to get the end-state of free-flowing intelligence, there are many barriers we must overcome. In general, knowledge marketplaces tend to exhibit the following issues [7]:

Search Problems — How do you best bring together a collection of source of knowledge when by nature they’ll be highly distributed with highly niche specialisms?

Complexity— How do you coordinate and collaborate in distributed system?

High Attrition — How do you ensure incentive alignment?

Compliance — How do you ensure quality service are being delivered, or, in other words, that experts don’t withhold key pieces of information?

In a previous blog we explained why 180Protocol technology solves these problems and more by deploying private and public distributed ledgers combined with confidential computing to form next generation collaborative computing ecosystem technology.

The benefit of democratizing knowledge marketplaces is profound. Imagine collective intelligence which is accessible by all. An ecosystem where we can all contribute and be rewarded fairly for that contribution. At 180Protocol, the potential of Web 3.0 excites us greatly, and we hope it excites you too.

To learn how we can facilitate the next generation of knowledge marketplaces reach out at


[1] McKinsey

[2] ReportLinker

[3] IntegrityResearch

[4] Forbes

[5] Forbes

[6] TedTalk Ray Dalio

[7] Medium