Over the past few years, blockchain technology has been changing how we transact, store data and, consequently, how we carry out economic activities such as international trade.
This in turn has spurred the growth of people seeking blockchain-based financial solutions as well thus decentralized finance (DeFi) has taken off, with the complexities of traditional finance now being built on a blockchain and bank processes to access financial products being replaced by smart contracts.
This break from traditional forms of financial transactions has now moved us towards decentralized commerce (DeCom). There are many advantages to DeCom with one being, as the name would suggest, getting rid of the middleman via the use of smart contracts as a result of which the huge commissions extorted by the likes of Amazon, Alibaba and Ebay will no longer be in play.
DeCom platforms are, therefore, leading to the mass adoption of crypto solutions as an easy and, most importantly, private way to pay for goods and services not hindered by borders nor stifled by rules and regulations.
So, who is leading the pack when it comes to DeCom? Bitcoin springs immediately to mind as a way of paying for stuff but other than that, it has zero infrastructure built around it. Moreover, transaction fees involving Bitcoin are at the moment edging higher and higher. Ethereum has smart contracts although their implementation has been poor and they face a number of challenges.
One true DeCom platform is Particl which is currently on public testnet and poised to go onto mainnet very soon. More than just a coin, this is a complete decentralized platform where users can transact with each other, confident in the knowledge that their data will be not be retained. The marketplace is private by default and no identifiable information is linked to users. Metadata is removed from images and all data exchange and communications are encrypted.
This DeCom marketplace offers many other advantages. For sellers, they can offer much more attractive prices as those previous huge cuts taken by the middleman are no longer having to be costed in. Moreover, users do not have to give up their privacy or find themselves under any form of surveillance. And because of the unique trustless escrow system in place on the platform, there is little to no chance of fraud or underhand tricks taking place.
From a seller's point of view, they will now have international reach without having to pass through 3rd parties, with credit frauds and chargeback frauds being a thing of the past. So with no platform fees, operating costs or payment delays, vendors will have a much better experience using this marketplace.
Amazon is currently being hauled over the coals by regulators on both sides of the Atlantic for its cloning of successful products sold on its platform. This cannot happen on the Particl marketplace as sales data is neither required nor retained. The privacy protocols which are embedded in the system ensure that there can be no manipulation of product listings or supply chain interventions as is common practice with Amazon.
With DeCom platforms, customers get to decide which product is better through transparent reviews and recommendations. This is unlike centralized platforms which decide which companies should be higher in the search query. Every person has their own identity and has the power to decide who has access to it and so thus privacy is protected. Deliveries can be tracked on the blockchain so lost or stolen packages will be hugely minimized.
The futre is coming, the future will be DeFi enabled DeCom!