A new blockchain-based e-commerce marketplace claims its centralized rivals are harming the sector by overcharging buyers and unfairly treating merchants — and plans to launch a new model, offering “complete shopping protection, data security and minimal commission.”
ApolloX says it is hoping to challenge “monopolistic intermediaries” with an ecosystem consisting of three building blocks. The first component is a protocol which the company says makes it easy for e-retailers to build decentralized e-commerce applications on a blockchain. The second block is the independent web stores and marketplaces that will be developed using its technology. Last but not least, ApolloX says that the third block is the whole of its community — including manufacturers, service providers, technologists, sellers and consumers — with users being rewarded when they provide value to other stakeholders.
The company alleges that the dominance of big industry players has sparked massive issues. ApolloX claims that unfair pricing, hidden costs, data abuse and the misuse of power are byproducts of e-commerce giants pursuing ways to maximize their profits. As an antidote to this, the blockchain-driven startup says it wants to decrease the costs associated with e-commerce by 40 percent.
Helping merchants grow their businesses
According to ApolloX, many merchants are stuck in between a rock and a hard place when it comes to reaching shoppers. E-tailers often need to use these e-commerce giants if they are going to reach customers, but these small businesses usually face large fees that eat into profits. To compound the problem, the startup says that these merchants are missing out on precious data about the buyers who come across their stores — preventing them from enacting strategies that will fuel further growth.
The decentralized platform aims to remedy this through an “attribution protocol” that enables sellers to monitor the traffic their store is receiving — and provides both sellers and customers the opportunity to receive incentives for boosting the number of people they reach. Over time, this could be a cheaper method of marketing and attracting new customers than traditional displays or pay-per-click ads.
ApolloX also says it wants to tackle two of the problems which regularly cost merchants time and money. The company claims that the set of smart contracts which form its payment protocol can pave the way for automated and decentralized transactions — and says this has the potential to prevent most online shopping scams. Meanwhile, it also wants to rethink the way disputes between merchants and shoppers are resolved through an arbitration protocol known as “Deposit-Challenge-Vote.” Here, the arbiters for each case would be selected from the ApolloX community at random — and once they have come to a verdict, they would be rewarded in tokens for their efforts.
Encouraging the use of the ApolloX platform
The startup says that a custom-made token for its ecosystem, APXT, has an array of purposes that will contribute to its user uptake. While merchants can use this currency to pay for product listings and to bid for promotional positions in search results, shoppers can use APXT to buy goods and services. Frequent buyers also have the opportunity to earn rewards in APXT through a loyalty program.
ApolloX is planning to hold a token sale for APXT, with funds being used to further the development of its protocol, strike strategic partnerships and raise awareness about its platform.
Come October, the startup aims to release a beta version of its front-end system, with an alpha version running on distributed nodes expected to follow two months later. Its decentralized marketplace would undergo testing in April 2019, paving the way for ApolloX to become a fully decentralized service in 2020.
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