Anyone buying goods or services from overseas has probably run up across Paypal or other e-commerce gateways. It’s pretty convenient, but there’s a huge issue around conversion costs and fees - they eat into the slim margins for retailers and often end up passed on to consumers. Added to that, there’s a real security risk, and Paypal accounts have been hacked before.
Bringing e-commerce into a decentralised platform enables a more fair playing ground and makes ecommerce much safer. Vladlen’s company,BCShop.io, has started the process to create such a platform. Here he is to tell us more about it:
Tell us about BCShop.io - what do you guys do?
BCShop.io is a e-commerce / e-payments platform based on revolutionary blockchain technology.
BCShop.io aims to reinvent the way digital commerce and payments work. By focusing on the digital goods and services area, we use fast-growing blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies to provide enhanced features.
Our objectives are to:
- Implement a fully trusted decentralized e-commerce / e-payments platform on blockchain
- Lower transaction the costs merchants and service providers currently pay
- Allow for fast and easy international transactions
- Make it easy for C2C and B2C sectors to adopt cryptocurrency
Our mission is to contribute to and promote modern blockchain technologies for different areas of economic and social relations. We believe blockchain opens wide opportunities to improve the way people live.
Where did the inspiration for BCShop.io come from?
The idea of the project came when we were brainstorming ways blockchain technologies could solve the problems of P2P trading and service providers. Current payment systems involve too many intermediaries and impose restrictions, especially when it comes to international payments. We realised Ethereum with its smart-contracts perfectly suits direct sellers – buyer interaction. That’s how the idea for BCShop.io was born.
Apart from as an investment, who would receive the most value by investing in your ICO?
Besides the investment benefits, I see ideological ones. People can vote for more decentralized future, independent of government and corporations.
Another beneficial sector is frequent cryptocurrency users. By supporting the BCShop.io platform they will receive more convenient and user friendly solutions for their needs. Business owners thinking of integrating blockchain in their operations may also find a lot of value in the BCShop.io platform.
How does BCShop.io differentiate itself from its competitors (if there are any)?
BCShop.io is the only platform that requires nothing more than an Ethereum wallet for its users to get started. It’s built on top of the most popular Ethereum wallet: MyEtherWallet.
Nevertheless, there are some niche competitors. Differences of competitor projects compared to BCShop.io are shown below.
- OpenBazaar. Built using interplanetary file system (IPFS) and uses bitcoin as a payment method. OpenBazaar is positioned as a competitor to classic marketplaces like eBay. It does not have a trusted reputation system, and does not have smart-contracts. Does not offer business integration. Does not target service markets. Requires installation of special software.
- GameCredits, SkinCoin, DMarket, BlockTix. These are very niche projects on the Ethereum network, targeting specific narrow markets. They often require buying special tokens before access to the project is available. They don’t build 100% on-chain, and require the use of special software or out-of-blockchain services. They do not offer business integration.
- The block. A marketplace on Ethereum network. It requires installation of special software, and creating an additional wallet to use the platform. At this moment it requires registration to get access. Listing one product on the platform costs $1. Does not work 100% on-chain – uses off-chain services, and an escrow system.
- Auction house. Ethereum blockchain. Designed for decentralized auctions. It has no business integration, news or running auctions, probably abandoned.
- SafeMarket. Ethereum-based. Requires installation of special software. Does not have trusted reputation system (uses escrow system instead). No community. Last code update 2 years ago. Probably abandoned.
- Syscoin. Similar to OpenBazaar. Uses its own blockchain. Requires installation of special software. No smart-contracts support. Requires buying its own currency in order to use the platform.
- Payment gateways of all sorts. Centralized. These gateways use conversion – the commission for which is paid by the merchant. Do not support smart-contracts. Requires manual setup (often done by programmers) to get going. Require registration. Require website.
How have you grown BCShop.io presence in the market?
BCShop.io is a young company and it is yet to go to market. Nevertheless, we have a clear vision of our market-entry strategy.
The platform will be marketed and adopted in “cryptocurrency related markets” first. As all of them already use cryptocurrency regularly, the cost of marketing and adoption is low.
“Markets highly beneficial to the use of cryptocurrency” will need to be worked for increasing adoption of the platform. One of the core strategies here is to work with thought leaders and visit different specific market-based events to showcase the platform to potential customers.
After some successful integrations we expect BCShop.io to become a standard for companies willing to accept cryptocurrency as a payment. After this has happened we will start to target “Conservative markets beneficial to use of cryptocurrency” with the intention to teach them the benefits of cryptocurrency and provide successful use cases.
How is your team structured? What benefits do you believe that brings?
We have a core 3-person team that founded BCShop.io after working together for 10 years. We have a solid track record of analyzing large volumes of data, proven experience in long-term project management and project scaling, creating high load failover systems, complex systems formalization and algorithm development.
Besides team members on executive positions we have many contractors, including professional companies. For example, our law firm contractor is one of the best ICO legal service providers in Russia. Our web-development studio has been in the market for more than 10 years, and our security auditor firm includes top security hackathons winners.
What are the biggest challenges in the industry you have had to overcome?
When we started 8 months ago it was very hard to find useful information so we had to study the industry a lot. There were very few blockchain professionals in niche areas so we had to solve the problems ourselves – that was not an easy task. Another challenge was selecting appropriate jurisdiction for the company and preparing solid legal foundation.
What’s next for BCShop.io? Do you have plans to grow, expand or diversify?
As you may judge by our token sale approach – where team tokens are locked for 8 years unlocking only 1% per month – we came to stay here for a long time. Our key milestone is to release commercial product in May 2018 and then we are going to focus on sales. As there are no competitors on the market at the moment with commercially viable solutions, we’re already receiving a lot of integration applications. Streamlining partner adoption is the following goal after market entry.
Where would you ideally like to be in 5 years?
Ideally in 5 years we want to be the PayPal of decentralized payments and the eBay of P2P e-commerce.
If you had to give one piece of advice to an up and coming blockchain entrepreneur, what would it be?
Prepare to work hard. Be ready to study a lot of information and perform several different roles simultaneously. Remember that ICO overhype is finished and you will face a lot of competitors. And I think most of the important one is – fight for the idea, not for the money.
Thanks Vladlen, and all the best for a successful launch in 2018!