rapidly growing business sector, e-commerce continues to open up new avenues
for exploring, comparing and purchasing products worldwide. Spl.yt, a smart
contract protocol, aims improve the e-commerce system for buyers and sellers by
automating functions currently performed by “middlemen” marketplaces like
Amazon, eBay and Alibaba.
Such popular online platforms have no doubt transformed the way in which we shop and
live. Access, convenience, low prices and the availability of a large selection
of products are among the many benefits these platforms deliver to consumers.
But such benefits provided by centralized corporations come at a cost — increased prices,
process inefficiencies and aggressive marketing using huge amounts of personal
Research from “The Enterprise Guide to
Global Ecommerce” projects a 246.15 percent increase in
global e-commerce sales, from $1.3 trillion in 2014 to $4.5 trillion in 2021.
And while Amazon alone accounts for almost half of that revenue, there remains
a huge ocean of online opportunities for other businesses to share.
the e-commerce landscape faces domination by the likes of established industry
players, innovative approaches to buying and selling are experiencing
roadblocks to advancement. Consumers are often subjected to lengthy searches of
multiple product listings in order to assess availability and price
favorability. Moreover, vendors, in varying their marketplace options, must
keep their inventories current and prevent double selling to avoid taking a hit
to their reputation.
this space, middlemen often capture high fees on all transactions, adversely
impacting vendor revenues while leading to increased product costs for
consumers. There is also a lack of mechanisms in place to support smaller
e-commerce vendors in their product sales, particularly as it relates to fraud,
spam and consumer dispute resolution.
The Promise of Blockchains
technology is a game-changing solution that shows promise in the rapidly
evolving e-commerce arena. At the heart of new advancements in this space is
the Spl.yt Core Foundation, a blockchain-backed nonprofit operating out of Santa
Monica, California. This startup aims to deliver a smart contract-based
protocol that supports a new era of efficient, transparent and secure
those who sell, buy or facilitate purchases of retail items online, Spl.yt will
help save time and money for this audience by removing middlemen functions and
services by way of its decentralized e-commerce model.
capabilities include an automated global inventory system, fractional asset
ownership and management, inter-marketplace reputation tracking, fair dispute
resolution and automated affiliate marketing incentives. Driven by a global
blockchain inventory, one that features tokenized incentives to foster honest,
real transactions, those involved in buying and selling will experience
Spl.yt’s fair and efficient e-commerce process.
According to co-founders Cyrus Taghehchian and Jason
Civalleri, this forward-thinking approach from Spl.yt is meant to address a
growing dissatisfaction with centralized services and organizations, including
market manipulation and position exploitation, technical failure risks and high
They say that by addressing the oligopolistic nature of
the e-commerce world — one that robs smaller projects of opportunities — the
growth potential for decentralized governance into financing and product
development will be more fully realized.
“Any seller in
e-commerce knows the biggest problem facing online retail right now is that the
entire industry is controlled by a handful of corporate behemoths with
unchecked economic power to set prices and standards,” said Civalleri. “These tech giants are essentially
middlemen whose self-appointed role is to mediate transactions between buyers
and sellers, yet consistently do so in a way that hurts small business while
making everything more expensive for consumers. Not to mention the fact that
they track consumers’ every move so they can use ads to better target their
Igniting a New E-Commerce Normal
Civalleri and Taghehchian believe
that today’s e-commerce ecosystem should be owned and operated by the actual
buyers and sellers who make e-commerce possible, not middlemen corporations who
make everything more difficult.
It’s here where the
Spl.yt Core Foundation is developing the protocol to automate these functions
in a decentralized way, with the ultimate goal of working themselves out of
existence so that community members can run a truly decentralized e-commerce
network while blocking the aforementioned behemoths from reemerging in the same
e-commerce regime only benefits a few powerful middlemen at the top of the
‘food chain,’ so to speak,” said Taghehchian.
“Ten years ago it was difficult to build an e-commerce website but easier to
monetize. Today, it’s easy to build a website using templates but very hard to
make profit due to the couple of online storefronts that own nearly 60 percent
of the market share. We believe in a new e-commerce structure that is more
egalitarian, instead of top-down.”
He reiterated that
the goal is to empower all e-commerce players so that they can make a good
living and earn rewards for their contributions to foster the health and growth
of the entire e-commerce ecosystem.
The grand vision, said
Taghehchian, is to introduce an open and global
inventory system for product listings across marketplaces, saving buyers and
sellers time and resources. Seller listings will be automatically updated
across all Spl.yt connected marketplaces, with buyers only needing to search
one platform to access accurate product availability and pricing.
He added that the Spl.yt protocol will
also be used to incentivize affiliate marketers, such as social media
influencers or even would-be-competitor marketplaces, to assist in the sale of
a product. This will be achieved by issuing automated affiliate rewards to any
party contributing to the sale of the item.
“The potential use cases for improving
efficiency, transparency and security across the industry are as endless as our
own imaginations,” Taghehchian
said. “Our aim continues to
be to open doors for innovative businesses and entrepreneurial individuals to
achieve their potential using the capabilities enabled by the Spl.yt protocol.
Our long-term vision is to keep moving toward a more decentralized future
wherein the greater e-commerce ecosystem is owned and operated by people within
a fair and automated network of participating parties.”
You can read the project “litepaper” here.