10 Ideas for E-Commerce in the Decentralised Future With a Metaverse Powered by Blockchain and Communities
Decentralised web solutions continue to evolve. One moment we're talking about Web3 and the next moment, we're wondering what Web5 is. More and more industries are being impacted by smart contract technology and platforms like Ethereum and Avalanche. While this happens, Bitcoin proponents look to Web5 for solutions that could revolutionise the internet like never before. As a humble observer of the revolution taking place before us, I'd love to share some ideas on e-commerce in the decentralised future and more importantly, I'd love to know what you think of these ideas. Thank you!
1. Make Everyone a Logistics Company
No one knows local markets as well as people who live locally. What if there was an application that integrated blockchain and AI to empower sole traders, medium sized companies, and other types of organisations with easy-to-use tools that allowed them to operate their own logistics companies with the edge that comes from knowledge of local markets. This goes beyond present solutions to allowing the user to have choice over what happens in each point of the supply chain, even if such choice is automated by them.
2. Use NFT Royalties as Currency for Online Payments
Liquidity continues to be a challenge in NFT markets which makes it hard to see how sustainable NFTs are without utility but what if music and book NFTs with royalties could be the solution to this? Could we be able to create new markets based on creative currencies that run on blockchains like Ethereum, Avalanche, and Bitcoin? Could we somehow find ourselves going forward with decentralised currencies but also using forms of barter (music and book NFTs) to pay for products? Could we amend smart contracts to extract royalties from successful music and book NFTs to create royalty NFTs that we then use as a new form of cryptocurrency for online payments?
3. Use Soulbound Tokens to Reduce Fraud
Soulbound tokens could be seen as a new way of defining the reputation of users on a blockchain. These tokens, unlike other cryptocurrencies, cannot be transferred. For a holder of a wallet, this means that they can not only better secure their tokens but also, they can establish a reputation with Soulbound tokens which can be identified across the metaverse. In exploring the metaverse, we could find that the options of shopping experiences and other experiences continue to expand. How does one maintain a solid reputation and keep tabs of their accomplishments and activities in this metaverse where cross-chain interoperability will drive its expansion? They key could be soulbound tokens which will help to not only protect users from frauds and "copy-cats" but also to provide a new type of identification system, like a government-issued ID. It may give the impression of a "Big Brother" era but I'd like to believe it goes beyond this to ensuring that people can establish semi-anonymous credit systems on the blockchain to use in decentralized applications.
4. Shift from a Goods and Service Economy to a Time Share Economy
Blockchain and other technologies like AI and big data are opening up new opportunities to increase not only the transfer of information but also connectivity between people. What if the intersection of trending technologies like blockchain allowed for a time share economy in the metaverse? If one simple phone call can cause a revolution then why not a simple video call through glasses? What does the world look like in a metaverse where you can see a different perspective through someone's metaverse glasses for a few minutes? Could we go from Uber cars to Uber glasses in the metaverse?
5. Add Product Simulations to Gaming Experiences
Everyone likes to try products on that they would like to use but what if we went a step further and instead of just trying on clothes and items in the metaverse, we used AI to simulate the product experiences under different scenarios in games or metaverse shops?
6. Create Stronger Brands With Decentralised Communities
What better way to know the customer than to be the customer? What better way to serve the customer than to collaborate with the customer who has not only a good understanding of what they want but in collaborating with others in the community can help you figure out new ways of defining your brand and product? Would such a community be open to having their information in an application used for natural language analysis? Could this help to further strengthen not only the brand but customer loyalty?
7. Improve Operations Management with the Wordpress or Amazon of Smart Contracts and Blockchain Oracles
From agriculture to fashion, so much money and time is lost due to operational inefficiencies. A WWF report shows that over 15% of food is lost before leaving the farm. For regions like Africa where many households are significantly dependant on agriculture, this presents significant risks not only for economic growth in our global village but also for the livelihoods of many farmers and stakeholders in supply chains of food markets. Making smart contracts and blockchain oracles not only easier to use but also more accessible for the everyday person is key to increasing the transfer of reliable data that stakeholders in supply chains like agriculture supply chains can rely on. We need a Wordpress or Shopify of smart contracts and blockchain oracles to really unleash the power of decentralised networks on blockchains.
8. Use Subnets to Drive the Next Era of Crowdfunding in E-Commerce
Subnets are like mini blockchains within blockchains, made possible by Avalanche network. They could serve as the foundation for a new era of decentralised crowdfunding that allows groups of people to work on their own e-commerce metaverse projects with a better sense of security and assurance in the regulatory compliance features offered by the platform. If a system that allows members to stake seed funding is used to create e-commerce hubs in different regions, users and communities may be better incentivised to join blockchain networks, knowing that the risks of fraud are less due to the KYC checks and compliance features baked into Avalanche subnets. Perhaps the best part is that subnets can be private, ensuring data privacy for users.
9. Make Public Goods Cool for Brands and Communities
ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) compliance is significant for large corporations but also smaller corporations who may find they can benefit from savings made by improving how they affect the environment, impact social dynamics, and control governance. In decentralised communities on the blockchain, it's possible to ensure that ESG compliance isn't just at face value but that it is being measured accurately to positively scale impact of operations sustainably. Quadratic funding could be a catalyst that puts the power of governance in the hands of customers. By using trackable and transparent quadratic funding, customers of e-commerce platforms can have a better understanding of how their donations for public goods are impacting the ESG initiatives of the brands they use. Just a simple "Public Goods" button on a platform can be used to give users a sense of charity while also allowing them to be more involved in the ESG initiatives of the platforms they use.
10. Improve Tax Savings and Compliance
With the right data analytics tools, blockchain makes it possible to save huge amounts of time in documentation for tax reporting purposes. Using a decentralised ledger system like blockchain, along with the right regulations can make it possible to sell and shop with ease while having one's tax data automatically collected with AI tools. These systems already exist and could allow for not only calculations of what tax is owed but also for calculations of what activities could be considered for tax credit. Involvement in a DAO that promotes research for the cure of medical diseases, for example, could (in the right legal system and context) be considered as activities that are tax deductible. The metaverse e-commerce platform of tomorrow may make this possible.