More and more people are shopping over the Internet – online trade is booming. According to current studies, annual growth rates of 15 percent in B2B and 12 percent in B2C are expected in Germany until 2019.
A large part of the demand is covered by global players like Amazon, ebay and Co. The major app platforms such as Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store are also reporting records for app downloads and sales. But also the blockchain technology offers new approaches and ideas for this development.
Increasing acceptance of crypto-currencies by online merchants
Although more and more online stores and local institutions accept crypto-currencies, the payment option has not yet been implemented for a large part of German e-commerce. Companies such as BitPay or the German provider Bitcoinpay.com would like to counter this and support the implementation of Bitcoin as a means of payment for online stores or retailers.
The large online merchants could have a signal effect for acceptance. Speculations that Ebay will accept payment by crypto-currency and that Amazon will even launch its own digital currency are persistent. Apart from legal questions, the sometimes large exchange rate fluctuations still pose a risk for traders at present.
New approaches from online web platforms
Blockchain technology enables developers and users alike to share content over peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, allowing developers to collaborate directly with online retailers and sell content.
A good example of this is the block chain company Spheris. Instead of centralized software hubs like the App Store or Google’s Playstore, Spheris creates a decentralized, open source solution where software developers can market and distribute their content directly to users worldwide, anonymously and without transaction costs.
The Cappasity platform follows a similar path. Decentralized and without the profit interests of intermediaries, online retailers and web developers can create, release and monetize new 3D images.
The developers behind Storiqa are also convinced that block chain technology will have a strong influence on e-commerce in the future. With an integrated online store builder, the decentralized platform enables small and medium-sized businesses to market their goods worldwide directly and in a (crypto) currency of their choice.
Smart contracts ensure that the money is only transferred when the item has reached its destination. This means that the customer only pays after receiving the goods, which increases confidence in the service and makes online shopping overall even more attractive.
The OpenBazaar platform offers another marketplace solution. Here it is not possible to pay with dollars or euros, but with more than 50 crypto currencies. In addition, all fees are waived and the platform is completely open source.