Blockchain and cryptocurrency will begin to become standard issue in P2P marketplaces of all kinds for their ability to build trustless reputations and transfer asset ownership.
According to a recent article in Venturebeat , cryptocurrency in general is finally “accomplishing Paypal’s original mission.”
And while people are not rushing out to spend their bitcoins, many existing online marketplaces are adapting to the times and creating their own cryptocurrencies for several reasons – including payment and to build a third-party verified “authority”. Because many of these new currencies are also based on and can be easily converted back to ETH, this means that the cryptocurrency craze this year, no matter what will boost not only the overall worth of these tokens but also increase the liquidity of the marketplaces they aim to enable.
For all the fancy goods and services on the cryptocurrency, smart contract, and token table right now, the reality is that there are still large P2P, online-enabled marketplaces where cryptocurrency has not yet penetrated.
Look for that to change, and dramatically this year.
Ink Protocol is an idea that is easy to understand. The goal is to enable decentralized reputation and payment management across a broad spectrum of P2P marketplaces using an ETH-based utility token.
Think of it, on one level, as a Paypal at the time eBay launched. Except, in this case, the cryptocurrency has been developed by Listia , an existing online freebie barter exchange. Or as the company called itself at launch a “Marketplace for Free Stuff.” The company’s initial vision was to help people get rid of unused items around the house and also be able to exchange these items for things they needed.
One of the major attractions of the Ink token (XNK), in fact, is that it will be introduced automatically to the existing Listia P2P marketplace. Launched in 2009, the marketplace now has over 10 million registered users who have exchanged over 100 million items. The company itself is also no stranger to raising capital the “more traditional way.” In fact, it has so far raised over USD$11 million from prominent investors like Y Combinator, General Catalyst, and SV Angel.
Ink can also be integrated into other P2P exchanges (either new or existing) like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace that do not directly process payments. The benefits include:
Faster market access for sellers – Creating a public reputation across platforms quickly is one advantage of using this cryptocurrency.
Smart contract and cryptocurrency management of payment – Both sellers and buyers can access and use both Ink’s cryptocurrency and smart contracts to facilitate the exchanges of goods, services, and capital easily and securely.
Ethereum based – XNK is based on an ETH-20 utility token and can be easily exchanged back into ETH.
A valuation system for even illiquid and hard to value items – Listia was created to help people swap assets that are hard to quantify value for. Second-hand items do not automatically have an aftermarket or “blue book” price. Sellers and buyers need to understand other attributes and price those into the terms of sale. In such cases, third party “authority” is even more important.
No or low transaction fee environment – Most P2P marketplaces for new or accurately priced goods charge a sales commission that usually ranges between 10-20% of the transaction. Plus credit card charges of course. This system creates a fee-free environment for P2P transactions while building online reputation and trust.
Unlike many new cryptocurrency marketplaces, XNK is actually being swapped out for an existing credit system developed by Listia over the last 8 years. This means that the founders have not only a wealth of experience but information on how to translate existing credibility and process into cryptocurrency and smart-contract enabled processes while introducing it to millions of existing users.
There are few better ways to build “quick” cryptocurrency cred.
The ETH-based XNK token, in fact, only strengthens Listia’s existing “Credit” system by creating:
Decentralized Reputation: This is information that comes from the aggregate of all of a seller’s feedback and transaction history. Such information can be read via the Ink system via a smart contract. Buyers will be able to leave permanent comments readable via the Ethereum blockchain. However because not all information should be treated equally, the system can help filter out which information should be public and which should not.
Decentralized Escrow and Third Party Dispute Resolution – The Ink platform supports a decentralized escrow account. When a buyer pays, XNK tokens are held by the contract until the buyer indicates that they have received the item (or service). Sellers must stake their reputation against tokens until the buyer receives the item.
Low Transaction Costs – Transaction and mediation fees can all be established via the use of system smart contracts and tokens.
Ink turns P2P marketplace transactions into a series of “states.” This flow has been based on the Listia Team’s experience in running their service, including multiple outcomes and edge cases.
Initiating a Transaction: Transactions are created by the buyer. The buyer specifies who the seller is (identified with an Ethereum address), the price of the item in XNK tokens, the mediator and the metadata of the transaction represented as a hash.
Accepting a Transaction: The seller specified by the buyer can decide to accept the transaction (or not). By accepting the transaction, the seller can begin to process and ship the item. The payment is secured in escrow.
Transaction in Progress: Once the seller accepts the buyer’s offer, the transaction is now in progress. Fulfilment time is set by the parties and the seller must fulfill within this time for the transaction to be successful.
Disputed, Mediated Transactions: If transactions are not successful due to a fault, buyers and sellers can mediate transactions – either to success or to failure. In each use case, the escrow account preserves the status of the trade until there is a final resolution.
Here are the details of the upcoming Ink token sale:
Token name: XNK
Token base: Ethereum (ERC-20 compliant)
Token supply: 500 million
Token sale duration: Presale begins on January 22, 2018
Token sale target: $15 million (hard cap)
Token exchange rate: USD$.10