There are many good arguments for a truly free market. More heads are better than one. Unfortunately, a small handful of players have captured large portions of every industry, from insurance to retail. When one person controls the supply chain, they set the rates for businesses and set the prices for consumers. Middlemen in every industry have made it their goal to soak up profits, standing in between the product and the consumer. Moreover, they pretend to be a simple mediator but charge both parties coming and going.
There was a time when the world needed middlemen. Individuals didn’t have time to make a product and to find a customer at the same time, and customers didn’t know where to find quality products without guidance. However, technology and DeFi are changing all of that. DeFi stands for “Decentralized Finance”. Decentralization spreads out the power, decision-making, and income away from a singular entity. It is made possible by deploying specialized platforms (dApps) that infuse the rules and regulations of the service into the software itself. Effectively, complying with the rules is as easy as using the platform, and everyone holds onto their money instead of handing it over to a CEO as profit.
The best part is, the rules and regulations are decided on by a vote by users of the platform. It’s time to democratize retail. Here are the Top 5 up and coming Decentralized Applications (dapps):
Splyt is a plug-and-play protocol that uses specialized NFTs called (e-commerce) eNFTs. These unique digital tokens represent real-world assets, ensuring authenticity. Representing your products with eNFTs comes with several important benefits. To begin, it puts your inventory on the blockchain. Because NFTs can only be sold once, this solves the double-sell problem in retail. If multiple markets list your eNFT, their inventories are updated in real-time.
More importantly, the eNFT is equipped with an affiliate commission, which allows anyone to list and sell it, automatically receiving their pay upon successful sale. This hits two birds with one stone: it negates the need for affiliate negotiations and puts the power of Amazon in anyone’s hands. Imagine curating your own webstore, risk-free, and getting paid for each sale the moment it happens.
Don’t worry about dispute resolution, refunds, and ratings, it’s all part of the package.
Carbon is one of the most exciting new crypto projects. They fuse the world of web 3.0 technology and the DeFi economy with elite creative talent from all over the world, including those in music, fashion, and art to bring their community the hottest drops. Sort of a crypto.com for the fashion and creative industries, drawing new audiences into crypto, NFTs, and DeFi.
Carbon is unique as it offers the Carbon Debit Card, which enables currency exchange, direct debits, spending reports, and more. You can buy and hold digital NFT art, fashion, and music alongside your crypto tokens. Carbon’s wallet is also set to be the first NFT wallet for Splyt, who will in turn use Splyt’s eNFTs. A very on-brand collaboration in the mindset of decentralized commerce- sharing resources to push digital commerce into the future.
20% of all revenue from the platform is reinvested into the creative community in the form of funding new fashion collections, exhibitions, gigs, editorials, shoots, and events. Participating individuals can even qualify for a $1000/mo stipend for a year.
As its name implies, OpenBazaar is a protocol that allows transactions to occur directly in a peer-to-peer network. It is a blockchain-enabled e-commerce marketplace that launched in 2014. Currently, the platform requires each retailer to run a node on the OpenBazaar network.
Users can create their own stores and sell whatever they like without paying any fees, including monthly fees or listing fees. No bank or credit card is required, which fits into the decentralized ethos very well. All you need is a crypto wallet, which is easy and free, and you can participate in their ecosystem. Businesses can also live chat with customers.
Moreover, the dApps or platforms accommodate multiple industries, including music, games, BnB-like room rentals, international and rare items, and even food and drink. On OpenBazaar, users have all of the power, but also all of the responsibility.
Origin Protocol takes a more broad attempt at DeFi by addressing all aspects of the market. This includes the gig economy, food, and retail. It is free to use and supports fiat payments. Furthermore, Dshop allows users to customize their own store and sell their products.
Recently, they have turned the heavy focus onto NFTs. A number of high-profile artists have already listed their collectible digital assets on Origin’s Dshop. Some NFT marketplaces attempt to build a moat around their platform. Origin believes that this goes against the concepts of decentralization. Dshop also gives artists and creators more control over the listing, selling, and advertising of their work, rather than putting it into a generic list of NFTs on the common platforms.
Their token also has the interesting property of providing small yields without requiring staking or other complicated cryptocurrency tasks.
District0x is one of the fun dapps that revolves around “districts”. Any community or market can create a district, creating their very own decentralized, autonomous organization on the dApps. Districts can post and list products, filter searches, maintain rankings and reputations, and invoice payments inside a dApp.
Each district can have its own customized rules based on the d0xINFRA framework, a stack of Ethereum smart contracts, and front-end libraries distributed on IPFS which power a district’s basic functionalities. Districts can add more features by plugging in auxiliary modules.
Their partner Aragorn allows for the deployment of virtual entities with their own rules and regulations, allowing districts to self-govern based on consensus by their own members. Current districts include a decentralized job market, an ETH naming service, and a meme bulletin board.
No matter how you go about it, decentralized finance is the way of the future. Everyone deserves the tools and rights to passive income and direct, peer-to-peer interactions. It’s time to say goodbye to obnoxious middlemen. The internet has empowered us to take matters into our own hands.