Boson Protocol is Building the Foundation for the Future of Decentralized Commerce
Decentralized commerce will soon be a major economic force and Boson Protocol is helping to make it happen. Boson Protocol is a foundational Web3 primitive that provides a public infrastructure for coordinating commerce transactions and a Web3 commerce marketplace.
Cofounder Justin Banon said the current e-commerce system is broken. While the TCP IP system governing internet connections could have been that perfect market, it has been captured by powerful platforms that control access and extract excess value. They hoard data, separate people from the value they create and influence the current economic system.
Boson Protocol’s goal is to enable commerce between buyers and sellers that doesn’t require intermediaries like Amazon, Mr. Banon began. They want to be the TCP IP that TCP IP could have been.
The method is through elements of game theory embedded within NFTs. They are beginning with metaverse commerce by creating the infrastructure so decentralized stores in places like Decentraland can sell virtual products within that virtual.
The virtual-virtual marketplace is huge but in a sense it is also a trial run for a much larger system where people can buy physical items in a digital world.
“Boson Protocol enables you to do that without having to trust anyone,” Mr. Banon said.
Shoppers buy an NFT that locks up their funds along with a portion of the seller’s. According to the principles of game theory that will incentivize both parties to complete the transaction. The NFT can be redeemed in a store or on a website. Should a dispute arise he parties are given a chance to resolve it before moving on to a decentralized dispute resolution mechanism.
The two key elements of this digital future are automating things intermediaries do, such as accepting payment, taking returns and handling disputes. Automation provides enormous efficiency, Mr. Banon said. Then they eliminate the need for these intermediaries.
Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of the metaverse of the future is a locked one where he gets a good chunk of the profits from it, Mr. Banon said. Boson Protocol’s is the opposite, as they want the doors left open so people can conduct commerce directly with each other and not via Facebook, Amazon or Google.
“I think the future is going to be these open technologies that enable commerce,” Mr. Banon said. “There’s two futures, one is a metaverse that is captured by platforms and we’re living in a digital prison, and a metaverse that is kind of open because we are using these open blockchain technologies.”
Boson Protocol’s first offering is a metaverse commerce product that enables brands to plug in an e-commerce element via APIs that allows them to conduct commerce in the metaverse. Look for an MVP in October. Beyond that they want to enabling companies to conduct business with customers via NFTs as the tokens become more well-known. That involves creating bridges, wallets and user experiences so people are comfortable interacting in that system.
It’s a vision of a more inclusive future than the one developed in a few select boardrooms.
“Their model relies on extraction,” Mr. Banon said. “The whole reason we’re building what we’re building is we believe there is a fairer way to do commerce where instead of there being one or two trillionaires worldwide maybe we can create lots of millionaires and we can recycle that value between buyers and sellers.”
Read Boson Protocol’s lightpaper here.