Cyber attacks have spread like a cancer. If you don’t know someone who’s had their data compromised, you’ve probably experienced it yourself. Cyberattacks have diminished consumer trust in online shopping, and it’s a persistent problem that requires a blockchain-powered solution.
But most retailers in the e-commerce space haven’t warmed up to the technology yet. Most don’t understand the technology, and their wary of the cost to implement it. A weak year in cryptocurrency markets has also (unfairly) clouded public perception of the underlying technology.
That means blockchain-driven e-commerce platforms are lacking. But there are signs that both crypto and blockchain adoption are on the rise. Major e-commerce retailers have invested in the technology — they can afford to, so there’s little downside.
The question is whether these projects will inspire smaller retailers to follow suit. Right now, most haven’t.
But make no mistake: cyberattacks will continue, and e-commerce will remain a treasure trove of credit card numbers and personal identifiable information. If and when the digital retail sector sees a blockchain-powered security alternative provide better protection, it will be popular quickly.
Here’s what the experts say.
1. Justas Pikelis, Co-founder of Monetha
“It depends on how you approach blockchain: as crypto payments only or the technology in general. If it’s the former, crypto adoption is increasing. But due to technological limitations and people treating cryptocurrencies as an investment device, there’s still a ways to go to until mass adoption.
If you mean blockchain in broader terms, then the growth is more pronounced. The technology is finding applications in a range of industries, including e-commerce. For instance, Alibaba boasts holding the most blockchain patents, and UPS has started testing the waters with a new blockchain eCommerce platform. That said, we’re still at relatively early stages.”
2. Dejan Roljic, CEO of Eligma
“Blockchain is an invention that will shape the future of a variety of business areas, from fintech to public administration. E-commerce is one of the domains where we see the greatest potential for this technology, however.
Shopping and selling are something everybody does every day, and blockchain can provide a more effective and safer user experience both for merchants and their customers. Creating payment processors, digital item profiles and escrows on the blockchain as well as offering a choice between various fiat and virtual currencies and wallet types in the mainstream is where we see our own particular niche.”
3. Payson Johnston, CEO and Co-Founder of Crowdz
“E-commerce is starting to embrace some areas of blockchain but is still staying far away from the space interims of accepting crypto. This is especially true in terms of embracing the public blockchain where there is very limited options.”
4. Susan Akbarpour, CEO and Co-founder of Mavatar Technologies
“However often we confuse blockchain with cryptocurrencies, blockchain is also used in other areas besides the decentralized ledger it provides cryptocurrencies. Some of the applications of blockchain in e-commerce are enforcing transparency (currently almost non-existent), scalability and speed in distribution of value, order fulfillment, attribution tracking, and inventory management systems. But to me, the most important aspect of blockchain in e-commerce is removing layers of middleman and centralized points of control in advertising that significantly reduce the cost of sales. This will eventually clean the mess that new advertising models created by overly relying on Consumer-as-a-Product model or auctioning consumer's data.”
5. Monica Eaton-Cardone, Co-founder and COO of Chargebacks911
“2018 was difficult for blockchain technology. Platform adoption was weighed down by the collapse of cryptocurrency prices due to the close association they have. However, the technology itself continues to improve, and I think we will start to see a recovery this year in terms of blockchain adoption and experimentation.
Once we have more products hit the market that provide true proofs of concept, adoption will accelerate rapidly.”
6. Julian Kahlon, CEO and Founder of Project Verte
“Still in the discussion phase. You hear a lot about what blockchain can or could do for e-commerce: it will improve security or traceability or payments. There are some great Ethereum-based dapps in the works for the e-commerce space, but adoption requires blockchains that are able to support e-commerce at scale.”
7. Rob Maille, Head of Strategy and Customer Experience and Co-founder of CommerceCX
“Companies are getting past the discovery phase of what blockchain can do and are beginning to think about how it can be used. Those companies who focus on creating a great experience for their customers and removing friction on all fronts will take the lead on where blockchain goes from here. In my opinion, speed, security and transparency will translate into a more trusted and informed shopping and buying experience.”
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