Blockchain associates with latest technological achievements. What about second hand smartphones? Digital Asset Live Editor-in-Chief talked to Flavio Mansi, IGWT President. He aims to create a blockchain based fully traceable and trusted platform for users to trade their smartphones.
Q1: Let’s start with a big question, on your strategy. Do you aim to replace Amazon in trading with second hand mobile phones or will you look into an integration with Amazon or another large platform?
A1: Ha… you do start big! I fundamentally believe that the current state of the secondary mobile phone industry is not sustainable.
Most, if not all players, are adding to the inefficiencies and profiting from it. Our founding partner not being an exception. The difference is we aim at leading the disruption of the industry together with all its players. So, do we aim at replacing any specific player?
Well, more than that, we aim at reinventing the entire industry. I envision some players will evolve and adapt while others will be displaced rather than replaced. Having said that, we, as a platform welcome all current and future players to participate in the “new world order” we aim to develop.
Q2: What problem exactly is IGWT solving and how?
A2: Looking into the inefficiencies of our industry we identified a couple major root causes and those are the ones we plan to solve initially. The first is the tremendous number of intermediaries.
A single device is touched anywhere between 5 and 12 times between the time its owner sells it and its final buyer receives it. This adds cost and time which results in a price delta of almost 50% between what the seller gets and what the final buyer pays.
These intermediaries claim to address the issues of discoverability and quality, but they play redundant, unnecessary roles. We believe that by leveraging blockchain, we can eliminate most, if not all, intermediaries.
Our blockchain platform aims at providing discoverability and traceable quality / grading. This addresses the second major root cause which is trust. Better said, lack of trust. Buyers don’t currently know what the actual condition of a device is until they get their hands on it; therefore, they rely on “trusted sellers”.
Our blockchain platform will hold trusted immutable records which will eliminate the need of various “trusted sellers” amongst the device’s journey. These “records’ will be updated through the use of advanced diagnostics and grading technology so we’ll ultimately not rely on human subjectivity.
Q3: What if buyer claims the phone’s faulty, just to get the money back. S/he has the phone already? How do you close a possibility of such fraudulent attempts?
A3: While we cannot solve for every edge case, the technologies we are developing, and leveraging will minimize fraud. Sellers will be required to run diagnostics on their devices and the same tests will be run by the buyer.
A hash of such results will be verified by the blockchain who will execute the smart contract and liberate the funds when the results match. If the devices don’t match, the smart contract doesn’t release the payment to the seller.
Q4: What is the current state of the project?
A4: We established IGWT Block as a separate entity from PCS Wireless, expanded our leadership team and finalized our technology strategy. As a result, we also launched:
- Our proof of concept e-commerce site, Glyde.com
- Our proof of concept TessaB Protect, which offers and administers device protection plans
- Android white label mobile app, which includes mobile diagnostics, customer service, and advertising monetization opportunities.
Q5: Smart contracts lie in the heart of your system. Tell us a bit more on the technical side, which blockchain protocol and which language for your smart contracts did you choose and why?
Q5: We looked into many protocols in the top tier now for Dapp development, and we have few criteria for a protocol to be suitable for our use case.
One important criterion is that the protocol we select should be compatible with WASM (WebAssembly) and that helps us in selecting upcoming language like RUST and we don’t have to rewrite our smart contracts again if we move to another WASM based protocol for any reason in the future.
We are also looking into Solidity for the smart contracts as some of the side-chains protocols we are looking for are based on Solidity and our team is very experienced with this language with their past experience with Ethereum.
Right now we are evaluating Ethereum, EOS, NEAR Protocol, Harmony, and SKALE. We are building a few POCs to see which scale best with our use case and also it has zero cost to our customers as gas costs are minimal.
Q6: What is your assessment of the market size and what share so you aim to achieve?
A6: Depending on the source you use, the market we are targeting is worth between $300 and $500 billion. Our plan is to conquer 3% by the end of 2021.
Q7: How many transactions per hour or per day will you expect in a year from launch, to call the project successful?
A7: As mentioned above, we aim to have 3% market share. Therefore, our platform should transact $9 – $15 billion in 2021. We clearly expect to conquer a much higher percentage over the years to come. If we are successful in disrupting the entire industry then the majority of transactions will be done over our platform over the next 5 – 8 years.
Q8: Your project may expand to other consumer products then mobile phones. Which ones present most interest, in your view?
A8: We know the mobile phone industry and, specifically, the pre-owned industry. Therefore, we have focused on mobile phones.
Naturally we are adding related services (i.e. protection plans) and will be adding wearables, tablets, and accessories. I would argue that bringing sellers and buyers closer together, by eliminating intermediaries, while addressing trust, applies to many other products and services.
Our expectation is that others will see the value that TessaB blockchain brings and this will result in multiple merchants joining the ecosystem. We do not aim to be jack of all trades but rather build and enhance the TessaB blockchain ecosystem that will support a multitude of players.