Tech in Asia reported that Qoo10 is set to launch a blockchain-based online marketplace built on the Ethereum protocol on January 1, 2019.
Known as QuuBe, the blockchain-based marketplace comes with a cryptocurrency of its own dubbed the Q*coin. Currently, Q*coins, which are the only accepted means of payment on QuuBe for shoppers, can be purchased in 7-Eleven stores. However, Qoo10 does not expect to allow other cryptocurrencies to be used on QuuBe due to their volatility.
As shared by Ku Young Bae, the CEO of Qoo10, the platform will offer customers better terms since it has removed the 10% merchant fee as well as the payment gateway fees which are charged by traditional marketplaces. This is made possible due to blockchain technology's capability of helping reduce administrative costs as the verification of transactions between merchants and shoppers on the marketplace is done using smart contracts.
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Qoo10’s revenue model will be primarily advertising for which it will charge merchants a certain fee for ad space on the platform’s website and app.
According to Ku, the decentralized regulation offered by blockchain technology could assist unbanked communities to participate in economic activities without having to join a financial institution:
You usually [put your] money in the bank; you wouldn’t put money into a private company’s [mobile wallet]. The company could go bankrupt, they could just change the data, or [money] can be stolen. Unless trust is built, you can’t be very sure that top-ups into the wallet can be the same. Those hurdles are sorted out by blockchain because the blockchain wallet is not something that we can change and access. Only you can access it.
Qoo10 which is targeting to reach a gross merchandising volume of US$1 billion in two years is banking on ensuring that its token does not experience the same volatility associated with cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin in order to make it suitable for transactions. One Q*coin is currently being sold at one US dollar and the ecommerce intends to revise the value upwards after every one million tokens are sold in order to allow for appreciation.
One of QuuBe's user acquisition strategy will be rolling out a marketing campaign that will involve offering incentives. This will include giving away Q*coins worth over US$100,000.
Currently, Qoo10 boasts of 6 million daily active users who are mostly in Hong Kong, China, Malaysia and Indonesia. There are roughly 400,000 products listed on its platform. The employees handling sales, marketing and operations are based in Singapore. While the developers of QuuBe’s blockchain network are based in South Korea.