Being a successful graduate of Belarusian State Economic University (BSEU), Maria has acquired competencies in economic and social studies. Given Maria’s previous research working experience, and desire to explore what's really shaping the future, the main research focus is placed on FinTech and Blockchain Technology.
Despite companies like eBay, Amazon, and Alibaba have changed the way people purchase consumer goods, there are still certain gaps in the e-commerce industry, and private data protection is the major one.
The advent of online shopping in the 1990s and early 2000s has set the world on a new course, one that is increasingly dependent on the internet. According to data gathered by Statista, worldwide retail e-commerce sales equaled 2.3 trillion USD. This number is expected to more than double in just four years, with 2021 projections at 4.88 trillion USD in total sales.
E-commerce sales in the US and elsewhere are growing as is percentage of total sales – in Q1 2008, e-commerce sales were just over 3.5 percent of total sales in the US, however, as of Q4 2017, e-commerce sales the US “accounted for 9.1 percent of total sales” on an adjusted basis, per the US Census Bureau and the US Department of Commerce. This trend will likely continue as shoppers continue to flock to online outlets and shopping platforms. This is because these platforms often have lower prices and are much more convenient than driving to the store and purchasing items in person.
However, not everything is so rose-colored with online shopping. The recent Facebook data scandal was a not-so-friendly reminder that consumers’ data is being used in ways that many people are unaware of. As a result, online shopping platforms keep customer data cached in their systems, and regularly share this information with others. This is why when someone buys a new speaker from Amazon, their social media and Google feeds are suddenly populated with ads for similar items. In other words, there is no longer any privacy when online shopping.
In response to these growing privacy concerns, one blockchain platform, Zeex (sister company of the gift card leader Zeek), is looking to introduce a truly anonymous shopping experience. Their company wants to kill two birds with one stone – enable spending of cryptocurrencies while simultaneously protecting consumer data–so that decentralized e-commerce is a reality rather than a pipe dream.
The Zeex Platform
The Zeex platform is an online shopping application that allows users to do the unthinkable–actually spend their cryptocurrencies without the need of converting crypto to fiat. In a day and age where users simply don’t spend digital coins for a variety of reasons, Zeex gives people an avenue by which they can exchange digital coins for material goods. The platform’s key component is the ZIX token, which has multiple purposes on the platform.
The coin itself carries deposit value, allowing token holders to spend ZIX in transactions on the Zeex app. It also functions as a damage deposit, covering counterparty risk until a transaction settles. But, perhaps most importantly, the token is used as a login method, unlocking the Zeex platform for users.
This is one of Zeex’s most unique features, setting it apart from other platforms that require an email or social media login to access the platform. By using the ZIX coin as a key of sorts, the platform is able to silo user data without compromising user security. When someone logs into a shopping platform with their Google or Facebook account, all the data on these platforms can be accessed by the platform. Addresses, phone numbers, names, and other information is no longer private. But with the Zeex platform, user information is now private and secure.
By structuring and securing the platform in this way, Zeex has created a truly decentralized anonymous shopping center. Personal information isn’t required to login, which keeps transactions secure and anonymous. Zeex will never request user passwords or anything of the sort, and the highest grade encryption available is utilized to protect all user data.
In addition, the platform converts directly from cryptocurrencies to corporate currencies (e.g. gift cards), so there isn’t any lag time. The use of cryptocurrencies and a seamless system undergirded by smart contracts also means that there are no fees, which lowers costs for customers and increases profit margins for vendors. Not only will online shopping be anonymous, it will also be much more cost-effective finally fulfilingl the true purpose of cryptocurrency in its primary vision.