My blockchain memory

in warranty •  8 months ago 

What is the blockchain good for to the average guy?

Yes, you can pay without using banks as an intermediary. But until the full economical circle, from production to consumption, runs oiled by a blockchain currency, that is not going to help much.

One needs to be able to earn a living paid in crypto and then find stores which sell the goods and services one needs, and which accept payment in that crypto.

Yes, steem allows anyone with a brain to earn crypto by producing and curating content.

But there are not enough stores accepting STEEM/SBD for the time being.

Besides, the banking infrastructure in the Western developed world is pretty good already and getting better by the day, making "the friction" introduced by banks (as intermediaries) lower and lower.

But blockchains in general and steem in particular can do much more than that.
Just bought a microwave for my Dad in Bucharest
Just bought a microwave for my Dad in Bucharest

Freedom to forget boring details

Do you ever buy electronic appliances? You know, like a microwave oven, a washing machine, perhaps a coffee machine or a rice cooker? You know how they come with a warranty, which assures you that, should the appliance malfunction in the next one or two years (or perhaps 5 years if you pay extra), it will be replaced, or someone will come to repair it?

So you take that (paper) warranty on day 1 and, knowing that it is important, you store it / file it carefully in a safe place...

But then life gets complicated and perhaps the "safe place" gets overcrowded with other papers and you decide to expand it or move it somewhere else in the house. Or you move house. Or the hamster escapes and it gnaws through your carefully stored warranties (it happened to me), etc...
Nela, our hamster, has escaped!
Nela, our hamster, has escaped!

And then of course some time passes and the appliance breaks. It was guaranteed for 2 years. You strive to remember when you bought it ... about 2 years ago, but was it a bit more or a bit less than two years ago?

And where is that folder where you carefully saved the warranty? I don't know about you, but I usually start rummaging helplessly through piles of old bank statements which I should have gotten rid of long ago, "important" printouts with yellowed borders and contents which read long obsolete, and touching drawings by my little princesses ... But there's no warranty ...

Or, if I locate a stash of them, precisely the one I'm looking for is missing ... or it has been printed on thermal paper and all the text on it disappeared!

Steem, memory extension

So what is a desperate case like me to do? Well, here's an idea: instead of storing the paper warranty in a folder (like the one in the picture above), I'll take a picture and store it on steem with some appropriate tags:

  • warranty - because this is the general category
  • the type of appliance: microwave
  • the date

bonmicrounde.jpg

The benefit for the shop as compared with a printout of a picture that I would hand them in, say May 2021 (more than 2 years after the acquisition) is the timestamp of the blockchain confirming that I did not Photoshopped the picture to change the "02" (February) into a "05" (May). Of course, if they had the means to ensure that the account having saved the picture on the blockchain in February 2019 really belongs to the person who is in front of them claiming warranty, it would be even better ...

Business model

Do you spot a business model here?

Put yourself in the shoes of this high-street electronics retailer, Altex Romania which probably owes its survival to the fact that there is no Amazon Romania yet.

  • you have to pay rent for prime commercial space in the city center, whereas online retailers like Amazon can rent much cheaper warehouse space in the boonies
  • the warehouse space Amazon rents is much more densely used, as the boxes can be stacked high, whereas your shop needs to be welcoming and roomy
  • you have to pay 5 agreeable, articulate, polite vendors whereas Amazon can employ 3 forklift operators instead.

So you need an idea to turn your weaknesses into strengths and leverage the expensive prime commercial space in order to create a bond with your customers, a shopping experience that would develop into loyalty to you as a vendor.

Indeed, the weakness of the retailers is that they compete almost exclusively on price. Yes, there's the convenience of the location and the advice, but quite often people come to see the product in a high-street shop, ask for (free) advice and then compare the prices online. Usually, where Amazon is present, it is also cheaper than the brick-and-mortar shops, so people thank the salespeople who advised them on the best product and then, ungratefully, proceed to order the same product from Amazon for less. That is normal, because there is no social contract between the customer and the shop, the customers sees no reason to show loyalty to the shop, the relationship is purely financial

Now imagine I'm Altex and I invest in SP and start claiming discounted accounts (because I'm cost conscious). When people enter my shops, I offer to create a steem account for them and become a GDPR "Data Processor" - I know and store the details of the customer which are necessary to fulfill a contract (GDPR allows that), and link those details (which are stored in my internal "customer database") with a steem account I create, say @altex012345678.

I can even show to the customer what else she can do with steem (such as for instance use @appics) for free.

Anyway, I manage to sell her something and explain that by default the normal warranty runs for 2 years but we (Altex) can extend that warranty to 3 years, 4 years or 5 years in exchange for:

  • the classical sales pitch involves an additional fiat payment. That still works but now we have more powerful sales incentives
  • the right to send commercial offers (for cross-selling) and / or
  • some posts on the social media apps of steem about the cool shopping experience we offer (posts that the Altex would upvote, of course)
  • the right to sell access to the customer's data in exchange for fair payment

Then the warranty is stored on the blockchain associated with the buyer's account. It's not me, @sorin.cristescu publishing it, but @altex012345678. Only me (holder of the private keys) and Altex itself (recovery account) know who is behind that account so my "PII" (in GDPR jargon) is not on the blockchain.

But there is a link between an individual and a "sales event". By being available on the public blockchain, this link offers Altex the possibility to propose the data it holds about the customer in its own internal "customer database" to other interested companies (Daewoo might want to know the speed at which its microwave ovens sell, or the profile of the buyers of their microwaves in Romania).

Of course consent of the customer and fair compensation (for instance an warranty extension or a voucher for future purchases, etc.) are needed, but even more than that. The key here is to leverage the "community building" functionality native to the steem blockchain..

Altex should focus here on creating and animating a community of future, present and past customers and extend the relationship with them beyond the merely financial. Altex the electronics retailer should thus create a permanent bond with its customers, a better shopping experience, and can then gradually extend its hardware retail business with a new one based on data.

Of course this model can be applied to many other high-street shops, not just electronics (furniture, gardening tools, etc.)

Go sell this to shop owners who trust you

If this is such a good idea, why am I "spilling it"? Am I possibly forfeiting a fortune?

Here a revolutionary aspect of blockchain can be illustrated.

I am an "idea plant" and drown in ideas which to me are a permanent source of frustration, because less than 1% materialize. Pointedly, I don't have personal access to the owners of the Altex in Romania, Kreffel in Belgium or Saturn / MediaMarkt in Germany and know no one who has. Consequently, this idea would either never materialize, or it would materialize much later, when it would arrive at the ears of the decision makers in these big companies.

But maybe in the steem community someone has access (perhaps among the Korean steemians, who knows). And I am invested in steem - so if this leads some big player to invest and buy serious amounts of SP, I'll benefit indirectly from the increase in steem's price. It's called "incentive alignment".

In this way, steem becomes an open collaboration platform, a vector which accelerates the circulation of ideas and enables them to materialize faster.

The Happy End

I know you've only read this far because you wanted to know what happened to Nela. Well, we found her, she was hungry (paper doesn't provide much calories to a hamster), brought her back in her house and gave her food and water. Here she is, happy (you spot the smile on her cute face?) and well fed
nela649x455.jpg
Hamsters on the blockchain ... hmmm ... can I come up with a business model for this? Now THAT is a challenge!


If you know what witnesses are and agree that people commited to keeping this blockchain ticking play an important role ...

(by simply clicking on the picture - thanks to SteemConnect)

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Yes, in our times is a bit difficult to have a business model based entirely on the BlockChain, especially when you're in downtrend; but I'm sure with the stabilization of the market and the integration of Stable Coins -- things will become gradually easier.

Hi @sorin.cristescu. You put together some good quality posts. You are probably one of the better content creators on Steem.

I feel quite sad that you feel you need to buy so many votes. Your content would do fine without them. Many people use bots for the ROI and do not care about content or even promoting it (e.g. buying votes on day 3).

I stopped using bots about a year ago and I'm doing fine. I have found many other good content creators do not use bots either. This is just something I think you should consider.

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If we keep in mind that our goal is to "expand the reach of steem" (bring more people, more content, more business such as games and other activities), then you shouldn't feel sad. Buying votes makes sense from more than angle. I'm right in the middle of writing a post to explain just that.

Ok cool, I look forward to having a read. It is good to see things from different perspectives.

  ·  8 months ago Reveal Comment

Sacré article ! Le client entre dans mon magasin, il prend la garantie stocké sur le compte steem et si le client me fait de la promotion sur les médias sociaux, je le récompense par des votes sur son compte steem. La problématique, le magasin doit investir beaucoup de steem pour être attrayant...C'est un nouveau business modèle à créer. Au passage, tu dis amazon avec 3 opérateurs, bientôt c'est 1 opérateur avec 100 robots chariot élévateur....Je crois comprendre ta logique avec les robots votants....Hâte de lire l'article.

One day a blockchain might be gone, or so many forks might happen that you don't know who to trust anymore. It's all about who & what to trust. There're shops that do not care at all about that paper for the warranty (emag for example), as they have it all in their database...

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Emag is an online shop (like Amazon) so it comes naturally to them. I'm talking here about brick and mortar shops which do not naturally ask your name and address when you buy something.

Because it's not "in the mores", a brick and mortar shop needs a reason to ask you what's your name, birth date and perhaps ask for ID. Establishing a warranty is a good reason. But there intervenes a chicken and egg problem because if they invest in a customer database and do not manage to recoup the cost by selling enough extended warranties then their viability is even more in danger. Steem might offer an economic alternative to developing a full custom system by bundling together more functionalities at a much lower cost than a custom built warranty-management system.

But the points you raise are valid

Great post @sorin.cristescu. What Crypto in general needs is better interoperability between coins/tokens and when interfacing with the legacy fiat systems.

For instance, services such as crypto.com and nexo.io offer loans and credit cards based on crypto holdings, which then can be used to purchase goods and services or be deposited as fiat into a bank account within 1-2 days. That is HUGE!!!

And other services like PundiX offer a point of sale system for merchants to accept crypto. Their terminals are being shipped globally and are already being used.

The more near frictionless options people have to use their crypto to boost their local economies, the better.

Now, if Steem would have a credit card/loan platform for Steem/SBD to fiat platform, I think that Steem would easily get to be in the top 10 cryptos on coinmarketcap.com. This is something that the community can pull off in my opinion. Maybe @blocktrades and others are already working on something like this. The easier option is to get Steem listed as an accepted collateral coin on nexo.io and other similar services.

Whether that is indeed "huge" ... is debatable at best ... Many companies have sprung up to offer fiat loans collateralized by crypto holdings.

These are absolutely TERRIBLE when the price of crypto plummets, as it has during most of 2018 - you get calls to post more collateral or else you simply lose your crypto and are still on the hook to repay the fiat loan.

For the merchants to accept crypto there should be legal clarity as to how they are supposed to enter debits and credits in crypto in their account books. And they need wholesalers to accept crypto or else they'll have to sell the crypto for fiat. And at that point the only cryptos that work are the stablecoins. And if the stablecoins themselves are fully collateralized with fiat (like Gemini dollar and, in theory, Tether) then it's all a zero-sum game.

Just to say that creating a crypto economy is a complicated thing. A fiat credit platform could be useful though, basically any economic activity helps the steem eco-system

Thanks for your thoughts

The "huge" refers to receiving fiat in a bank account in a day or two. Most exchanges take over a week to send fiat.

And although it is true that the owner may lose his/her crypto if the crypto collateral keeps on decreasing in value or if the custodian has a heist, not having to sell your crypto at the bottom of a market is a nice option to have. It also helps to prevent the continuation of bear markets in crypto as would be sellers get loans instead. And the loan interest is tax deductible in many jurisdictions, and one does not have to incur capital gains tax if taking the loan instead of selling the crypto assets.

Of course, but then again, do you really need to take a loan?

  ·  8 months ago Reveal Comment

When it comes to merchant tax accounting software that deals with accepting crypto as payment, I think PundiX has one that is integrated in their product/service offering.

My fear is that in many jurisdiction the taxman and the reporting obligations of merchants are not clear when it comes to accounting for crypto. I know that in much of Europe it's a nightmare. Should it go under IFRS 9, IFRS 12 or IFRS 15 ? If you are a merchant and have to pay a consultancy to write an opinion that is not even binding legally, would you go through the pain of doing it? Most merchants bet that they won't be losing much custom by simple refusing to deal with crypto.

I think what's missing is useful new applications such as bitcoin, ethereum and steem which create value for everybody and capture it in the crypto. Cryptos which are "copycats" (Tron, EOS, Tezos all try to be "better Ethereums" for instance) or which focus on doing something from the real world "but with crypto" are less helpful IMO.

It's hamster day... I experience the same, my TV comes with two years warranty but when I need to avail it, it's gone... Perhaps misplaced or something...

@sorin.cristescu, Definitely your ideas and model can be brought in Practicality and specially i like the idea where you've said about the Tag and the example of warranty paper screenshot. In my opinion Steem have so much potential just we need clarity about this Space and Ecosystem to born the opportunities. Stay blessed.

instead of a 2-year warranty, I'd like a warranty that went from year 3 to 4 or something. Stuff doesn't usually break when they're brand new! (but yeah, I understand they are covering faulty manufacturing, bloopers, etc., not long-term wear & tear)

In many places they offer 3, 4, 5 year warranty extensions, but they usually cost a lot, sometimes more than half the price of the appliance. This is why I feel the winning formula is to offer to the customer to pay with something else than fiat, for example with their data or by spreading the word or something similar

I recently recall a post here that was introducing a similar concept called proof.ink where you can immutably store documents on the blockchain. I forgot who was the developer but it sounded promising and I have it on my list of interesting projects to research further.

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That would be @roelandp. But it's not about storing documents, but storing document hashes on the blockchain. You can prove that a document you present to someone is the same as the one which has been used in the past to calculate a hash stored in a past block.

Got it! Somewhat similar and also a great use case for warranties in my opinion as their contracts are typically standard. Just shows the flexibility available with the technology. Thanks!

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QUE BUENOOO

Now that's creative thinking! All starting from the need to find a better way to store warranties.

Very interesting. Steem has a wide array of potential applications but this one never crossed my mind. Also, glad you found the hamster!

Thanks! :-)

As a fellow plant (thanks for teaching me that term), I find great value in your interesting ideas!

Hi @sorin.cristescu, I'm @checky ! While checking the mentions made in this post I noticed that @altex012345678 doesn't exist on Steem. Maybe you made a typo ?

If you found this comment useful, consider upvoting it to help keep this bot running. You can see a list of all available commands by replying with !help.

Ha ha, I was wondering whether you'd come to comment here!
No @checky, it's not a typo, I did it on purpose, used this account name as example.

This is precisely the kind of thinking needed here!

Excellent! I have always been horrible with keeping up with such papers! Now, that is compounded by the fact that I live on a boat! There is just no place to keep such important paperwork! I love the idea and am going to give it a go! Keep those ideas coming!

Blockchains are still in infancy, i can't wait what use case people can come up with it in the future...


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Crypto Hamster > Crypto kitties

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Yes. Although in real life I wouldn't bet on Nela beating an actual kitten ... :-D

Never really saw anyone redeem a warranty in my part of the world. As for an hamster business idea, I'm very sure you'd dislike my idea.
*Hint: It involves forks and knives.😂

Grosss! If it doesn't involve a blockchain as well it's not acceptable! :-)

yeah we need more use case of crypto in retail store/cafe. and steem would be awesome of the speed and no fee transaction.

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Moon your steem everyday ! Instant Dividend payout after every game - FREE 1000 steemie first 50 players moonSTEEM.com

en nuestros tiempos es un poco difícil tener un modelo de negocio basado, especialmente cuando estamos en una tendencia bajista con la estabilización del mercado y la integración de las monedas estables, las cosas cada vez más fácil.

Very interesting this idea of yours. I think it would be hard to adopt not only because of the retailer as much as the customers. At least if the model will be used by a more developed country, the benefit would be enormous for Steemit.

Care to elaborate as to why it would be hard to adopt?

I think that Blockchain and Cryptocurrency will rise up to create a cashless world.

Very interesting post! I'll share this on twitter. 💪

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en nuestros tiempos es un poco difícil tener un modelo de negocio basado,especialmente cuando estás en una tendencia bajista con la estabilización del mercado y la integración de las monedas estables, las cosas serán cada vez más fáciles.

great content @sorin.cristescu keep it up :)
Thanks for sharing

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I'm struggling to understand this from the bloackchai I'm learning and I'll see if later I can explain what it's about right now I would like someone to explain to me how I withdraw the money in cryptomonedas

NO YO YA ME RENDI bloackcha ES MUCHO TRABAJO

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I like your info and thanks for sharing.

Excelente contenido, claro y muy buena vision.

@sorin.cristescu it's very knowledge able post.

Thanks for using @edensgarden!

Wow the best way Is to sell myself on steemit... i love your work no matter i have no results now but coming 5 years steem blockchain huge amount to pay myself

Nice one

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@sorin.cristescu Hi Sorin, this is a brilliant idea perhaps for some future entrepreneur. Someone somewhere is sure to go for this and you are right that steem will benefit. Which in turn will benefit all of us. Blessings!

a win for the everyday guy, great job Sir !

Very interesting idea. Thanks for this post.

this is really a great idea that will benefit all us in the future..

About 177.99$ has been spent to promote this content.

Honestly I got my gaming computer over 2 years ago and I feel like it may need an upgrade.

You're on a very good mission...

I def use blockchain for memory storage.

  ·  8 months ago Reveal Comment