Case Study: EcommerceCoin
EcommerceCoin (fictional) has launched a stablecoin, on the Stellar blockchain, to be used in ecommerce and physical retail. Retailers are excited to use the coin because of low transaction fees, compared to major credit cards. Use of the coin also creates significant marketing and promotional activities for retailers from a coalition loyalty program perspective. The coin’s stabilization mechanism is agreement by retailers to peg to a USD value.
The demographics of the consumers who shop at the participating retailers and ecommerce players skews older and female — primarily Chief Household Officers shopping for themselves and their family. These CHOs are conditioned by shopping at sites such as Amazon, Zappos, etc. to login and use a saved credit card to make purchases. In focus group testing with these consumers, it became clear that relying on a digital crypto wallet would be a significant impediment to adoption:
- Consumers just as likely to shop on the web vs. phone and need a convenient web-based option to do that
- Significant nervousness around private key storage — process incredibly cumbersome to set up
- Questions raised about recovery of private keys in event they were lost
EcommerceCoin realized there was no way to get around these significant issues using on-device crypto wallets.
EcommerceCoin is using the ChainFront Cloud Service (CCS) to resolve these issues. Using the CCS, EcommerceCoin was able to make the use of crypto technology completely invisible to the end user. Consumers simply login using MFA, and can see an account balance and use it to spend against purchases (similar to PayPal). From a consumer’s perspective there is no private key to remember, backup, or manage — it is all done behind the scenes by the CCS.
How it Works
- As part of setup, EcommerceCoin works with ChainFront to establish a set of security roles and rules for their organization and retailers participating in this project.
- EcommerceCoin devs are provided API credentials to access the ChainFront APIs. They are also given access to full audit logs to track activity.
- EcommerceCoin use the MFA API calls of ChainFront to enable MFA approval for transactions as required. For “automatic” earning of these tokens, EcommerceCoin approves transactions on behalf of consumers using the ChainFront API.
- EcommerceCoin used CCS APIs to create a master customer file that will be used to track transactions via the MEMOID field of the Stellar blockchain. This allows use of the blockchain with very few Stellar accounts being set up (ie, very inexpensive), vs. one for each customer.
- Private keys are set up within the secure storage area of Vault using the Stellar plugin. The private keys never leave the secure area.
- EcommerceCoin uses provided to APIs to programmatically sign and execute transactions on Stellar as required by their application. While the public signed transactions are transmitted across the internet, the private keys never leave the secure area.
- ChainFront configures multiple geographically distributed storage areas that will hold the private keys within Vault. Cold storage will also be used as additional security measure.
- Chainfront also automatically queues transactions to the extent the blockchain ever goes down.
By using ChainFront, EcommerceCoin consumers only need to login using the provided MFA to be able to use the coins. All barriers to adoption have been eliminated, as the consumer flow is identical any other service requiring MFA. Lost password and id are also recoverable using existing techniques.