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Boson Protocol — AMA Summary

On Thursday the 25th of March, the DuckDAO community had an AMA with the CEO and co-founder of Boson Protocol, Justin Banon.

“Become part of the future of commerce”

Boson Protocol is an open tokenized economy for commerce that automates digital to physical redemptions using NFTs encoded with game theory. Real-world products, services, and commerce data are tokenized within a liquid digital market.

Commitments are made by depositing digital value into an escrow contract represented by commitment tokens, enabling automated digital to physical redemption. Each type of commitment token can then be purchased with a specific ERC-20 standard Thing token, which can plug into DeFi infrastructure, enabling liquid digital markets for any Thing.

The ecosystem is powered by the $BOSON token which gives users governance rights, access to curation markets, and supply and demand mining.

Helpful Links:

Participants:

Boson — Justin Banon — CEO

DuckDAO — Pep — DuckDAO community representative

Please note that the following summary has been edited for clarity.

Pep

Welcome everyone to another DuckDAO AMA.

We are joined today by Justin Banon, Co-Founder and CEO of Boson Protocol

On behalf of the DuckDAO community, I’d like to welcome you to our channel :)

👋

Justin

Hi Everyone, Justin Banon from Boson Protocol here..🦆

Pep

Hey Justin, great to have you here

Can we start with an introduction for yourself; what is your background/experience both in the traditional space, and crypto space.

Can you also give a short intro for some of the other Boson Protocol team members that aren’t able to attend today’s AMA session?

Justin

Sure. My name is Justin Banon. I am one of the Co-founders of Boson Protocol.

As MD, I previously built a $1Bn pa revenue platform (Priority Pass Group, grown from $50m), which represented physical products and services as digital vouchers and sold them to consumers and businesses globally.

This included global deals with CeFi giants such as Amex, Mastercard, Visa and over 1000+ banks worldwide. I am now bringing this experience to crypto with Boson Protocol.

The Boson team has grown by several dozen over the past few weeks. Our team comprises some of the greatest minds in the industry and we really are assembling an all star team. We have the likes of Dr Akaki Mamageishvili, Sebnem Rusitschka, Anish Mohammed and Marina Markezic to name a few.

Pep

Very impressive background for yourself and the team

Justin

Thanks!

Pep

Let’s go ahead and start with the community questions as there’s a lot of really good ones

Justin

Let’s do it!

Pep

First question:

Can you please elaborate more on what an “NFT encoded with Game Theory” is in relation to Boson Protocol? Is this logic coded directly into the commitment NFTs, or rather the pressure applied by platform incentives to buyers and sellers?

Justin

Commitment NFTs are powered by our core exchange mechanism which is a type of sequential game in which buyer and seller commit deposits up-front. In this way, both have skin in the game. Game rules and the final deposit transfer scheme are designed in a way that coordinates transactions and incentivizes parties to behave fairly.

We have a world class algorithmic game theorist — Dr. Akaki Mamageishvili [who] further designed the core exchange mechanism to make the exchange of any type of good or service practical.

He began by doing an economic audit and then decided to stay and is now doing live economic research on the mechanism and the game theory throughout the protocol.

Pep

I see. He must have seen a great value if he decided to stay and further develop. That’s a great confidence booster in the validity of the project.

Justin

We’ve attracted some amazing minds. Collective intelligence!

Pep

Gathering the right team is half the battle!

Do you plan on providing your own platform for buying and selling or are you just going to enable your users to buy off of existing platforms like Amazon?

Justin

The first thing that is important to address is that we’re not a platform — rather, we’re a protocol providing builders with the foundational pieces for the development of a multitude of decentralized commerce applications.

It’s unlikely that you will come into the “Boson Marketplace” to shop — rather, you will use marketplaces created by developers that are part of our ecosystem — or use the redemption of digital to physical functionality within some of our partner’s applications.

Boson Protocol’s vision is to enable a decentralized commerce ecosystem by funding and enabling the development of a stack of specialist applications to disrupt, demonopolize and democratize commerce.

So instead of replacing a monopoly for another one, we want to foster a capture resistant ecosystem made up by a swarm of specialized applications and protocols.

Pep

That makes sense… You will have a greater impact if you capture more market places who use your protocol vs. just creating a marketplace that will have to grow and compete with existing market places.

I get it!

Justin

Yep. An ecosystem play

Pep

👍

As I understand it, there are two main things which Boson Protocol will change about ecommerce:

  1. Make it cheaper by decentralization
  2. Make it more liquid by tokenization

While I understand and agree with the second point, I would like to better understand the first one. Contemporary aggregators are relatively efficient and cheap so how do you plan to undercut these costs taking into account for example gas fees and the fact Boson will also need staff, e.g. developers?

Justin

Commerce transactions require coordination in order to handle disputes and reversals. This coordination can be performed by centralized platform intermediaries, but they have an imperative to abuse their trusted position by extracting excessive rents and exploiting consumer data.

Decentralized commerce is an alternative, but existing solutions retain the cost and friction of human arbitrators. This limits the scope of ecommerce, and disconnects smart contracts from the multi-trillion dollar commerce market.

When we remove arbitration, the costs to transact reduces, so there could be a step change in the amount of transactions and the blossoming of new business models enabled by that new paradigm. Anyone would agree that the evolution from snail mail to email caused a step change in the amount of messages exchanged. We believe the same will be true for commerce when it’s unleashed.

The gas fees indeed exist right now — but there are several solutions starting to mature. We’re also chain agnostic, so although we are born in Ethereum, it doesn’t have to remain that way forever. The developers will be maintained by the minimally extractive fees that we charge.

Another thing that is worth mentioning is the comparison of staffing needs in a centralized business vs a decentralized one. Don’t quote me on the exact figures but last time I read it — Coinbase had 1100 employees vs 20 at Uniswap.

Pep

Wow that’s quite a difference in overhead costs

It didn’t occur to me how much of an overhead expense is for arbitration. As a consumer it’s not necessarily what I think about, but as a business owner that does make sense.

Pep

And this is a pain point in everything that we see right now….the gas fees are shocking but we hope to see a resolution implemented soon.

Justin

Well, there are a lot of bundled costs + extraction

Pep

I sell products on the internet, by using the services of one of the biggest eCommerce websites. It costs me a lot of money, and a big part of my margin goes to them. That is why I am interested in your product.

Imagine I decide to stop working with them, and use Boson Protocol instead.

  1. How would my products be known to the public if they are not on Amazon / Ebay / etc. anymore ?
  2. How would I implement your solution ? Is there a User Interface where you can manage your physical products ? Stocks ? transport costs and delay ?

Justin

Initially we’re looking to have a “Boson marketplace” to jumpstart usage and show capabilities, but this will not be maintained by us over the long term, this is similar to what Ocean is doing with the Ocean marketplace and the Ethereum Foundation has done with the Mist browser.

Again, it’s unlikely that we will become the marketplace — rather, we’re a protocol providing developers with the dCommerce lego blocks for them to create the future applications that will power this new paradigm.

It’s likely that you interface with dApps built on top of our infrastructure — or use the redemption of digital to physical functionality within some of our partner’s applications.

Each marketplace will have its own UI but they will all be built on Boson Protocol and share our principles of decentralized commerce, removing that “middleman” cost you currently have to forgo.

About brands getting known — we believe that the dCommerce ecosystem will need to develop to have pretty much all of the same capabilities that the ecommerce ecosystem has. Marketing / Adtech stacks, curation systems, all of that will need to be ported or restructured to function without a centralized entity coordinating everything.

Pep

Ok so initially you will start off with a marketplace but as a gateway and introduction to roll out your protocol but then scale out so you can focus on the ecommerce industry as a whole.

Is that correct?

Justin

We will be building the protocol and building, funding and fostering multiple use cases to drive adoption…

Pep

Ok makes sense.

Pep

How will the buyer/seller reputations be calculated, and will the buyer have an option to rank the seller and vice versa?

Justin

Reputation itself will be used in order to ensure that repeated bad behaviour will be punished. A first iteration of this will be a lightweight reputation system in which buyer’s slashing power is made dependent on the history of a Buyer address’ previous transactions, shaped as a basic sigmoid function.

Pep

How does Boson Protocol address a scenario where a buyer doesn’t want to redeem their NFT for the physical product but the seller doesn’t want to hold the product?

Are parameters such as redemption expiry dates built in?

Justin

Yes we have an expiry period built into the core exchange mechanism. If a buyer buys a commitment NFT and doesn’t redeem inside the specified period an expiration gets triggered. If there is no further action such as the seller admitting fault, this behaviour from the buyer will be punished by slashing part of his deposit.

Pep

Will the platform have API integration with existing marketplaces. For example: Shopify, eBay etc.?

What is the length of the dispute window, and is there any built in recourse or redundancy once that window closes should an unforeseen issue arise?

Justin

As we mentioned before, it is important to address that we’re not a platform — but yes, integrating with Web2 ecommerce platforms is something we hope to do. At first we will begin with Open source ecommerce platforms, but we hope to integrate with the web2 commerce and adtech ecosystem at large at some point. We are releasing a dCommerce ecosystem Medium post in the near future addressing some of these topics.

In terms of disputes, there is an option for escalated arbitration, but this is used in exceptional circumstances and its presence deters bad behaviour.

Pep

Can you please tell us a bit more about how the staking and staking reward mechanisms work on your platform? The whitepaper mentions something called a Gluon token — could you please explain how this works?

Justin

We will provide staking rewards to network participants who contribute with essential work for the system to function properly. Curation of items is an example of what we intend to incentivize.

In this curation market, someone who is certain that the quality of the products and services of the seller is high, can stake on the products and services to assure others that this is a high quality set of offers. As Boson Protocol is quite a complex system there will be multiple ways to contribute capital and work for rewards.

Pep

Very interesting

So that’s all the questions that I have from the twitter community.

Justin

👍

Pep

Before we open the chat to the TG community is there anything that you want to share or highlight in terms of upcoming events?

Justin

Well, our main focus right now is our public sale on 7th April. Details on our website

Pep

Awesome

Here’s the announcements channel as well

Pep

Ok I’ll unmute chat for a min so the questions can post

Duck (user @Nrickanto)

In the project combining the iGaming De-Fi Royale solution and the Boson decentralized e-commerce platform (dCommerce) does that mean Boson will provide NFT tokens in new projects in the future?

Justin

Yes Boson enables Royale projects to enable their customers to purchase real world items with their winnings without touching fiat.

Duck (user @Pandalucu66)

There’s been much talk about allowing users to monetize their data without compromising privacy, but not much done in that field lately. What type of commerce data are you looking to monetize and how can one participate?

Justin

Consumer preference data and is super valuable data for developing products and marketing to consumers. We will enable consumers to earn rewards for voluntary sharing and brands to access this data to improve products and marketing. This we enable via a partnership with Ocean Protocol. I have a podcast with Ocean very soon (need to check).

Duck (user @gingerxn)

You have a very ambitious project. You are planning an entire ecosystem. But what are you most focused on right now?

Justin

Right now we are focussed on our initial MVP which is an in-world, in-game store called metamall, which enables brands to sell items as NFTs redeemable instore. E.g. Nike could sell sneakers as NFTs redeemable for the real thing.

  • Then nft art physical twins
  • Gaming physical ingame items
  • Crypto rewards
  • Full dcommerce…

Duck (user @grantzakary)

Can you tell us the motivation and benefits for investors to hold $ BOSON long term? What plans do you have to help drive demand and scarcity for the token?

Justin

The vision for Boson is to be the TCP/IP of commerce. The basic plumbing on which commerce runs. That’s a $trillion network opportunity. The deposits locked-up in Boson smart contracts actually mean that Boson has the potential to be one of the biggest defi projects, with liquidity supplied via dcommerce.

Duck (user @ehermiston)

What are your plans for global expansion,on building and developing or getting customers and users, or partnerships?

Justin

I previously built the Priority Pss group into a $billion global digital platform, including spending 2 years in hong kong globalizing the business. Globally blitz-scaling Boson is a priority as well. Will be spending a lot of time driving growth in asia…

Duck (user @SunSun77)

A lot of the recent conversation and hype around NFTs has focused on digital art or licensed collectibles, where pure scarcity is the major selling point. But what do you personally see as some of the other most compelling applications and use cases for NFT technology?

Justin

NFTs are scarce digital objects. Most are static, but our NFTs are ‘stateful’, meaning they encode rules and change state — so they are smart. I think smart programmable NFTs will have massive utility.

Duck (user @Librabt)

Can you tell us about Boson protocol futures and how it works?

Does Boson protocol currently have any referral or affiliate reward program?

Justin

We will have a number of such programs including a supply aggregator rewards program for incentivising people to find and onboard quality supply. We have some of the best Web3 token and Web 2 platform minds working on all this. Some big posts to follow.

Duck (user @ebertemmett)

What are your status regarding the audit of your smart contracts and security mechanisms to protect and assure the participants of the ecosystem?

Justin

Smart contracts passing the audit post here. System security measures we don’t discuss for obvious reasons

Duck (user @vprohaska)

Do you have mechanisms such as buyback and burning to regulate the demand and supply of $ BOSON , so as to increase its intrinsic monetary values?

Justin

Yes. I think this post covers our dcommerce sustainability loop where we buyback and fund projects or burn.

Pep

You were a rock star in answering so many questions and our community is grateful for your time.

Ok with that said we can conclude this AMA.

Please join their telegram chat for any further questions

Justin

Thanks everyone! Really enjoyed that. Great questions.

Pep

Thank you once again and Best of Luck with your Launch!

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