Who will occupy the intersection of lifestyle, blockchain, and AI?

Striezelmarkt, the Christmas plaza market in Dresden, Germany. By LH DD/Dittrich via Wikimedia.

Blockchain-based e-commerce startup Plaza Systems is gearing up for a token generation event (initial coin offering) early in the New Year 2018. CEO & Chief Architect Kevin Johnson lays out the vision for the company in the introduction to Plaza’s draft White Paper, which is available by request from www.Plaza.systems. This post is based on Kevin’s introduction.

Kevin Johnson, CEO & Chief Architect, Plaza Systems

Plaza Systems aims to occupy the intersection of lifestyle and technology. Plaza will strip away the confusion and complexity of new technology to make savings, security, privacy, and consumer freedom accessible to everyone.

With a lifestyle-first focus, we concentrate on the needs and concerns of people accustomed to convenience and security and who are cognizant of the creeping invasion of corporations and governments into their digital lives. To balance these concerns, we are the first to integrate a range of emerging technologies, such as blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI). We strive to deliver the privacy, security, and savings of blockchain, the convenience of AI, and the whole world of consumer choice and freedom of movement in one seamless lifestyle solution.

At the centre of our solution is an AI-assisted meta-search engine that will scour the world wide web for the best options on goods and services, including those offered by sellers marketing directly on our own blockchain-based e-commerce platform. The algorithm will never bias products offered in our marketplace. It won’t have to. In terms of price, products offered on our marketplace are likely to be highly competitive because, unlike paying with fiat on established e-commerce sites, there are virtually zero transaction costs when paying with PlazaDollars (PL$), our transaction coin. It’s our way of keeping the marketplace honest!

Whether at home or on the move, our customers will be empowered by a world of choice. We offer multiple secure touch points, including PlazaCard, a hybrid fiat/crypto debit card for everyday payments in shops and restaurants; a user-friendly mobile application for online shopping on the move; and a discreet, home- or office-based smart speaker, Plaza Concierge, which serves as a personal assistant, cryptocurrency hardware wallet, AND “mining” rig.

Unlike Amazon’s and Apple’s and Google’s smart speakers, which mine customers’ personal information and buying habits in service of the corporations who sell these devices, our smart speaker will work for our customers; maintaining their privacy, safeguarding their private keys, and giving them the opportunity to earn a passive income from mining the MerchantChain.

You have to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology — Steve Jobs

Our Chief Business Officer Dave Colton and I started this journey back in 2010, prodded by the growing frustration of having spent the previous seven years working within the prevailing convoluted e-commerce ecosystem. We were involved in millions of dollars in sales, however it seemed we might as well have been working directly for the services that we were forced to use. They were making money hand-over-fist while our margins continually shrank. On top of that the nightmares of dealing with payment processors, like PayPal, were unbelievable. Something needed to change. We knew that we were not alone in this feeling of desperation!

Thus the early iteration of our idea, named “Naked Sellers”, was born. We would create a transparent e-commerce ecosystem with the kinds of fully naked disclosure that both sellers and consumers desire. Etsy.com was just starting out as an alternative marketplace and, unbeknown to us, Satoshi was gaining traction with the idea of decentralised ledgers and the blockchain. We assembled a development team and built our own seller-driven marketplace.

If you have never heard of Naked Sellers it is because, after spending a lot of time and money on development and beta testing, we came to the conclusion that it just wasn’t a good time to launch. We didn’t feel that there was demand for venture capital investment in a site whose goal was to disassemble the culture of what later became known as a “centralised” system. So we put aside the idea hoping that technology and the appetite for change would catch up.

Fast forward seven years and we believe that they have.

Plaza brings emerging technologies to life by focusing on everyday utility, convenience, efficiency, and security — Plaza Systems’ vision

Our team is uniquely positioned to be the first to successfully bring to market a next-generation e-commerce platform; a consumer-friendly bridge between the traditional fiat-based economy and the new crypto/blockchain economy.

Plaza is designed for mass adoption; integrating several rewarding features, such as multiple blockchain protocols, chatbot-assisted search, decentralised file storage and databases, distributed ledgers, and smart contracts. More exciting, perhaps, for non-technical readers, are the aspirational crypto-lifestyle products, such as the PlazaCard and Plaza Concierge™, that we are developing in our design studios.

The days of paying as much as 25% just to complete an online transaction must end. The days of corporations and government agencies creeping into our personal lives must end. The days of biased search algorithms and antitrust marketplace dominance must end.

It’s time, right now, to embrace a technological future in which individuals — you, me, and our children — wrest control. Carpe diem.

In the meantime, we wish you a merry Christmas if you celebrate it, a happy holiday season, and a wonderful New Year 2018.

Plaza Systems’ White Paper is available from plaza.systems/whitepaper.

About Plaza Systems

Plaza Systems occupies the intersection of lifestyle and technology.

We are developing the Total bCommerce™ solution, which includes the fast and future-proof MerchantChain™ — a blockchain commerce (bCommerce) infrastructure upon which others can build decentralised applications — as well as the Freedom Lifestyle™.

The Freedom Lifestyle suite of product search & payment tools offer:

  • The ability to quickly and conveniently browse the best shopping deals across the whole internet, anytime, and from anywhere;
  • The privacy, savings, and security of cryptocurrency payments;
  • The sensible flexibility to enjoy the products of your favourite vendors using a payment system everyone is familiar with; and
  • That’s not all! Follow the links below to find out more …

Website: plaza.systems

White Paper: plaza.systems/whitepaper

More news & opinion from Plaza Systems: medium.com/plaza-systems