Feb 5, 2018
BlockFood: a new economic model for the sharing economy
BlockFood is the name of the Open Sharing Economy foundation's first project. It is the contraction of two words: blockchain and food. Its goal is to provide an online platform that enables the connection between customers and local restaurants and couriers. Customers will be able to order food online and have it delivered to their doorstep.
The philosophy behind the project is to free all the actors from the existing platforms that have transformed the sharing economy into monopolistic activities. It aims to free the exchanges, using a new form of currency (BlockFoodTokens -- BFT) along with a decentralized validation entity (smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain).
All users have access to an online secured crypto-currency wallet that will hold their BFT, ready to be used in smart contracts. At the current state of adoption of crypto-currencies and given the low maturity of public knowledge, BlockFood will provide an easy-to-use solution that will allow consumers, restaurants and couriers to pay and be paid using conventional currencies. BFT will be at the center of the smart contracts. The potential of smart contracts is huge and the actors need to be able to trust the currency. Connecting the crypto-currency world with the real world is an up-to-date solution. We believe it is essential for mass adoption and see it as a hybrid approach to help users adopt the platform.
While the BlockFood platform will provide a complete user experience, it's open model will allow third parties to create applications using the BlockFood infrastructure. The API will be open, along with the smart contract creation process.
BlockFood is a nonprofit project, which means that all gains from transactions will be injected back into the project, or into any other OSE foundation project. A small fee will be applied to transactions, which will be adjusted to match the actual costs of the structure. The costs include, among other things: development, hosting, marketing, legal, … Current projections leads us to believe that this commission rate will be the lowest in the market, with a maximum of 5%. Current actors apply an average of 30% commission rate. This is a key advantage of the BlockFood model.
The BlockFood model for business development is decentralized. The BlockFood Ambassador program is the foundation of this model. BlockFood will not directly reach out to restaurants in order to convince them to subscribe to the platform. This task will be distributed among BlockFood Ambassadors, whose goals are to find restaurants and help them promote their products on the platform. In exchange for their services, ambassadors will receive a commission for all transactions made to the restaurants they helped find and register.
The goal of customers is to be able to order food from restaurants, according to their own personal tastes and desires. They will have access to the following features:
The restaurants will have access to a specific interface, allowing them to define and add new items and menus, see orders and manage advertising.
They will have access for free to BlockFood data regarding nearby population and will be able to use it to better define what works in a specific location and statistics about their current items. We believe opening this kind of data to the restaurants will help consumers find products that suit them better.
The restaurants will have access to the following features:
Most features will be free for use, while specific features (like communication about new items) will cost some BFT to the restaurants. This is a part of the business model from the BlockFood platform and will be an adjustment variable from the dynamic commission rate from the smart contract.
BlockFood order module will be easy to integrate directly in restaurant websites. A specific view will be created for this purpose and integration will be completely free for restaurants. Customers will be able to create their order from the website and finalize it in the BlockFood application.
Restaurants will also be able to have their own courier fleet.
The couriers working for the platform will be able to access a courier-specific interface with all the following features:
Couriers will have the possibility to join a local courier cooperative. Cooperatives will be able to group couriers together, set a common price per kilometer traveled, organize shifts. They will help the couriers have more weight than if they were alone. Different strategies will be available, including the possibility to share the payments from order deliveries proportionally to the individual courier participation, or simply stay on a per-delivery individual payment.
The BlockFood ambassador program is a key aspect of the BlockFood business development model. Ambassadors will have access to a specific interface, dedicated to the registration of new restaurants and to marketing levers around BlockFood ecosystem.
All users will access the platform using BlockFood Applications, with two declinations: mobile application and web application. Those front end interfaces will interact with the platform using BlockFood API, which will handle all aspects of the core of the platform (users, content, administration, ...).
The API will communicate with dedicated micro-services: Blockchain workers service and Wallet service.
Blockchain workers will handle the communication with the Ethereum blockchain.
The Wallet service will have the responsibility to handle all wallets from the platforms users.
The platform will also be accessible to third parties to create alternative applications.
Every actors accessing the platform will access it either through the official BlockFood applications or with any alternative applications developed by third-parties (see the "Third-party developers" below).
The BlockFood applications will be available:
Mobile-platform dedicated applications: iOS, Android Web application accessible through a web browser on any platform
All BlockFood applications will share most of their logic and visual components using modern front-end development techniques.
See the "Features" section below for more information on the content of the applications.
The BlockFood API is at the heart of the BlockFood platform. It is the crucial link between any application from the ecosystem and the Ethereum BlockChain.
It will handle every objects and methods of the BlockFood platforms: users, restaurants, menus, couriers, localization, transaction entry point, security, ...
Scalability and availability are important characteristics for the API. It will be built with these characteristics in mind, using modern on-the-fly deployment strategies with scalable containers. Most API components will be stateless in order to achieve maximum simplicity and resilience.BlockFood Wallet
A key aspect of BlockFood platform is to ease the use of crypto currency for all of its users. While the whole smart contract system will be usable without BlockFood Wallet, an integrated wallet will be offered to BlockFood user to simplify their interactions with the pltaform.
Security in a wallet system is crucial and it will be the main preoccupation while building BlockFood wallet. To achieve maximum security, BlockFood will not be able to access wallet without the user passphrase.
The benefit is to keep the wallet close to the user while preserving security. The downside of this solution is that because we will not store the passphrase the wallet can be lost if the user forgets its passphrase.
BlockFood Blockchain workers
The BlockChain workers service will act as an interface with the Ethereum blockchain, dedicated to the interactions with BlockFood smart contracts. They will help the rest of the system to keep track of smart contracts updates.
One core value of the Open Sharing Economy foundation is its openness. Opening our platform to external services is important in this aspect. Most current companies have closed the boundaries of their system in order to control it and keep their users locked.
We believe competition in the application area is crucial. It pushes ideas to their maximum and encourages all actors to give their best to give users the best possible experience. But unfortunately, every closed system that have locked their users slows evolution down which in the end, impacts the users negatively.
Third-party developers will be given the opportunity to create innovative applications relying on the BlockFood platform, by being able to use BlockFood API for free.
This could lead, for instance, to:
Once the BlockFood API reaches a maturation point in production, a contest will be organized to encourage developers to innovate by creating the most creative applications.
Attention. There is a risk that unverified members are not actually members of the team
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