RIF Marketplace- The Case for Decentralization

By Julian Rodriguez - RIF Marketplace PO
May 12, 2020

Marketplaces are, without any doubt, at the heart of the Sharing Economy. We have all witnessed and probably experienced to some extent, the rise and growth of numerous digital platforms that allowed us to expand our horizons and connect with others to exchange goods or services, at any time of the day, from anywhere in the world. We have made them part of our daily lives and, in many cases, a valid and valuable source of income.

But there is also another reality, which is that the vast majority of these Marketplaces have been built around big technology companies that manage not only the rules of the game but also have total control of the interactions and information flowing in, out, and through the platform. They offer little transparency to parties outside their organization, and can unilaterally impose new terms and conditions to users and monetize their personal information without sharing the profits with the truthful owners.

Blockchain technology and smart contracts allow us to think about different models and options to build truly decentralized Marketplaces (such as the RIF Marketplace), which can provide the same benefits of traditional platforms but at the same time empower and protect the value of individuals. Through these collaborative marketplaces, individuals around the globe can interact on a peer-to-peer basis and exchange information, value, and services, in a secure way and with full transparency and control.

The Benefits of Decentralized Marketplaces

Decentralized Marketplaces provide several benefits over centralized solutions, including the following:

  • Efficiency: In Decentralized Marketplaces the intermediaries are removed, allowing providers and consumers to engage in peer-to-peer interactions. This reduces costs, removes arbitrary fees, and improves the overall efficiency of the platform.
  • Openness: Decentralized Marketplaces are truly open and global. Anyone can join from anywhere in the world. There are no limits and boundaries in terms of jurisdictions, territories, local regulations, etc.
  • Security: All settlements between Providers and Consumers are handled directly in the blockchain through the use of smart contracts. This way we can ensure that all parties in the Decentralized Marketplace will fulfill their obligations as expected.
  • Transparency: Due to its decentralized and open-source nature rules in the Decentralized Marketplaces are known by all participants and are strictly followed and enforced by code, bringing transparency to all parties.
  • Censorship Resistance: Many centralized marketplaces have been known for influencing or manipulating the rules and deciding which participants can join and under what conditions. This cannot occur in Decentralized Marketplaces, as participation is open, all participants are equal, and need to follow the exact same rules without any possibility of arbitrary manipulation.
  • Immutability: In Decentralized Marketplaces conditions and terms are known by all parties and enforced through Smart contracts, ensuring these cannot be changed over time, and avoiding arbitrary and abusive rules to be introduced.
  • Self-owned Reputation: In Decentralized Marketplaces, users control and own their own reputation, and are allowed to carry over this verifiable reputation to other applications or platforms, if desired.

It is clear from the list above that Decentralized Marketplaces have several benefits over their traditional counterparts and have the potential to significantly change the way we interact today. In RIF Marketplace we are convinced of this, and that’s why we are creating a fully decentralized marketplace to allow users and developers to engage with service providers in a secure and efficient way, providing staking, slashing, reputation, and dispute resolution mechanisms enforced by code, to ensure all parties behave as expected. We strongly believe that the RIF Marketplace (along with other Decentralized Marketplaces) will allow the creation of more open, collaborative, and transparent ecosystems, and will pave the way towards a fully “Decentralized Sharing Economy”. That’s our dream.

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