How does a decentralized trust system work?
Every time a transaction is made, regardless of whether it is retail or e-commerce, the blockchain will record: time of the transaction, both receiving and sending wallet addresses, warranty conditions, delivery time, and all of the other information that is typically needed to ensure the trust in different countries. All of this information will be encrypted and only available to authorized users in a beautifully designed user interface. Based on this information, clients and merchants will be able to file/solve a claim, rate each other, etc. A default trust rating will be applied to users who are using the platform for the first time. The trust rating will be assigned to specific wallet address. Every time a transaction is made, claim registered, solved or unsolved (according to the purchase details saved during the purchase), review written, etc., the smart contract will automatically change trust level for each wallet address involved.
How can you provide such a cheap and fast payment processing?
We are able to do it through the Ethereum blockchain technology. The transaction goes from customer to merchant directly, ditching all the intermediaries in the process and saving merchants a huge amount of money and time. However, it is not only the payment method that changes. Unlike existing payment options, payment and settlement happen at the same time. There is only 1 step rather than 16! As the payment now goes directly from the client to the merchant, instead of waiting for up to 2 weeks to see the funds, now it arrives approximately 2 minutes after the purchase no matter where in the world the purchase was made. And fees are lower too. Unlike existing payment channels which may include up to 15 different fees, BTP Coin applies only a single transaction fee that costs just 1.5%.
Do I have to pay with “BTP Coin” wallet if a merchant uses “BTP Coin”?
No. Merchants who process their payments through “BTP Coin” can accept payments with any Ethereum wallet.
Does your coin have any other functions besides investing?
BTP tokens provide an incentive to use the network, because BTP holders will be rewarded by making payments via BTP Coin. BTP Coin will charge a 1.5% transaction fee to merchants. Of that, 0.5% will go to a voucher reward smart contract for BTP Coin token holders and the other 1% will go to the company as revenues. Loyalty program: In order to encourage the network effect and to create an ecosystem for the BTP Coin token, we are going to introduce a loyalty program for clients. Every purchase made via the BTP Coin payment system will reward the client with 0.2% of the transaction value in BTP Coin tokens from the BTP Coin loyalty pool.
Can any merchant use “BTP Coin”?
Yes. It doesn’t matter where the merchant geographically operates and how big or small he is as long as he goes through our screening process. “BTP Coin” payment processing plus a decentralized trust and reputation system works both in e-commerce and in retail.
Does a merchant has to have his own crypto wallet?
A crypto wallet is created automatically for every merchant who registers with “BTP Coin”. A merchant doesn’t need to have a separate wallet to accept “BTP Coin” payments.
Can I link my old wallet if I want to start getting payments via “BTP Coin”?
No. We will provide a new smart contract based wallet for every new merchant who registers with our platform. The merchant's account acts as an equivalent of a bank account which stores funds and enforces security. The difference is that it's only controlled by the user: the merchant. In today’s world, banks hold higher authority because they run the system which holds your money and as a result, you have to trust them that your assets are safe. Banks have the control of the database and authority to grant or deny access to the money they hold. Not anymore. BTP Coin will not be able to suspend, hold or prevent any transaction. Instead, permissionless transactions will be guaranteed by the smart contract. Instantly, and as promised. No more headache of not knowing where the merchant’s money is and why it’s being withheld.
Can a merchant convert his Ethereum based currencies to a traditional currency?
Yes. This is being done through a crypto exchange API (e.g Kraken) with exchange frequency settings selected by the merchant.
Can someone manipulate the trust and reputation system (for example artificially increase rating)?
No. This is one of the main strengths of a decentralised trust and reputation system compared to a centralised reputation system provider. The only way to increase your rating is to buy or sell goods/services, solving claims quickly, writing reviews, etc. We also have a strong merchant screening procedure to ensure only trustworthy merchants can use BTP Coin platform.
How do you plan to deal with scalability and latency issues present in Ethereum, as well as rising fee prices?
We acknowledge the fact that Ethereum at the moment is not as scalable as it should be. But as you probably know, the switch to Casper is coming. Switching to Casper will (probably) result in more transactions per second on the Ethereum network. The algorithm also accommodates faster block times compared to using the proof-of-work algorithm currently in place. This will also have an impact on the network’s gas prices, which will increase and decrease based on how much the network’s validators can handle comfortably. At the same time, state channel allows to put more transactions into one block, resulting in decrease of cost per transaction. If Casper and State Channel works as it is promised to work, Ethereum should not face scalability issues. It results in much cheaper and faster Peer-to-Peer transactions for merchants while utilising the blockchain technology, which also results in a scalable technology where products such as BTP Coin can be built.
Even having all of these facts above, we still have to acknowledge the fact that the biggest risk is Ethereum being able to deliver on Casper and State Channel technology, because payment gateway (as any other blockchain based companies) needs a scalable blockchain technology to make a real impact.
On the other hand, we should also mention that BTP Coin is a blockchain agnostic solution, which basically means that we need a blockchain that has a smart contract capability and which is scalable to run our product. So, in case Ethereum will not be able to solve the scalability issues (or even if it will), we will be able to migrate to other blockchains, for example Tezos, or any other blockchain that has solved scalability issues and has a smart contract capability.
To add a point, we think it is very important to start now (and as a result take more risks) in order to be able to take a pole position and be the first mover (as PayPal was in pioneering the online money transfers in the early 2000s) in creating a next generation payment processing solution combined with a decentralised trust and reputation for global commerce. If we start when all the scaling problems of the blockchain technology are solved, it would be too late.
Why can't a merchant abandon his account and create a new profile, if he has a bad rating?
The merchant is someone who gives out his business details and needs to go through a screening process as with any other traditional payment gateway. Moreover, a merchant using payment gateway is a legal entity, so it is hard to open a new legal entity and to create a new account/go through the screening process all over again. We will be screening every merchant, which means only valid, true and authentic merchants will be able to use the benefits of BTP Coin.
We’re preparing for this by prototyping and strategising an inclusion of an algorithm that would recognise and red flag an unusual behaviour from the merchant and the client. The solution might pivot as we will collect a significant amount of real data, because we need real data to be able to find the best solution to prevent scammers.
Why can't a buyer abandon his account and create a new profile, if he has a bad rating?
Merchants will be able to adjust how high/low rated purchasers they want to accept. Based on that trust rating, merchants will be able to decide whether to sell the goods or not; either manually or letting the system to block the purchase according to settings. For example: buyers with a very low trust rate (new ones as well) will not be able to make purchases if the merchant says so. If the merchant accepts payment from a person with low rating, he definitely has more risk to be scammed. But this decision will be up to a merchant.
Moreover, as the payments will be done on the Ethereum blockchain, merchant will receive the payment almost instantly. Therefore, merchants have a much lower risk to be scammed than a client which has to wait for the product to be delivered.
What is the rating system scale?
For the MVP, the trust rate is being updated with every purchase by +1. We are still in the progress of developing the best scale that should work for our solution. Moreover, we will need real data to test these hypotheses that we have with merchants and clients in order to reach the best solution. Most likely it will be 0-5 or 0-10. With big scales you have too much of so called “empty space”. For example: with the scale 0-10, people often give 1,2,3 or even 4s to something they do not like. Basically, everything below 5 is very bad. People do not see 5 in 0-10 scale as an average performance: they tend to avoid “5s”, while 2.5 (0-5 scale) is better viewed as it is “closer to 5” than 5 is to 10. Moreover, 0-5 is a better option for people who have mixed opinions. However, these are only our assumptions as of now, which we will have to test.
What would be the advantage of using BTP Coin over the amazon platform or ebay where you have reviews of merchants and paypal-like functionalities?
It is very important to notice that BTP Coin is not a marketplace like Ebay, Amazon or others. BTP Coin provides a technological tool for the independent merchants who don't want to use, abandon or supplement these platforms (because of high commission fees, direct competition, centralised authority, etc.)
The advantages of BTP Coin are clear:
1. Before BTP Coin, there was no decentralised solution for a merchant to have an immutable, trustful, transferable and automatically executed reputation. Merchant either had to join centralised marketplaces like Alibaba, Amazon, etc., or have a huge brand in which people would trust (even with this scenario, there are a number of instances where ratings were manipulated).
2. Transferable reputation. Let's say a merchant built his reputation on Alibaba. Over 5 years he collected more than 10 000 reviews with a great rating, but because the platform is well known for its "race to the bottom" (whoever provides the lowest price - wins), he decided to move on to other marketplaces. For example - Amazon. Even if this merchant has a great reputation, there is no way for him to export his rating to another platform. So, in order to move on to other marketplace, he has to do the 5-year work all over again. With BTP Coin, the reputation will be transferable, no matter where the merchant sells.
3. Efficient payment processor. Yes, Amazon, Ebay, Etsy, they all have PayPal integrations, but because PayPal has to use many intermediaries to process the payment, their commission fees are significantly bigger than the blockchain driven BTP Coin’s. For example, PayPal charges 2.9% + $0.30 USD from merchants for every transaction and BTP Coin with the help of the Ethereum blockchain is charging only one fee: a transaction fee of 1,5%. That does not only include payment processing, but also provides all the benefits of Decentralised Trust and Reputation and a rapid transaction time which is super important for smaller merchants (in some instances more than 10 000x faster than the traditional payment processors).
4. Rating incentivisation through smart contracts. As you mentioned, these marketplaces have integrations with PayPal and as we were building BTP Coin, one of the most important things for us was the facilitation and the incentivisation of the ratings through an efficient payment processor. There is no precise data, but according to Ebay merchants, they only receive about 50% of their reviews (most of them would be very highly regarded or very poorly regarded, since people tend to leave reviews when they are very satisfied or very unsatisfied with the product/service). Which means that if a merchant has sold 1000 items, only 500 reviews make up the reputation. With BTP Coin, there is no lower number than 100%, because every transaction will be automatically rated via smart contracts.
Having these facts in mind and the feedback that we get from merchants, we are confident that in the future BTP Coin is going to be a gold standard for payment processing and reputation online.
Will you be looking to implement BTP Coin to Shopify?
Our go-to market strategy is focused on creating a network effect which includes a possible Strategic partnership with Shopify and other e-commerce platforms:
Stage 1. We are focusing on the supply side first: being accepted in as many locations and as fast as possible through partnerships that enable instant scale. To achieve that, we will partner with payment providers that can give us instant scale, such as: Shopify, Revel Systems, First Data, etc. For example: at the end of 2016, Shopify had over 377K merchants on its platform.
Stage 2. Educate the initial client base in the existing crypto community. Main value propositions: decentralised trust system, no requirement to pay credit card network fees, no spending limit.
Stage 3. Broader market adoption:
1. Once again, supply side first. BTP Coin is accepted in even more locations globally.
2. Education of general public. Supply increases exposure and people are willing to buy more from trusted merchants. Only merchants accepting payments through BTP Coin will be guaranteed to be trustful by decentralised trust and reputation system.
3. Once there are more people willing to pay with their mobile phones from trusted merchants, more merchants will join the network.
Can you explain your transaction fee?
BTP Coin will charge a 1.5% transaction fee from merchants. Of that, 1/3rd will go to a voucher reward smart contract for BTP Coin token holders to incentive the use of the network, because they will be rewarded to people making payments via BTP Coin. An interesting fact is that the average traditional payment gateways take approximately only 0.25% + 0.1 from total fee as their revenue. This 0.25% + 0.1 is a mark-up fee to the interchange rates. For example, if the total transaction fee for the merchant is 2.35% + $0.3, the 2.1% + $0.2 is the interchange part which banks, credit card associations (Visa, Mastercard) and others are dividing and 0.25% + $0.1 is the mark-up part, which payment gateways take home as revenue.
How different are you, compared to PayPal?
We agree that it is important to have PayPal in mind. They have enabled sending money using email. BTP Coin is the “next” level payment processor utilizing blockchain technology with a decentralised trust and reputation system.
Having that in mind, we do not see PayPal as a DIRECT competitor (at least for now). They are a FIAT currency payment gateway, while we are a cryptocurrency payment gateway for merchants. Moreover, we have a Decentralised Trust and Reputation which is built-in together with payment processing. The combination of payment processing and reputation system brings the biggest value for the merchant. Neither one of the traditional payment gateways (or trust systems like Trustpilot) cannot offer such combined service for such a low fee.
Where are you located?
At the moment, our development team is located in Lithuania, which is well-known for it's talents in software development and successful ICOs (Edgeless, Mysterium Network). The company is established in Zug, Switzerland by the name of "GmbH BTP Coin". We are doing all the right steps to move the business operations to Singapore for it's great environment for Ethereum and fintech startups and for Singapore's great location for our go-to market - Asia.
What is your business plan for onboarding merchants to use the BTP Coin system, and how do you plan to drive merchant adoption?
After the product is built, the most important thing is scaling. The strategy of how we are going to do that is by partnering with major payment providers such as First Data or e-commerce platforms like Shopify.
For that exact reason Eric Duprat, a former PayPal executive joined our team. Most recently, another well experienced team member joined BTP Coin - Kellogg N. Fairbank. He's from a widely known global payments company - Braintree Payments. He was a VP of Sales and Business Development there. Eric and Kellogg have scaled global payment companies from scratch, and they will help BTP Coin to do that as well.
In more detail:
Our strategy is focused on creating a network effect as our decentralised trust and reputation system enables us to do that. Moreover, we will use the well known bowling pin strategy: start with a niche market (stage 2: existing crypto community), and then move to other niches (and) broader markets and more currencies.
Stage 1. In our case, we are focusing on the supply side first: being accepted in as many locations and as fast as possible through partnerships that enables instant scale. To achieve that, we will partner with payment providers which can give us instant scale. We are already in positive talks with major players - Revel Systems and Shopify. Being the biggest (as of the end of 2016), Shopify had over 377K merchants on its platform.
Stage 2. Educate the initial client base in the existing crypto community. Main value propositions: decentralized trust system, no requirement to pay credit card network fees, no spending limit.
Stage 3 . Broader market adoption:
1. Once again: supply side first. BTP Coin is accepted in even more locations globally.
2. Education of general public. Supply increases exposure and people are willing to buy more from trusted merchants. Only merchants accepting payments through BTP Coin will be guaranteed to be trustful by decentralized trust and reputation system.
3. Once there are more people willing to pay with their mobile phones from trusted merchants, more merchants will join the network.
Focusing on the supply side first drives the demand which in turn drives the supply. Network effect kicks in: the more users there are, the more valuable it is. This rapid adoption is then self-perpetuating as both sides value the access to a bigger network of users (read ‘more choice’, ‘higher probability of finding a match’) coupled with the improved transaction experience.
Did you consider using the Chinese Qtum network, instead of the Ethereum EVM to appeal to the Chinese market?
There is definitely a possibility like this if you look at a broader picture. If you think in broader terms, you can call BTP Coin as being a “blockchain agnostic” solution. What it means, is that basically BTP Coin can run on almost any blockchain (or network) that has three main things: security, scalability and smart contract functionality.
As of now, Ethereum does it best in terms of letting decentralised apps to be built on it, though in no way they have solved those three above mentioned points perfectly. For now, we are focusing on Ethereum and building a solution using Ethereum smart contracts.
Do you have any active agreements with a well known merchant? Any examples?
As of now, our strategy is focused on bringing in a small “Shopify and Wordpress like” merchants, so that we could fully understand their needs for further product development. Moreover, the product is not yet ready for scaling and integrating with large (well known) merchants.
The thing is that large merchants (well known ones) often have payment processing linked with supply-chain which requires more sophisticated integration. Once we have a fully working payment processing solution with the Decentralised Trust and Reputation System for e-commerce, then we will move forward to retail and a more difficult e-commerce integrations: some desktop integrations that would allow BTP Coin to work with supply chain system so that big vendors would potentially have a full “cycle” of accepting payments and paying their suppliers. To acquire these kinds of merchants we will make partnerships with huge payment processing companies such as: First Data and WorldPay.
We are raising money to move from the MVP product that we have now to a scalable and global solution for small and large merchants.
Who are your main competitors in the ICO e-commerce field as of now?
We are not looking at our competitors as being “ICO e-commerce competitors” or other type of competitors. If you look at this more broadly, we can name a few: BlockPay, Coinpayments in terms of payment processing and uPort in terms of reputation. But none of these have a solution that covers both: decentralised trust that is working flawlessly with payments.
At first, BTP Coin was meant to be only a payment processing company, but after doing a lot of research we understood that trust is the key element for the global commerce.
For example: reviews made on Amazon that are linked with confirmed payments are always prioritised by Amazon algorithm in the review list and carry much more legitimacy. With BTP Coin, every review is “linked with payment”.
Why should I buy your Token?
This question is a very generalized question and probably the best answer would be to do a little bit more research about us.
But here is a 3 point cheat sheet to a "BTP Coin" exam's question, "Why BTP Coin is worthy of your investment?":
1. Super competent team.
2. A developed and functioning MVP.
3. Scalable technology with a large potential for implementation.
How different are you, compared to Dash?
BTP Coin and Dash are totally different concepts.
1. Dash has their blockchain, while BTP Coin is being built on the Ethereum blockchain.
2. The main value proposition of Dash is to use their Dash currency for making purchases: being a digital currency, while BTP Coin is a payment processor and not a currency in itself.
3. BTP Coin is totally focused on providing a payment processing solution for merchants. Not being a currency.
4. Using BTP Coin, merchant is able to accept different Ethereum based currencies. Not only Dash.
5. The most important thing is that BTP Coin is building Decentralised Trust and Reputation system that works flawlessly together with payments. To do that you need Smart Contract capability that will adjust the trust rate of the merchant and the client automatically based on their actions. Dash is only a currency.
6. You can compare DASH with EUR or USD, while BTP Coin is the next generation PayPal with a trust and reputation layer.
What will be your target market?
Our target market is Asia. For example, there is a 50x larger mobile payment volume in China than there is in US.
Our target customer is a small merchant in Asia who is selling products (for example, consumer electronics) to the global world. The only way for the merchant to sell products to the global world and be trusted at the same time is to be part of Alibaba. With BTP Coin, you will be trusted while selling products from your own website.