Try saying that five times fast!
I confess I hadn’t heard of Storex until they recently conducted an airdrop of their token (STRX) to Proton holders. At the time, it was only tradeable on an exchange called Alcor (no relation to the cryonics facility that freezes human corpses). Then just yesterday Storex scored its highly anticipated listing on ProtonSwap, Proton’s decentralized exchange. Those developments may have put Storex on my radar, but what ultimately secured my attention was learning about how ambitious this project is.
Basically, Storex aims to be a decentralized, blockchain-based e-commerce marketplace where “merchants can create their own customized storefronts” and accept various cryptocurrencies as payment for goods and services. This would essentially make Storex a competitor of giants like Amazon, Ebay, Shopify and even Fiverr. (The site displays an informational graphic with a concise comparison of features.) The nearest equivalent in the crypto space I can think of would be something like Shopping.io, though I’m not familiar enough with that project to offer any comparative analysis.
So why would a merchant choose Storex instead of Amazon or Ebay? Well who says they have to? When I worked for a company that sold electronic components, we had an Ebay store, an Amazon store and our own e-commerce website. We sold items on all three to maximize market exposure and revenue. Similarly, Storex could serve as an additional option for some merchants who want to accept crypto payments and target other demographics. There is another factor as well. Platforms like Amazon and Ebay have gotten arrogant and greedy over the years. Not only are their fees high, but their policies have become increasingly unfriendly to sellers. There are many cases of hapless sellers being pressured or forced to issue refunds, even in instances where the buyer was clearly at fault. On a decentralized platform like what Storex is looking to create, there will likely be more independence and autonomy for both sellers and buyers.
Interestingly, the website does provide some info on how disputes in the marketplace could be handled:
If a buyer is not satisfied with their purchase and has been unable to reach an agreeement with the seller, they can create a dispute on the marketplace. This will allow both parties to provide all relevant information and evidence regarding the transaction. The community will then have the opportunity to arbitrate over the dispute and release any allocation of funds through consensus decision-making.
This sounds reasonable enough, but I’m not sure what is meant by the community in this context. Are thousands (potentially millions?) of holders of STRX tokens going to be weighing evidence and voting on every single marketplace transactional dispute. I’m not sure how practical that would be in the long term, but I’m guessing they’re referring to a limited subset of the community, which volunteers to be tasked with these responsibilities.
There genuinely is a market for a blockchain-based e-commerce solution right now, and Storex has one of the more promising visions for one that I’ve seen. It’s very early though, so make sure you do your own research before investing. I only hold a small amount. Keep in mind, this project doesn’t even have a whitepaper yet. According to someone I asked in their Telegram, Storex’ marketplace is tentatively slated to launch sometime in Q3. They haven’t committed to a firm date yet, so as not to disappoint anyone. I recommend following them on Twitter to stay in the loop. If a working platform is released, that itself will be huge…and if the functionality meets the high standard set by other projects and apps built on Proton, Storex may indeed be able to peel a slice of market share from the Big-Tech giants.
In the meantime, STRX holders have the option to stake their tokens on the Storex website for 25% APR. Not too shabby if everything goes smoothly.
If you enjoyed this article or found it informative, feel free to donate some XPR or STRX