Will decentralized marketplaces replace existing platforms or create new platforms?

Perhaps decentralized marketplaces will result in new types of marketplaces rather than replacing current marketplaces. From August 2017, in the post Blockchain’s impact on marketplaces: what’s the future for decentralized marketplaces? at VC firm Version One’s blog:

While there may be challenges associated with replacing well-established marketplaces, tremendous opportunities exist to enable something new and create a brand new generation of marketplaces. Prime candidates are marketplaces for digital assets that allow anyone in the world to conduct a transaction with any other participant without having a central instance manage the transaction (e.g. payment settlement, etc.). Examples include:

  • Prediction markets like Augur or Gnosis that enable completely new financial products (buying and selling options; insurances/betting on potentially any “event” in the world)

  • Decentralized storage (FilecoinSia) and computing markets (Golem) that can leverage underused computing power and replicate the AirBnB model for digital assets

  • Decentralized exchanges that allow for trading the ever rising amount of tokens and currencies supporting the buying and selling of this new asset class

  • Data marketplaces: there is potential to create decentralized marketplaces around the collection and distribution of data – there are no specific projects yet but it’s certainly an area we are watching.

My guess is that decentralized marketplaces will result in entirely new marketplaces, while also replacing existing marketplaces. I’m not convinced that any of the existing blockchain marketplace projects underway will necessarily replace any of the marketplace giants (amazon, fiverr, airbnb, etc), especially in the short term.

In the long-run, I believe decentralized marketplaces will beat many of the existing centralized marketplaces. We’ve been closely watching OpenBazaar recently and will continue to look at how decentralized marketplaces change ecommerce.  There are a number of other projects in the works and we’re working on creating a listing of all projects to keep track of developments.

Andrew @ EcomLoop
EcomLoop founder. I've worked in ecommerce since 2005, beginning with my own ebay store. I've run multiple independent ecommerce businesses on Magento, Joomla, and more recently, Shopify and WooCommerce. I believe marketplaces should be looked at as a sales channel and that all independent businesses should strive to build a direct connection with their audience for long-term success.

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