One of the most
exciting projects launching later this year in the world of decentralised
finance is the Splyt project, founded by blockchain veteran Cyrus Taghehchian.
Describing the project
in a nutshell, Splyt promises to integrate an NFT infrastructure for e-commerce,
allowing affiliate brands to seamlessly dropship products from the parent site
and subsequent payment to occur either via traditional or cryptocurrency means.
Splyt additionally takes caution to validate transactions, manage disputes and
build transparent reputations for sellers.
development in the service’s conception is their integration with the
multi-billion dollar e-commerce giant, shopify.(1, 2) This provides both great scope and credibility
to the company straight from launch.
“Splyt's goal is to
improve commerce for everyone involved” Whitepaper, P6.(3)
This article will
delve further into each of these aspects of the Splyt platform.
The story so far
The idea for Splyt was
conceived in 2016 in an effort to solve the problem of cross-database issues
with e-commerce affiliate marketing.(1) Tokenisation and the first Splyt smart
contract followed in 2017 (right at the beginning of when NFTs appeared on the
scene) and initial investment followed in 2018. In 2019 Splyt won the RISE
Startup Programme and went global in 2020.(1)
Making bold moves in
the first quarter of 2021, Splyt now have full Shopify integration through the
Shopify app store.(1, 3) In the next quarter, split will move from
Ethereum to Polkadot,(4) in order to facilitate cross-blockchain
payments. With Woocommerce integration and establishment on the DeFi
marketplace over the third and final quarter of 2021,(1) 2021 is set up to be Splyt’s biggest and
boldest year so far.
How it works
Splyt uploads products
as shoppable NFTs attached to physical goods. For any item to be uploaded to
Splyt, it must be connected through a node running the Splyt SDK (software
development kit), which integrates incoming data on the blockchain.(5)
affiliate websites independent of each other can display and sell the exact
same products through Splyt, all running through the same node.(5) Sellers can incentivise affiliates and
subsequently build networks of affiliates through setting up “rewards” for third
parties who sell any of their given items.(5)
Upon purchasing a
product, the value of the purchase is held in escrow until the transaction is
complete.(5, 6) At this point, held funds are distributed
automatically and instantaneously to the seller and affiliate.
A key advantage of
this escrow system is the capacity for “pre-dispute resolution”, without
unnecessary intermediaries.(6) If an item is not delivered, the buyer has the
option to initiate a dispute protocol which is designed to resolve issues
through automated means. This additionally has the advantage of reducing the cost
and time barriers associated with traditional arbitration.(6)
Another problem solved
by the integration of NFTs into e-commerce is the longstanding issue of double spending
on inventory.(7) Without NFT integration, double spending can
result in unfulfilled orders and negative consumer feedback, and is not
Their one pager is
sustainable and dignified business models, and they hope their protocol will
empower small business owners. To quote their protocol:
“The protocol is
designed to place buyer, seller, and marketplace interests ahead of middlemen
services that currently dominate the industry”.(5)
One of the ways they
intend to achieve this is through creating collateral-based loans to help
emerging brands expand their businesses, or as they tweet, “we’ve solve[d]
off-chain DeFi!” (@splytcore).
Overarchingly, the incorporation
of Splyt into e-commerce as a whole would aid a move towards unbiased
marketplace efficiency, in an effort to empower the masses. It is this almost
humanitarian statement that Splyt hold central to their mission statement,(3) advocated across their various platforms
(twitter: @splytcore @cyruskind).
Polkadot and Splyt
Splyt is currently
transitioning from Ethereum to the Polkadot blockchain (DOT).(3, 8) Polkadot, recently dubbed as the “Ethereum
killer” by Forbes,(9) is a newer altcoin with multiple unique
features that prime it for “security, scalability and innovation”;(10) Splyt’s decision to move to Polkadot is a testament to its forward-thinking and innovative core team, and is worth
Polkadot (https://polkadot.network/) introduces the idea of parachains (short for
parallel chains), which run a higher transaction throughput compared to
Ethereum by spreading transactions across multiple computers.(11, 12) Its advantage is obvious in the current climate where throughput capacity is proving an issue
for Ethereum in recent months. It is known that levels of supply and demand in
the Ethereum network are the predominant factor affecting the latency of
transactions,(13) forecasting further problems as the networks
popularity grows. Polkadot was incidentally founded by Dr Gavin Wood, one of
the founding fathers of Ethereum, and boasts other highly experienced and
successful team members.
Operating within their
idea of parachains, Polkadot introduces the idea of bridges.(12) Bridges will connect other already running
blockchains into the ecosystem (like a BTC or ETH) and allow for transfers of
tokens between Polkadot and outside networks. This creates a vision for true
cross-blockchain interoperability and opens the door for greater co-operation
between chains and specialisation within chains.(12) Other unique features include easy upgrades
that promise to avoid “hard forks” and increased ability to self-govern.(11)
Key stakeholders: Transparent,
qualified and experienced
Splyt is as solid as
it gets. Aside from full integration with Shopify and running on the impressive
Polkadot technology, key information on the platform’s design, aims and
technicalities are transparently and comprehensively outlined in their
technical paper (https://docsend.com/view/93asm2v5fukzyi4v) and whitepaper,(3, 5) the former of which can be found here (the latter
cannot be linked for legal reasons but may be accessed via spl.yt).
Moreover, funding at
seed stage is reported to have exceeded expectations, with huge success for the
company at this stage of investment. They have an impressive group of partners
that are well regarded in blockchain investment. These include Science
Blockchain (some of their ventures can be found on their site here (https://www.science-inc.com/ventures.html); Arca (https://www.ar.ca/about), an investment management hedge fund
specialising in cryptocurrency; Master Ventures, a blockchain focused venture
studio with an impressive portfolio (https://master.ventures/portfolio/), headed by the CEO of the PAID network and;
Krypton Venture Capital (http://kryptonvc.com/).
Finally, a strong core
team and a seasoned panel of advisors with considerable experience spanning
areas of finance, consulting, software development and blockchain adds
reliability and a long-standing history of success to bolster the project.(3, 10) Under such capable hands, Splyt will surely
continue to grow and develop into the revolutionary e-commerce NFT platform their
value proposition promises it to be.
As of February 2021,
Splyt report that they have integration with over 700 brands and 1100
Look out for $SHOPX
this year. Before long, we reckon it’ll find you anyway.
1. Foundation SyC. Roadmap
2021 [Available from: https://www.spl.yt/features.
2. Csiszar J. Shopify’s Net Worth: How
Much Is Shopify Worth Right Now? 2020 [Available from: https://www.gobankingrates.com/investing/stocks/how-much-is-shopify-worth/.
3. Team SC. Whitepaper. spl.yt; 2021.
4. NETWORK P. medium.com2021. [cited
2021]. Available from: https://paidnetwork.medium.com/splyt-the-next-gen-e-commerce-supply-chain-powered-by-polkadot-launches-ido-on-ignition-289c0fe2a81f.
5. Spl.yt Decentralised E-Commerce
Protocol for a Global Inventory and Affiliate Marketing System.
6. Token Mechanics spl.yt2021 [Available
7. Bankless. Zero to One with Splyt -Part
1 medium.com: medium; 2021 [updated 12/02/21. Available from: https://bankless.medium.com/zero-to-one-with-splyt-part-1-d8c108379cbc.
8. Spl.yt. Spl.yt Core: The E-Commerce
eNFT® Infrastructure Migrates to Polkadot: medium; 2021 [Available from: https://medium.com/splytcore/spl-yt-core-the-e-commerce-enft-infrastructure-migrates-to-polkadot-604efe52ba36.
9. Rapoza K. ‘Ethereum Killer’ Polkadot:
What’s So Great About It, And Why Buy It? Forbes. 2021 21/02/21.
10. Foundation W. Homepage 2021 [Available
11. Polkadotters. What is Polkadot? : medium;
2020 [Available from: https://polkadotters.medium.com/what-is-polkadot-85d4af1b2fe7.
12. Polkadot. What is Polkadot? A Brief
Introduction 2020 [Available from: https://polkadot.network/what-is-polkadot-a-brief-introduction/.
13. Spain M, Foley S, Gramoli V, editors. The
impact of Ethereum throughput and fees on transaction latency during ICOs.
International Conference on Blockchain Economics, Security and Protocols
(Tokenomics 2019); 2020: Schloss Dagstuhl-Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik.