Qoo10 Turns to Blockchain, Taking on Amazon and Alibaba
Singapore’s e-commerce giant Qoo10 (pronounced ‘Q-ten’) is aggressively leveraging blockchain technology to compete against heavyweights like Amazon, Alibaba, and Tencent. Qoo10’s founder believes the disruptive tech will give the online marketplace a competitive advantage over its cash-rich rivals.
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Blockchain to Level the E-Commerce Playing Field
According to Business Times, Qoo10 founder Ku Young Bae is confident that blockchain will help his company compete against its deep-pocketed rivals, who are trying to corner the Southeast Asian e-commerce market.
In January 2019, Qoo10 launched an entirely independent, blockchain-powered e-commerce platform called “QuuBe.” Three months later, the online marketplace is showing signs of success with over two million products listed by five thousand merchants.
Now, as part of its expansion plans, QuuBe aims to extend its operations to Australia, Philippines, and Thailand. Ku believes that going head-on with its fiat-based rivals will be difficult, but blockchain’s transparency will give the company a competitive edge.
“This is my attempt to shift the paradigm and level the playing field. There hasn’t been any radical innovation in the e-commerce industry—with services largely resembling one another,” said Ku.
Blockchain vs. Deep Pockets
QuuBe competitors — Lazada and Shopee — are pumping vast sums of money into the Southeast Asian e-commerce space in a bid to acquire more significant market shares. But Ku believes implementing blockchain will ultimately produce more benefits than simply dumping money into a space.
Ku stated, “I want to show that we can prevail by using technologies, not by throwing money around.”
Ku is confident because of blockchain’s ability to reduce transaction costs by automating payment processes. QuuBe plans to pass those savings down by reducing merchant fees, hopefully attracting more sellers.
Additionally, two of QuuBe’s target markets — Thailand and the Philippines — have huge unbanked populations. According to a 2018 survey by the central bank of the Philippines, over 77 percent of Filipinos do not have access to banking services.
As such, blockchain-powered QuuBe has developed a token economy that can target Southeast Asia’s unbanked communities. Therefore, buyers and sellers will use QuuBe’s native token: Q*cooin. Each token is pegged 1:1 to the US dollar and will incur no conversion fees, giving Qoo10 an added advantage over its rivals.
It will be interesting to see whether other e-commerce giants adopt the technology after seeing Qoo10’s example. Both Alibaba and Amazon are blockchain believers, but it would be intriguing if any of the two e-commerce giants actually go all-in on blockchain.
Can distributed ledger technology play an important role in e-commerce? Share your views in the comments section.
Images via Qoo10, Aekpani Networks