Blockchain based aggregator. The next wave of e-commerce and the death of middlemen.
I've been pondering this for a while, but excuse me if some of the concept is a little sketchy, it's hypothetical at the moment. But I keep wondering if the role of say... retail middlemen could be removed and a new market for service providers opened up.
I'll use the example of supermarkets, who buy items from producers like farmers, there are five main functions the supermarket does for the farmer. Firstly, it provides economies of scale, larger bulk orders, secondly it provides a predictable order volumes and contracts. Number three, packaging and branding. Number four, they provide a retail outlet for sales/transactions and lastly they provide a distribution network service. Some of these could be automated out and others would need service as a service on the blockchain too. So dependant services and service contracts issued automatically. If something requires packaging, distributing or localising for example, it would be listed as a dependant service and the contracts available on the market, ideally weighted by quality of service to the end user and price.
The blockchain could roll orders up. So if 1000 people place an order for the same Stock Keeping Unit, the blockchain aggregates the orders for purchasing power. Service providers could still provide distribution sevices, like localised storage.
But the hope would be better deal for producers and end users. My concern would be that the service provider market would need to be very competitive.
I'm and expat Australian living in China since 1997. For the past few months I have been toying with the idea of establishing just such an aggregator for my eCommerce business. If you have had any further thoughts I'd be pleased to hear of them.