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A new DeFi project could enable smart contracts to buy physical goods

November 2, 2020

The Boson Protocol, a project designed to connect the real world of physical commerce to smart contracts, announced a successful $ 350,000 launch on Monday.

The project creates the “building blocks for dCommerce applications of the next generation” through provision a way to redeem blockchain tokens on their physical counterpart in the real world.

The project received an oversubscribed round of investment led by Outlier Ventures along with Trent McConaghy of the Ocean Protocol and others. The funding will mainly be used for operating costs and building a working pilot project.the company said.

A new DeFi project could enable smart contracts to buy physical goods
A new DeFi project could enable smart contracts to buy physical goods

Justin Banon, founder of the project, told Cointelegraph that Boson’s goal is to “enable decentralized trading with minimal arbitrage, like a DEX for physical assets”.

The Ethereum-based solution is based on non-fungible token vouchers, which can be described as a claim to the underlying product. The NFT provides a two-way bond between the buyer and seller to ensure that the physical item is exchanged properly. “Mediation, arbitration and withdrawal will be automated in a dynamic game where incentive rewards reduce the need for human arbitration over time and enable continued decentralization,” added Banon.

One of the use cases described by Banon is a blockchain-based loyalty program, as the system makes it possible to “send rewards such as tickets or t-shirts directly to wallets”.

The Boson Protocol does not fall under the traditional DeFi approach to financial markets. When asked if it can be used as a DeFi bridge to centralized financial platformsBanon replied, “This is possibly one of many use cases where boson could be useful, but this is not the primary purpose of boson.” However, the project is designed to be compatible with other protocols in the DeFi area:

“Boson’s main bridging function is to connect the physical world to DeFi so that users can buy physical goods and services directly through a smart contract in a completely permissive manner.”

Boson’s trustless exchange mechanism, as described in their whitepaper, involves a complex interaction between different parties in many different scenarios. Cash incentives are required to maximize the number of successful transactions and more funds must be committed than with a traditional escrow account.

The mechanism seems to have similar advantages and disadvantages as tBTC, a reliable bridging mechanism between Bitcoin and Ethereum. The project has often been criticized as being much more complex than centralized solutions like Wrapped BTC, but that seems to be driven by a desire to keep it completely trustworthy.