Governance — Bleexy: A Decentralized and Democratic Marketplace for E-commerce
In the article “Why Decentralization Matters” by Chris Dixon, the author points out that decentralization must be achieved both at the technology level (i.e. “on-chain”, via algorithm protocols) and at the social structure level (i.e. “off-chain”, via governance rules controlling the relation between users, service providers, and stakeholders).
Accordingly, the social structures and governance rules controlling an e-commerce ecosystem should be constructed such as to ensure the desired market decentralization and fairness in addition to a healthy and vibrant economic environment.
The primary grievance about centralized platforms has to do with the “bait-and-switch” practice they employ.
In their early years, these platforms implemented fair rules and preached having the interest of users and public at the core of their business. However, after investing significant resources and money to build their businesses around such platforms, the users discovered that “it was a trap”. Once the users become hooked up on their services, these centralized platforms became “economic tyrants” and used the complete control over their platforms to change the rules as they wished: they suppressed competition, increased fees and modified search results.
While many are quick to point out to corporate greed as the reason for the above bad practices, at the core of these bad practices are the very “articles of incorporation” under which such corporations are organized. Specifically, the articles of incorporation create a fiduciary duty to stockholders only and not to users and the society.
As a result, the management of such corporations has a legal obligation (legally enforceable by stockholders) to place stockholders’ financial interest ahead of the interests of users, clients and the public.
Bleexy’s e-commerce ecosystem will be organized and run according to a set of core principles placing the interests of users and public on par with the interests of stockholders. These core principles will be included in “ecosystem’s articles of incorporation” such as to create a Fiduciary Duty to Users, Clients and the Public in addition to the fiduciary duty to stockholders. The core principles and regulations governing the ecosystem will provide guarantees that our platform will be fair to all market participants.
The rules and regulations will be fair and impartial so as to protect the interests of both the small and the large market participants. In particular, our system guarantees that we will not degenerate into an “economic tyrant” and we will not engage in bait-and-switch practices once the system is adopted by market participants.
These rules will provide reassurance to users (e.g. content providers, content consumers, service providers, manufacturers, retailers) that their investments are protected for as long as they choose to use our platform.