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Amazon, with Demand Surging, Transitions FBA

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Amazon is experiencing a dilemma that other ecommerce companies wish they had: a demand that exceeds supply chain infrastructure. In a note in mid-July, Amazon told sellers using Fulfillment by Amazon that with the peak sales season coming, the company would restrict warehouse space starting August 16 based on inventory productivity.

FBA is transitioning from a storage and fulfillment service to just a fulfillment one. In the future, storing inventory in FBA for more than a month incurs additional fees. FBA is now designated as a just-in-time supply to enable Prime shipping. This change is problematic for third-party sellers who now need an inventory storage alternative.

Amazon has announced plans to build new warehouses, but they will not be ready for the holiday season. Just last week Amazon announced new fulfillment centers in El Paso, Texas, and Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, that will open in 2021.

Amazon is slowly restoring its logistics operations to normal after it was deluged with orders for masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant at the beginning of the pandemic, resulting in delivery delays and inventory shortages. Warehouse operations have since stabilized, but a big spike in orders could again strain its inventory and shipping operations. Amazon is therefore skittish about holding its 2020 Prime Day extravaganza, which was scheduled for July 15 and 16.

Prime Day

Amazon says it will postpone Prime Day indefinitely after initially delaying the event until September. The company subsequently told sellers to mark the week of October 5, although that was meant as a placeholder and not a commitment. If Prime Day is delayed past October 5, it could cannibalize Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. With the economy not expected to recover by November, shoppers will likely not participate heavily in both Prime Day and November holiday shopping.

Marketplace Sellers

Marketplace sellers are increasingly integral to Amazon’s revenue. From 2009 to 2019, third-party sales grew from 30 percent of total sales on Amazon to 60 percent. The company receives a huge amount of revenue from the service fees it charges Marketplace sellers.

Nevertheless, Amazon’s treatment of third-party sellers is often criticized. Sellers have allegedly been suspended or removed for dubious reasons. Additionally, Amazon has reportedly used third-party sellers’ proprietary information to develop competitive, Amazon-branded products.

According to Marketplace Pulse, a research firm, out of 8 million global Marketplace sellers, only 3 million are active — i.e., have products listed for sale. Roughly 2.7 million sellers reside in the U.S. and 1.1 million are active.

The U.S. Marketplace is growing the slowest in terms of active sellers at just 5 percent, despite an additional 250,000 American sellers who joined in 2019.

In its recently released 2020 small business impact report, Amazon states, “Since the pandemic hit, third-party sellers have had record sales. Their products continue to account for more than 50% of all units sold in our online stores, and their sales continue to outpace our first-party sales.”

In the 12 months ended May 31, Amazon’s marketplace sellers averaged $160,000 in annual sales, compared with $100,000 in the same period a year prior, Amazon reports. Additionally, more than 450,000 sellers worldwide used FBA in the year ended May 31. Marketplace sales continue to outpace first-party sales — i.e., inventory owned by Amazon, including its private-label goods.

American Marketplace sellers sold more than 3.4 billion products in the year ended May 31, an increase of 25.9 percent from the prior year, and averaged 6,500 products sold per minute. The number of American Marketplace sellers that surpassed $1 million in sales grew by more than 20 percent during the same timeframe — 3,700 sellers passed $1 million in sales for the first time.

Fighting Counterfeiters

In late June, Amazon announced a new Counterfeit Crimes Unit. The company states that in 2019 it blocked more than 6 billion suspected harmful listings and took down 2.5 million potential counterfeit accounts.

Moreover, Amazon recently announced that as of September 1 it would require American third-party sellers to disclose their business name and address in their public profiles. The company already requires its European, Japanese, and Mexican marketplace sellers to share this information.

Source: https://www.practicalecommerce.com/amazon-with-demand-surging-transitions-fba

Blockchain

Top 10 Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) Providers

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BaaS or Blockchain-as-a-Service is a paid blockchain-based cloud service that blockchain companies provide to customers. BaaS provides customers with the ability to build, host, and use their own blockchain apps, smart contracts, and any other digital services on a distributed network.

It is important to clarify that the BaaS concept is derived from the concept of SaaS (Software as a service) and works similarly to it.

How does BaaS work?

According to the BaaS concept, blockchain companies install,  manage, and maintain, blockchain-based cloud platforms in addition to providing the tools necessary to build blockchain applications to customers in return for a fee.

The future of the BaaS industry

Currently, the global revenue from blockchain services is estimated at $ 2.5 billion and by 2025 this number is expected to rise to $ 19.9 billion.

Overall, the business value of blockchain solutions will increase to more than $ 360 billion by 2026, with estimates of this number reaching $ 3 trillion by 2030.

The previous figures clearly show the future of the industry as well as explain the huge and successive investments in the blockchain business in general.

Advantages of using the BaaS model

The BaaS model provides its users with many advantages, most notably high data security, efficiency, scalability, unlimited customization potential, as well as it is compatible with current cloud services.

In addition to the above, the adoption of the BaaS model reduces administrative burdens and provides better management and recruitment of resources.

Moreover, the BaaS model is easy to use and affordable, given the value it offers.

BaaS vs owning a blockchain-based cloud platform

The BaaS model is a better solution for business than having a blockchain-based cloud platform in all aspects. Owning a blockchain-based cloud platform is hugely costly due to start-up costs (infrastructure, personnel, software, licensing, hardware, consulting, and more), retirement costs (decommissioning of server racks), and operational costs (monitoring, cost per transactions, bandwidth expenses).

In addition to the above, owning a blockchain model means fully assuming administrative responsibilities.

While in the BaaS model, the cost is significantly lower because you only pay for the service you get. The service price in the BaaS model is subject to several factors, including the transaction rate, the maximum number of concurrent transactions, the payload size on transactions, and so on.

Also, in the BaaS model, all administrative burdens are borne by the provider.

How to choose the right BaaS provider?

There are a number of points to consider when selecting a BaaS provider. For instance, the provider’s experience and reputation, the security of the platform, the technical support as well as the ease of use and pricing.

In addition, it must be ensured that the platform integrates with the existing operating systems and software.

It should also ensure that the platform supports smart contract integration and deployment, identity access management (IAM) system, different runtimes, and frameworks.

Top 10  Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) Providers

  1. Blockwell

Blockwell is one of the world’s leading providers of blockchain solutions to governments, enterprises, and end-consumers. Founded in 2018 by experts who have contributed for 20 years in developing emerging technologies for some of the largest companies in the world.

Blockwell aims to assist organizations in adopting blockchain solutions by providing consulting and a cloud blockchain platform in addition to a distinct and diverse set of tools and programs.

Blockwell aims to help everyone generate profits by allowing them to build and expand blockchain tools, services, and products.

Currently, content creators rely on existing toolkits developed by Blockwell, set their own commission structures, and earn percentages as they sell and promote their tools around the world.

During the past two years, Blockwell has developed blockchain solutions for cryptocurrency businesses around the world.

In addition, Blockwell has vetted dozens of token contracts for some of the most popular exchanges in the world, prevented and stopped hacks saving individuals millions of dollars, built successful token-swaps tools, and analytics tools.

Blockwell’s previous work includes the names of many well-known businesses such as JPMorgan Chase Bank, Wells Fargo, Disney, GoPro, Paramount, Mattel, Universal, Lucas Arts, Suzuki, Epson, Time Warner Cable, Guitar Center, Beachbody, Marriott, Jaiyen Eco-Resort and more.

Blockwell has an impressive list of tools and applications. Notable among them are Blockwell Wallet, Pride Token, Fire Tokens, EgoCoins, iBlockwell, Blockwell Book, Sheets-n-Blocks – Blockchain, Contract Tool, VoteBlock, API Miner, Smart License Creator, Blockwell Prime, Listener, Token Swapper, Blockwell Daico, Blockwell Telescope, Blockwell Spyglass, Blockwell Velvet, Blockwell KYC Form Builder, Non-Fungible Token Creator, BW, and Dumbapps.

In addition to apps and tools, Blockwell has launched a store for  DApps named “Well Spring” that has 16 working apps so far.

Blockwell backed tokens are valued at over $ 80M.

Regarding the future, Blockwell is seeking to expand by investing $ 10M. The company plans to obtain it by selling 100MM tokens to investors.

  1. Amazon

Amazon introduced its BAAS service called “Amazon Managed Blockchain” in 2018 through its cloud arm, Amazon Web Services (AWS). Amazon Managed Blockchain is a managed service that makes it easy to create and manage scalable blockchain networks using open source frameworks including Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric.

Moreover, Amazon allows customers who want to manage their own network to go ahead, but it is an option that needs experience in dealing with AWS Blockchain Templates.

Amazon also enables companies to integrate their blockchain-based networks and business processes to improve IT infrastructure, business processes, human resources, financial transactions, and supply chains.

In addition to the above, Amazon provides AWS Key Management Service to secure Hyperledger Fabric’s CA (Certificate Authority) and Amazon QLDB technology to manage augmented ordering service.

The BAAS offer from Amazon is characterized by flexibility in identifying resources to suit companies’ needs.

Amazon customers’ list includes star names like Nestlé, BMW, Accenture, Sony Music Japan, and the Singapore Exchange.

  1. IBM

IBM is one of the world’s most important BaaS service providers. Forbes selected it among the top 50 blockchain companies, thanks to its blockchain platform “IBM Blockchain“, which it launched in 2017.

IBM Blockchain is a fully-integrated distributed ledger technology platform that enables businesses to “’develop, govern, and operate a blockchain ecosystem quickly and cost-effectively on a flexible, cloud-based platform by using Kubernetes.

Partnerships have been vital to IBM’s continuous BaaS expansion. it created the Trust Your Supplier platform alongside blockchain firm Chainyard and also pioneered the Contingent Labor platform in conjunction with IT People.

As well as IBM Blockchain has joined The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Project to evolve and improve upon earlier forms of blockchain. Instead of having a blockchain that is reliant on the exchange of cryptocurrencies with anonymous users on a public network (e.g. Bitcoin), a blockchain for business provides a licensed network, with known identities, without the need for cryptocurrencies.

IBM Blockchain Platform has been used widely in industries such as food supply, media, advertising, and trade finance.

  1. Microsoft

Microsoft is one of the oldest BaaS service providers as it has been in the market since 2015 when it launched Azure Blockchain Service.

Microsoft aims through its BaaS service to enable users to build public, private, and consortium blockchain environments with industry-grade frameworks and bring their blockchain apps to market.

Microsoft provides three products to customers: Azure Blockchain Service, Azure Blockchain Workbench, and Azure Blockchain Development Kit.

Azure is compatible with other Microsoft products such as Logic Apps and Flow, making it a great choice for organizations looking to harness blockchain such as General Electric and T-Mobile.

Microsoft Azure’s most prominent features are the support of several Blockchain frameworks, including Quorum, Corda, Hyperledger Fabric, and Ethereum. Plus, ease of deployment using Azure CLI, Azure Portal, or Visual Studio Code with the Azure Blockchain extension. Azure also supports full monitoring and logging.

The above helped Microsoft to forge important partnerships with prominent entities such as its partnerships with Ripple and BitPay.

  1. Alibaba

Alibaba is one of the leading blockchain solutions providers around the world. The well-known Chinese company introduced its BaaS service in 2018 through its cloud platform.

Alibaba has an active research team and has registered many patents on blockchain during the past period.

Utilizing Quorum, Hyperledger Fabric, and the Ant Blockchain, the platform integrates Alibaba Cloud’s Internet of Things (IoT) and anti-counterfeiting technologies to create blockchain solutions for product traceability.

Alibaba’s BaaS offering provides diverse solutions to meet user needs including encompasses enterprise-level BaaS services, an agile BaaS platform that supports private deployment, and specific blockchain solutions for container services.

  1. Oracle

Software giant Oracle unveiled its BaaS service in 2017. The service, called “Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service”, aims to provide an enterprise-grade distributed ledger platform that can help businesses to “increase trust and provide agility in transactions across their business networks.”

Oracle enables its service users to provide permissioned blockchain networks for private or consortia models, enroll member organizations, and run smart contracts to update and query the ledger in addition to many other benefits.

Also, Oracle enables its service users to use its other solutions such as Oracle Supply Chain Management (SCM) Cloud, Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Cloud, and other Oracle cloud solutions.

  1. R3

R3 launched its BaaS service called “Corda” to enable companies to transact directly and privately using smart contracts.

Corda is an open-source blockchain platform that works on minimizes blockchain nodes’ deployment time by a few minutes, allowing enterprises to host the Corda network in a few clicks.

Interoperability, security, and privacy are the foundations of the finance-focused Corda.

Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) recently hired Corda service to streamline financial processes and enhance settlements

Corda provides users with the following benefits: Easy cloud-based deployment and quick setup of nodes with Docker, a Built-in blockchain application firewall to provide additional security, as well as R3’s Interoperability feature that allows developers to work with more than one application at the same time.

It is worth noting that R3 has developed solutions for more than 300 clients in addition that it has partnerships with many prestigious institutions such as Barclays, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, and Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, and more.

  1. SAP

SAP launched its BaaS service “Leonardo” in 2017. Through its service, SAP aims to help companies transition into the digital age through the use of distributed ledger technology.

Leonardo is a Hyperledger based service and resides in the SAP Cloud service, meaning it can be accessed from any device.

The platform provides plug-and-play blockchain solutions and allows for the easy setup and hosting of blockchain nodes.

SAP Leonardo functions as a blockchain cloud service, machine learning service, and supports the Internet of Things (IoT) in a single ecosystem.

SAP Leonardo provides its users with several benefits such as cloud deployment, monitoring of blockchain data in real-time, and more.

  1. Huawei

Well-known Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei launched its BaaS service in 2018. The service, called “BCS“, is based on Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric, a blockchain framework that allows components, such as consensus and membership services, to be plug-and-play.

With its BaaS service, Huawei aims to enable companies to develop smart contracts on top of a blockchain network for several use-case scenarios.

Huawei also works with enterprise customers to promote the deployment of blockchain solutions and applications and to build reliable, public infrastructure, and an ecosystem-based on blockchain and shared success.

According to Huawei, BCS enables enterprises to deploy blockchain technology within five minutes. It concentrates on nine application scenarios, including data assets, Internet of Things (IoT), operation, identity verification, data certification, data transactions, new energy, philanthropic donations, and inclusive finance.

Huawei has many and varied partnerships inside and outside the Chinese market, but the most prominent name remains the famous car manufacturer Honda.

  1. Factom

Factom launched its BaaS service in 2017. The service, called “Factom Harmony“, aims to allow enterprises and software vendors to quickly add blockchain capabilities to any application or workflow using simple API calls.

Harmony also aims to enable users to create portable, archivable cryptographic proofs to use as trusted inputs for internal and external audits.

What sets Factom Harmony apart is that it reduces the time and resource requirements to perform audits and meet compliance objectives.

Author: Husayn Hashim

Bio: Husayn Hashim works as an author and programmer. He has been writing about blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies for si years. He’s interested in programming, technology, finance, and business. He loves writing and loves to share his knowledge with others.

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Blockchain

U.S. crypto exchanges have a plan for the travel rule. Now they just have to get along


Quick Take

  • A working group of 25 U.S.-based exchanges released a white paper this week outlining their platform to comply with FATF’s travel rule.
  • The group includes some of the most prominent exchanges stateside, suggesting that the plan has legs.
  • Now, the group has to develop a governance structure.
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U.S. crypto exchanges have a plan for how to deal with FATF’s travel rule














Source: https://www.theblockcrypto.com/daily/82261/us-crypto-exchanges-fatf-travel-rule?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

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Blockchain

Exploring the current state of cryptocurrency taxation in the European Union


Quick Take

  • By now, guidelines for  taxation of cryptocurrency activities exist in most EU member countries. However, grey areas remain.
  • Highly favorable tax treatments in some, and lack of taxation in other EU member countries enables regulatory arbitrage.
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Exploring the current state of cryptocurrency taxation in the European Union














Source: https://www.theblockcrypto.com/genesis/82157/exploring-the-current-state-of-cryptocurrency-taxation-in-the-european-union?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

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