Abstract

Smartlink addresses one of the biggest challenges in the global marketplace: ‘Need to Trust,’ by introducing decentralized escrow services and payments processing based on institutional-grade smart contracts that suppress the need for buyers and sellers to trust each other. Smartlink aims to provide a user-centered escrow solution to secure online and face-to-face transactions while broadening payments acceptance options through integrated wrapped currencies. Smartlink proposes a contemporary method to execute commercial transactions by offering Trust-As-A-Service to incentivize commitment and eliminate the trust deficit in the global marketplace.

Introduction

‘Trust’ is the centerpiece of commercial transactions around the world. Involving unknown parties such as new vendors, partners, or customers will commonly lead to lack of mutual trust in the first place. The same goes for regular customer-to-customer (C2C) transactions. While traditional security measures provide subtle confidence and protection, fraud in day-to-day exchanges remains a major challenge.

Smartlink is bringing a new user experience to the global marketplace by proposing a decentralized escrow system built on Tezos that focuses on Web 3.0 functionalities for the next generation of payments processing.

  • Escrow service tool
  • Multi-currency payment processing (wrapped assets)
  • Milestone payments
  • Marketplace
  • Governance system
  • Open API for online marketplaces, service providers, and eCommerce platforms.
Background

The international trade market

International trade comprises nearly one-third of the global economy, $25 trillion out of $87.8 trillion and varies across different industries, with some sectors eclipsing others when it comes to global outreach. International trade bodies (WTO, UNCTAD) suspect this to be the early phase of the digital economy, with cutting-edge technologies reshaping how trade concludes across various industries.

Global eCommerce Industry

Research reveals that the global eCommerce industry is valued at over $29 trillion. Some key trends within the global eCommerce industry are:

  • The total number of online shoppers stands at 1.3 billion, or a quarter of the global population.
  • e-Commerce sales in emerging markets reached $834 million in 2019, a 30% increase from 2014.
  • B2B transactions account for 88% of the global eCommerce trade, but the B2C segment is witnessing aggressive growth.
  • Cross-border B2C eCommerce sales reached $412 billion.

Peer-to-Peer (p2p) marketplaces

Peer-to-Peer marketplaces are an online business model that enables private users to buy and sell among themselves. eBay and Etsy are among prominent names in the P2P marketplaces. The Covid-19 pandemic has substantially accelerated the uptake of eCommerce and P2P platforms such as eBay with a 17% increase in gross merchandise volume year over year, Etsy with a 45% CAGR, and Reverb growing 145.6% to $2.69 billion. Craigslist remains a key player with an average of 300 million page views per month, along with Facebook Marketplace averaging 800 million users.

Global crowdfunding market

Even though traditional lending is still the most important segment of the industry it is important to note that crowdfunding is expanding at a rate of more than three times that of the lending market.

  • The global crowdfunding market was worth $84 billion in 2018, and is expected to be worth $196 billion in 2026.
  • Between 2020 and 2025, the global crowdfunding market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 16 percent.
  • In 2019, there were 6,445,080 crowdfunding campaigns around the world.

International payments market

International payments and trade go hand-in-hand, witnessing proportional growth across both verticals.

  • The global payments revenue pool stands at $1.9 trillion, facing a minor setback with the current global crisis.
  • Global cross-border payments value is estimated to be around $26 trillion in 2020 and is expected to reach $30.2 trillion by 2022.
  • International banks may witness a 25% decline in their international cross-border payments revenue due to the growing fintech ecosystem.

Expanding gig economy

The global talent community is undergoing a seismic change, with more people across the world joining the on-demand economy or gig economy.

  • The global gig economy generates over $4.5 trillion in revenues annually.
  • Over 57 million professionals in the US have undertaken freelance work.

As more professionals choose freelance opportunities over traditional employment, more payment solutions with better protection will be required to fight payment frauds, and delays.

Blockchain Ecosystems: Moving Towards Wider Acceptance

Blockchain technology has witnessed massive adoption over the past couple of years. Research indicates a 3X growth in the total number of blockchain wallets between January 2018 and January 2021 (66 million). The recent expedited interest in blockchain ecosystems and crypto-assets from publicly-traded companies indicates a changing outlook towards crypto-assets. The target audience of Blockchain ecosystems is transitioning from technology enthusiasts to institutional investors, mega-enterprises, and retail investors. In addition, Blockchain technology is becoming increasingly resilient and more adaptive in the global transactional landscape.

  • Global cryptocurrency market cap: $1.5 trillion
  • Nearly a quarter of companies will invest between $5 million and $10 million in blockchain initiatives.
  • Over 20 countries already have a concept or are working on the concept of a national digital currency.
  • The financial sector is responsible for nearly 60% of the current blockchain market value.

The blockchain industry has moved through its early hype-stage to a more stable version, with enterprise-level blockchain applications gaining traction alongside mass adoption. However, it is critical to address the current challenges in established blockchain networks. A low transaction throughput, reliance on PoW consensus mechanism, and security loopholes need immediate resolution. Smartlink is built on Tezos blockchain, one of the most secure, scientifically-driven blockchain networks on the market. Smartlink utilizes the inherent qualities of Tezos blockchain including institutional-grade smart contracts with formal verification, quick settlements, and low gas fees to provide a robust suite of enterprise-grade services.


Challenges

Global fraud

Economic crimes are rising across the world, creating challenges in the current payment ecosystem. Nearly half (47%) of the businesses responding to a crime study reported being a victim of fraud, with the total reported losses by respondents reaching $42 billion. The top three fraud categories in international businesses, according to PwC, are:

  • Customer fraud (35%)
  • Cybercrime (34%)
  • Asset misappropriation (31%)

In terms of sector-wise economic crimes, the leading industries with the most reported crimes are:

  • Online shopping
  • Business imposters
  • Vacation & travel
  • Miscellaneous investments

As the cross-border eCommerce industry continues to grow, frauds across various industries are set to rise. The traditional mechanisms set in place for identifying potential fraud fail to detect new types of subtle and inventive fraud tactics. The Gig Economy is another proliferating industry that suffers from international fraud, late payments, and legacy payment solutions

  • Average freelancer spends 20 days annually chasing late payments.
  • 44% of Freelancers have been stiffed in the past.

High cost of international transactions

Cross-border B2B transactions are set to reach $35 trillion by 2022. Despite the steady growth in B2B international transactions, organizations around the world are forced to rely on traditional payment infrastructure, including wire transfers. Research reveals that 40% of banking customers are seeking new B2B payment methods, with nearly 90% of these customers targeting lower costs. It is essential to understand that B2B payments comprise 98% of net cross-border payments. The top three reasons why B2B customers are seeking new payment options are:

  • Lower costs: 90%
  • Fast receivable access: 62%
  • Faster vendor payments: 57%

As many as 69% of businesses use wire transfers for cross-border payments. However, wire transfers are fretted with multiple challenges, including transfer cost, speed, security, and lack of transparency. Fraud related to wire transfers led to net losses of over $26 billion between June 2016 and July 2019.

High fees on P2P marketplaces

The current P2P marketplaces for talent acquisition and eCommerce platforms follow an exorbitant commission structure. Platform users pay between 5% and 25% in commissions and fees for using these marketplaces. Starting with the on-demand economy, leading platforms, such as Upwork and Fiverr, charge up to 25% in commission and processing fees. Upwork has a sliding commission structure, with contracts under $500 deducting 20% and contracts above $500 charging 10% in commissions. Additionally, the clients (employer) pay a standard 3% payment processing fee. Fiverr provides a flat fee structure, charging 20% from every gig order and $2 to 5% from buyers under administrative expenses. Despite the exponential growth in transaction volumes, eCommerce platforms operate with a high-margin structure. A careful analysis of Amazon’s fee structure reveals up to 20% in commission and processing charges, including plan fees, referral charges, fulfillment fees, advertising, and storage expenses. eBay provides a slightly competitive commission rate, with 10% flat commissions and a payment processing fee of 2.9% plus $0.30. Etsy comes out to be the most cost-efficient eCommerce platform, with listing fees of $0.20, payment fees of $0.25, and transaction charges of up to 5%.

High cost of traditional fundraising

Fundraising has become increasingly expensive for new teams over the last decade. One of the least explored and discussed aspects of startups is the high cost of fund raising. Startups pay anywhere between 4% and 5% of their net raised funds to crowdfunding websites for hosting their fundraising campaigns. On top of the cut these platforms take out of the proceeds, startups pay up to 5% in payment processing charges when using traditional methods of payments such as credit cards. In some cases, a finder’s fee may apply with rates ranging from 5% to 35% to find funds directly through a specialized intermediary.

Reliance on legacy systems

Nearly 80% of businesses rely on manual systems for their order-to-cash process in business transactions. Working with legacy payment collection systems lead to a 67% longer payment timeline for these businesses in comparison to their peers. There is always an element of error in manual legacy payments infrastructure, with 7% of businesses facing manual data-entry mistakes daily. These order entry errors can have a detrimental impact on the revenue of these businesses. Nearly 60% of firms operating with legacy systems are ready to introduce automation in the order-to-cash systems as well as the overall payments infrastructure, including account payables, account receivables, and even payroll. In addition to the reliance on traditional payment infrastructure, businesses are under pressure from growing contract management expenses in international transactions. Research reveals that the average cost of a mid-complexity contract is $14,000 and $49,000 for a high-risk contract. Modern businesses require contract management solutions that provide compliance, risk coverage without adversely affecting the profit margins of organizations.

Growing cost of Ethereum Dapps

Blockchain technology is redefining operations across various industries, with the financial sector being one of the biggest investors and playgrounds. Ethereum is among the most prominent blockchain networks used for the development of dapps. However, the Ethereum network has some inherent challenges, with rising gas fees as one of the biggest drawbacks for new products built on Ethereum. Growing cost of Ethereum Dapps Blockchain technology is redefining operations across various industries, with the financial sector being one of the biggest investors and playgrounds. Ethereum is among the most prominent blockchain networks used for the development of dapps. However, the Ethereum network has some inherent challenges, with rising gas fees as one of the biggest drawbacks for new products built on Ethereum. dapp The average gas charges have been growing consistently across the Ethereum network, making it infeasible for microtransactions. One of the primary reasons why fintech startups are opting for blockchain technology instead of traditional systems is its cost-efficiency. Ethereum, until it transitions into a PoS network, poses significant challenges.
  • Ethereum is home to 95% of all dApp transactions.
  • High gas prices pose a direct challenge for low-value transactions on the Ethereum network.
Technical architecture

Solution

Smartlink is built on Tezos blockchain, one of the highest-rated proof-of-stake blockchains with ideal infrastructure for scalable applications. Smartlink positions itself as an enterprise-grade, secure, decentralized escrow platform. Tezos is designed to provide the safety and code correctness required for assets and other high-value use cases. Tezos' modular architecture and formal upgrade mechanism allow the network to propose and adopt new technological innovations smoothly as they emerge. These aspects, combined with Tezos' on-chain invoicing mechanism, enable the protocol to remain state-of-the-art long into the future without sacrificing community consensus. The Delphi upgrade has, on average, made the network 3,000 times cheaper than Ethereum while reducing storage costs and improving the overall performance of smart contract execution. Tezos has proven itself to be a relevant choice for Smartlink.

SMAK Token

SMAK is a utility token used on the Smartlink platform built on the FA 1.2 standard. It inherits all the properties of the TZIP-7 standard, including a ledger that maps identities to token balances, providing an interface to interact with external contracts or accounts for user balance transfers. SMAK tokens allow users to benefit from a fee exemption on the Smartlink platform and other utilities such as escrow rewards, staking and participating in on-chain governance.

Broadening payment options through wrapped token support

Smartlink will integrate over 15 wrapped tokens including WBTC (FA 1.2), WETH
(FA 1.2 ), WUSD along with SMAK (FA 1.2) through Wrap Protocol. Wrap Protocol is an initiative from Bender Labs to bring liquidity to Tezos DeFi applications. Ethereum blockchain is the dominating network when it comes to token releases, with over 350,000 ERC-20 tokens issued on it. Wrap Protocol provides a simple mechanism that converts ERC-20 tokens into FA 1.2 tokens supported on the Tezos blockchain. Wrap Protocol utilizes off-chain federations or Federated Peg, Signers Quorum, which involves a group of centralized custodians responsible for upholding network consensus across the main chain as well as the side chain. Signers Quorum ensures that at any given time, the number of wrapped tokens is equivalent to the amount of ERC-20 tokens locked on the Ethereum blockchain. Signers Quorum provides stability to wrap protocol, with the members of Signers Quorum interacting with Tezos and Ethereum blockchain for processing wrapping and unwrapping transactions. From the point of view of the escrow contract, they will be handled as part of the same standard. However, it will be necessary to retain data pertaining to the tokens the user has used for the escrow transaction. During the escrow process, these contracts will be called, and the funds will be locked accordingly in the smart contract; Once the transaction is validated, the funds will be released to the seller. Since the blockchain can not directly access external data, we need a mechanism to feed token prices to the blockchain.

Paying gas fees using supported tokens

Every transaction on Tezos requires gas fees to be paid in tez, the native token of Tezos. Smartlink uses TZIP to execute batched transactions on Tezos, eliminating the need to hold tez tokens in addition to the payment amount held in SMAK, stablecoins or other supported tokenss. Smartlink will use TZIP-17 to provide a native transactional experience to its platform users. TZIP-17 allows users to pay gas fees from the same token they are using to execute the transaction. A classic Tezos transaction involves a JSON transaction, comprising the parameters of the called function, its address, the hash, entry point, XTZ charges, and the timestamp, sent to the blockchain signed with the private key of the user. A Permit transaction executes in two stages, including creation and use. In the creation phase, the user creates a JSON transaction with the parameter hash, public key, destination address, and timestamp. The JSON transaction excludes the parameter and gas fee for the transaction. This JSON transaction is submitted to the relayer, who in turns pays the fees in tez and submits the transaction to the blockchain. After baking, the permit is created. During the use phase, the JSON transaction (pre-signed), containing the parameter, destination address, and user address, is revealed to the relayer. The relayer sends this data to the blockchain, which interprets this call as a direct call from the user. Smartlink aims to use this license to add an administration layer to the entry point of contracts. Using Permits, the same mechanism can be implemented in smart contracts by modifying the logic of the target anointing, assuring that the transaction executes only when an admin threshold call has been initiated. It allows signatures to be provided implicitly in individual transactions.

Escrow reward and staking mechanisms

Smartlink has differentiated the ‘Escrow rewards’ contract from the ‘Staking’ contract. Each of these contracts carries a BIG_MAP that fetches necessary data, including addresses, associated amounts, and other additional functions. These contracts will be originated after the public sale and will point to the SMAK smart contract to determine the candidate balances. Also, the staking contract will point to the escrow contract to determine the last transactions from the BIG_MAP of closed exchanges and thus the stacking bonuses that may apply.

tech diagram

Institutional grade smart contracts

Smartlink’s escrow smart contracts will be created on the SmartPy platform provided by Tezos. Since Smartlink aims to facilitate high-value transactions, it is critical to ensure a maximum level of security in regards to smart contracts. Tezos provides formal verification of its smart contracts, which means these smart contracts can be verified by assigning mathematical values to the programmed code.

Smartlink data model

The following technical architecture serves as a structural base to develop Smartlink in its ecosystem.

tech diagram

On-chain architecture overview

tech diagram

Entrypoints sample

tech diagram

Off-chain overview

tech diagram

On-chain Price feeds

Smart Chain Arena, the developers of the Smartpy language enables the integration of Chainlink price oracle with Tezos. Chainlink brings off-chain data to smart contracts via a decentralized system of oracles allowing Smartlink to organize and verify data from a variety of in-chain and out-of-chain sources, creating a reliable source of market data. The advantage of this mechanism is that the system is tamper-proof, providing consistent, verifiable price feeds.

Interaction with wallets

Spire compatible recommended wallet list: The beacon-sdk simplifies and abstracts the communication between dApps and wallets over different transport layers.

tech diagram

API integration

Smartlink payments processing solution API comes with a guided integration procedure and a sandbox environment for testing and developing. The API will provide the ability to create transactions between two or multiple parties, create offers, update transaction details and other key functionalities to allow developers to bring escrow payments and multi-cryptocurrency support to a website, app or marketplace.

KYC security

Smartlink will implement multi-level security measures to safeguard its users' information without compromising the security of the network. Data will be stored in a local database or a decentralized data storage such as IPFS. Smartlink will establish a standard KYC and AML compliance protocol on its platform. Smartlink will collect the necessary data to comply with KYC and AML procedures. Our platform will exhibit enterprise-grade security features, including two-factor authentication, biometric authentication, and end-to-end encryption for all the user-to-server data packets.

Smartlink introduces: Trust as a Service

Smartlink solves the Trust Conundrum in the global marketplace. From regular online transactions to international trade, transacting parties often face a lack of trust towards one another. However, trust is the fundamental requirement that structures a commercial relationship in order for the parties involved to come to an agreement. Oftentimes, the need for a neutral third-party to act as a bridge between them is even required. Having a third party inflates the overall cost of doing business, involves a paper-intensive operations process, and elongates the execution time.

Smartlink provides an ecosystem of services that eliminates the need for trust during a commercial transaction. Smartlink achieves this through a suite of decentralized services built on the Tezos platform.

  • Smartlink Escrow Service: A decentralized escrow service for C2C, B2C, and B2B
  • Smartlink Payment Processing: A decentralized payment portal that leverages current and upcoming digital currencies for instant payment settlements.
  • Smartlink Milestone Management: A smart milestone management service that functions as a part of Smartlink’s escrow service.
  • Smartlink Marketplace: A decentralized marketplace where products and services can be listed for retail customers and business clients.

Module 1: Smartlink Escrow service

Smartlink escrow service leverages smart contracts for creating digital contracts, agreements for business and peer-to-peer transactions. Smartlink provides contract templates which parties can use to fill their terms and conditions. Once the underlying conditions of the agreement are fulfilled, the payments are processed automatically.

Smartlink escrow service:

  • Allows businesses to enter into an agreement without having to trust each other
  • Allows businesses to save costs on traditional contract writing services
  • Offers automatic settlement of payments
  • Doesn’t require third-party escrow services or a physical presence of parties

How does Smartlink escrow service work?

Smartlink platform users may choose an escrow contract template from Smartlink’s library or create one of their own. The terms and conditions of the contract have then to be defined and agreed upon. The buyer funds the escrow smart contract using SMAK or supported wrapped tokens. The seller receives a notification and may deliver the product/service. Once the item or service has been delivered, the buyer gets a predefined inspection time window before accepting or rejecting the delivery. Finally, when the buyer accepts the product or service, Smartlink releases the funds to the seller accordingly. If there is a disagreement and the buyer rejects the delivery, parties may either negotiate to resolve the dispute or start a dispute resolution process on the platform.

Smartlink Escrow Service Transaction Flow

Use Case: Escrow Smart Contract for a Domain Name Transfer

This pictorial model represents the initialization of a domain name transfer on Smartlink. In this example, the participants use a Spire compatible Tezos wallet in order to process payments. Smartlink API fetches data from Whois API to verify the completion of the domain transfer.

diagram escrow

Components of Smartlink Escrow Service

  • Enforceable Escrow Smart Contract Templates: Smartlink provides enforceable smart contracts, which means users don’t have to spend resources in legal research and development of smart contracts.
  • Multi-step Agreements: Business transactions are complex and often involve multiple processes. Smartlink provides the ability to create payment milestones.
  • Unlimited Stakeholders: Smartlink escrow smart contracts support unlimited stakeholders.
  • Inspection Period: The parties involved in the business transaction can allocate an inspection period before the closure of the deal. This provides the buyer with sufficient time to inspect and confirm a transaction.

Module 2: Crypto Payment Processing

Smartlink payments processing solution promotes the use of cryptocurrencies with its own SMAK token, and over 15 ERC-20 tokens wrapped as FA 1.2 on Tezos opening the door to new opportunities and rapid scalability. One of the main challenges faced by the crypto community is the limited support for cryptocurrencies as a payment method for regular transactions. Smartlink allows the modern economy to gain direct access to some of the most long-awaited web 3.0 functionalities. Smartlink provides a robust cryptocurrency payment gateway that facilitates crypto transactions on marketplaces, apps, and eCommerce platforms to easily integrate multi-currency crypto payments, escrow services, Smart Milestone payments, NFTs, and dispute resolution functionalities.

Module 3: Milestone Payments

Smartlink milestone management targets enterprises and individuals engaged in virtually any business transaction. Smartlink uses smart contracts for its milestone management solution. The involved parties can set up various agreed-upon milestones. The completion of the first milestone automatically triggers the second milestone smart contract, progressing in a similar manner until the end of the transaction.

Use case: Businesses and freelancers

When a business hires a freelancer for a project, both parties can create a timeline, list of deliverables, set up an inspection schedule for individual stages, and respective payment timeframes. In the case of five separate stages in a project, the initial milestone smart contract comprises five sequential smart contracts. As the freelancer delivers the product, the business must inspect the delivery within the programmed inspection timeframe. Once the business accepts delivery, the smart contract releases payment for the milestone and automatically triggers the next milestone smart contract.

Features of Smartlink milestone management solution

  • Multi-stage smart contracts: The parties involved in a transaction can create multi-stage milestone smart contracts. It allows users to execute complicated projects within agreed timelines and budget.
  • Auto-execution: Smart contracts execute upon the fulfillment of underlying conditions, providing swift execution with limited manual intervention.
  • Dispute settlement: Smartlink provides dispute settlement through RDO until its voting system is launched.
  • Formal verification of smart contracts: Smartlink uses the Tezos blockchain because of its support for the formal verification of smart contracts. A formal verification makes Smartlink milestone management suitable for high-ticket deals.

Module 4: NFTs and ownership certificates

Smartlink provides a simple interface for the creation of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Non-fungible tokens are non-interchangeable tokens with unique attributes (metadata) and publicly-verifiable transaction history. Smartlink allows users to create NFTs conforming to Tezos' FA2 standard. Some of the key factors distinguishing the FA2 standard from FA1.2 include a proposal for standardized transfer semantics (suitable for single as well as multiple token transfers), access to wallet balance and total offer, metadata interactions, and basic operation authorizations. FA2 supports fine interactions, which makes its implementation somewhat more complex than FA1.2, but it also provides a wider scope for defining and manipulating token types to the developers. FA2 simplifies the development of a standardized API for external applications and portfolios.

NFT Use cases

The unique attributes (data) of NFTs render them useful for storing distinctive information, including art pieces and any other kind of inimitable data.

  • Digital art
  • Collectibles
  • Virtual assets

Ownership certificates

NFTs provide the ability to digitize real-world assets. The unique nature and public transaction history provide a strong use case for creating ownership certificates. They have additional properties compared to traditional assets, such as verification, transferability, non-destructibility, or even reduced storage volume.

  • Car registrations: A user can create an NFT with the details of the cars, including registration number, chassis number, and engine number. These attributes and a unique hash provide a non-interchangeable ownership certificate.
  • Real estate transactions: Real estate is another potential industry that can cut paper-intensive processes through the utilization of NFTs.

Module 5: Decentralized dispute settlement system

Smartlink acknowledges the need for a strong dispute management module within its ecosystem. Smartlink will integrate on-chain mediation clauses and dispute settlement features through a decentralized voting system comprising professional arbitrators. During the initial phase, Smartlink will provide dispute settlement through Resolve Disputes Online (RDO). It is critical to indicate that RDO has been recognized as one of the leading online arbitrator software by several international institutions, including the United Nations, the UK, and Thailand governments, as well as private institutions, such as Thomson Reuters. RDO’s smart contract technology can be integrated seamlessly with blockchains. RDO comprises a network of judges, registered arbitrators, and a built-in ADR process for a streamlined litigation experience. RDO features an AI-enabled mediation module for high-volume dispute management. RDO provides an expedited litigation process (21-day resolution) for high-ticket transactions.

Module 6: Marketplace for web 3.0

Smartlink plans to launch a marketplace for the new web that distinguishes itself from existing solutions through advanced functionalities including crypto wallet browser integration, escrow smart contract, multi-cryptocurrency support, significantly lower fees, a built-in reward system and a user-friendly interface. The marketplace features a listing module that allows sellers to add products and services on the platform. Each listing comprises product images, description, payment option (one-time payment for products and one-time/recurring payments for services), alongside an on-chain review system. Buyers on Smartlink Marketplace can auto-connect browser compatible wallets during payment. Smartlink provides an option to settle payments immediately or choose escrow smart contracts for the transaction. In terms of accepted payment methods, Smartlink allows buyers to use SMAK or other wrapped crypto tokens for immediate purchases or escrow smart contracts.

Module 7: Smartlink Fundraising Module

Smartlink Fundraising module aims to resolve some of the limitations of current fundraising methods used by startups. Businesses can register on Smartlink for fundraising. Smartlink provides a dedicated page for every project, enlisting essential details. The project can create an escrow smart contract for users to deposit funds in the form of SMAK tokens or supported Wrapped tokens. Smartlink will integrate standard KYC/AML protocol on its fundraising module for whitelisting users. Smartlink fundraising module eliminates high commission charges, payment processing fees, and security concerns. Additionally, using Tezos as underlying blockchain allows Smartlink to lower the cost of transactions (lower gas fees) without affecting the transaction throughput. Note: Users must do the research on listed projects. Smartlink doesn’t undertake any guarantees for listed projects.

Smartlink Mobile Application

Smartlink plans to provide its services through its mobile application. Smartlink mobile app supports initialization and execution of the main functionalities including the contract template library, escrow service, milestone payments, tracking transactions, and sending offers. The app users can make crypto payments with their wallet balance. Smartlink mobile application will also provide access to its marketplace. The app will function similarly to most marketplace apps, allowing users to view product listings, images, description, and ratings. Smartlink app will auto-connect with compatible wallets for payment. Smartlink app features dispute resolution services, allowing users to raise tickets and follow-up on the arbitration process through the app.

Governance

Smartlink proposes an on-chain governance system for critical decisions and development direction. The Smartlink community will vote on key decisions, such as the use of Treasury, Smartlink fee distribution rules, and changes in the staking model. Smartlink will be the decision-making body during the initial phase until the Smartlink community boasts a strong user base.

Tickets and voting system

Smartlink’s on-chain governance system implements a majoritarian voting mechanism. When a proposal is released for voting, every SMAK token holder can cast a vote by "depositing" his ticket in a Nay or Yay function. If the proposal receives majority support, 51% or more, it is accepted for implementation. Smartlink plans to use the Ticket variable introduced in the EDO protocol upgrade. Tickets are single-use keys created for specific functions. When releasing a proposal for voting, Smartlink can generate a smart contract and create tickets for SMAK token holders. Each ticket contains a value, an amount, and the ticketer's address. Tickets support multi-sig authentication. A smart contract cannot forge a ticket created by another ticketer (smart contract). Smartlink can distribute these tickets evenly across SMAK token holders for voting and achieve consensus through a majoritarian mechanism.

Competitive landscape

Smartlink operates across three primary segments: escrow services, marketplace, and fundraising. Regarding the escrow services segment, Escrow.com is the main player on the market and has been leading the online escrow market for over twenty years processing $4.5B in transactions since its creation. As of today, there is no actual equivalent to Escrow.com in terms of transaction volume and ease of access. Smartlink introduces new paradigms in traditional escrow services. Our platform reduces processing charges for escrow services from 0% to 1%. (0% for transactions made using SMAK). Smartlink provides instant payment settlements (under 1 hour) instead of the standard 3-10 days payment processing schedule across various escrow services. Smartlink features an open API for crypto payments, offering seamless integration with websites, apps, and eCommerce marketplaces.

Smartlink provides a new way to trade products and services that does not yet exist at a high technicality and scalability level. Currently, most crypto holders use forums in order to buy and sell using cryptocurrency. One of the most popular platforms used by the crypto community for such transactions was Openbazaar. Openbazaar has recently closed its services due to lack of funds and support from the community. Users were able to buy products using Bitcoin and forks of Bitcoin including Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin or Zcash. The platform itself was in the form of a downloadable software that users had to acquire in order to set up an account, which made it tedious and complicated for average users to utilize. Openbazaar did not have a KYC process to guarantee a secure experience for neither individuals nor businesses making it hardly scalable from a mass-adoption perspective. Smartlink marketplace is a web-based platform which doesn’t require downloads. The marketplace users can easily integrate compatible wallets for swift payments. As mentioned in the above sections, Smartlink provides more than 15 crypto-payment methods, including SMAK, and offers additional features including escrow, decentralized dispute resolution services, governance system, reward program and staking. Our goal is to eliminate the standard 10% to 20% commissions on popular C2C, B2B and B2C platforms while giving users the ability to access advanced web 3.0 functionalities and have control over the future of the tools through on-chain governance.

Smartlink Fundraising module competes with the likes of Polkastarter and TrustSwap. Each of these platforms have witnessed noticeable growth since their launch. Smartlink bridges the gaps left by the platforms. Smartlink eliminates the need for liquidity during the fundraising phase by using escrow smart contracts to raise funds in cryptocurrency. Smartlink provides functionalities that allow more flexibility for users as they may add conditions to the contract and personalize it as they see fit. Moreover, Smartlink lowers the overall cost of transactions, platform speed, and security by using Tezos.

Token economics

Smartlink is conducting a fundraising event through an initial coin offering (ICO) for the development of the Smartlink platform. It is essential to indicate that Smartlink is launching a prototype based on key functionalities prior to the ICO, allowing users to run test operations through Tezos Testnet.


SMAK Token Metrics

  • Standard: FA 1.2
  • Token Supply: 896,083,333
  • Initial Circulating Supply: 271,432,562
  • Initial Market Cap: 2,714,325 USD
  • Fully Diluted market cap: 8,960,833 USD
  • Pre-Sale Price: $ 0.007 USD
  • Public Sale Price: $ 0.010 USD
  • Token utility: Fee exemption, Governance, Escrow rewards, Staking

Token distribution

token distribution

Token release schedule

token release schedule

Vesting period

  • Private sale: 20% is unlocked immediately after TGE, and 10% released monthly thereafter
  • Team: 18 months fully locked then 25% quarterly
  • Treasury: Unlocked and distributed as per incentive/governance event
  • Advisor: Distributed as on a per-need basis, then locked 8 months and 25% released monthly thereafter.
  • Ambassadors: Distributed as on a per-need basis, then locked 8 months and 25% released monthly thereafter.
  • Partnership: Distributed as on a per-need basis, then locked 8 months and 25% released monthly thereafter.

Funds allocation

token distribution

SMAK Utility

On-Chain Governance

Smartlink intends to develop an on-chain governance system for its platform. Smartlink community members will need SMAK tokens to participate in critical platform decisions, such as adjusting staking and escrow reward APR, development proposals, and revenue strategy.

Escrow Rewards

Smartlink intends to promote the use of SMAK across its platforms. There are no escrow charges when buyers use SMAK to complete a transaction. Smartlink will waive the 1% processing fee for escrow smart contract transactions using SMAK for payment. Additionally, buyers will receive 20% rewards for staking SMAK through the transaction period. When a buyer pays in SMAK, his payment is automatically staked until the completion of the transaction, which generates an escrow reward in-line with the current staking rates. For ethical reasons, only buyers are eligible to receive staking rewards.

Staking

Smartlink has created a Treasury fund for the long-term growth and adoption of SMAK token. Smartlink will dedicate 39% (350,000,000) of its net token supply towards the Treasury. Smartlink will use its Treasury to reward SMAK token holders for staking/locking their tokens.  Staking is an independent functionality where users get rewarded for locking their SMAK on the platform without having to start a transaction. The reward structure for stakers include a 36% APR with a lockup period of 90 days and a weekly distribution, and a 20% APR with no lockup period with a staking limit of 900,000 SMAK.  

token release schedule

Smartlink aims to use Treasury funds to incentivize platform users to adopt SMAK as their primary payment method to use the different services and thus create traction during the first years of activity. The governance system will allow the community to vote on proposals and key decisions such as potential changes in the Smartlink fee distribution, staking model and use of treasury. The primary intent behind providing staking rewards is to hedge against the price volatility of SMAK.

Revenue model

Platform Fee

If the buyer pays in SMAK, there are no transaction charges, except gas fees, and the buyer receives in return 20% staking rewards. If the buyer pays in supported wrapped tokens, a 1% fee applies. The platform fees are distributed between Smartlink’s buyback Program and Operations to create a fair and healthy equilibrium. We are considering the following distribution*:

Fee = b + Op = 100%

Buyback = s (if s < 50%, b = 50%)

Treasury = 100% - b

*Op = % allocated to Operations

s = % of SMAK staked on the platform including the amount of collateral locked in escrow
b= Buyback program

Examples:

A: if s = 22% then b = 50% & Op = 50%
B: if s = 74% then b = 74% & Op = 26%

token release schedule
Application scenarios

Smartlink aims to establish a standard escrow payment process that eliminates the limitations of current escrow and payments services. Smartlink is suitable for business and individual transactions.

Individuals

Smartlink can facilitate a multitude of peer-to-peer transactions, including physical and digital items. Smartlink provides the safety of a trusted escrow service with a fresher approach than existing solutions focusing on web 3.0 functionalities in order to reduce costs and improve overall efficiency. Here is a list of some of the use cases for retail users.

  • Automobile
  • Jewelry
  • Boat
  • Aircraft
  • OTC Trade
  • In-Game Assets (NFTs)
  • Collectibles (NFTs)
  • Rentals

Businesses

Smartlink addresses some of the key concerns of international commercial transactions. Smartlink provides a trustless platform to create escrow smart contracts, eliminates heavy intermediary charges, offers quick payment settlements with low processing charges, and comes with the security of Tezos’ blockchain network. Here is a list of some of the use cases for the commercial scope of Smartlink platform.

  • Escrow
  • Domain Names
  • Fundraising
  • Freelance Gigs
  • Milestone Payments
  • Payroll
Roadmap

Latest work

Deliverable Description
Technical specifications The document detailing every aspect of Smartink’s architecture and implementation requirements
Tezos Smart contract The contract has been created and configured on testnet
Contract deployment The smart contract has been deployed and Michelson artifacts created
Escrow feature The escrow feature is functional and available for testing
Marketplace interface A demo of the marketplace with basic required functionalities is available for testing
Item/service listing Users can list items or services using the demo interface
Delivery tracking The mechanism allowing users to track their delivery has been implemented
Wallet integration Spire (Beacon) wallet has been integrated. It allows any user to log into platform using the browser extension. We will provide more wallet options
Testing docs A guided documentation is available for testing the features and a basic version of the frontend
UX/UI Design UI/UX mockups have been designed for the back/frontend and are ready to be integrated
Partnerships Partnerships with two large enterprises have been formed with the aim of deploying a testnet environment of Smartlink’s escrow payments processing.
Team

Ben Constanty
CEO & Co-Founder
Serial entrepreneur, scaled several companies to millions of dollars in ARR across 4 different industries: Telecom, Marketing, eCommerce and Fintech.

Oliver Audino
COO & Co-Founder
10 years of experience as a seasoned Fintech entrepreneur (Sourcing Force), bootstrapped the company from zero to $16M in revenue, marketplace expert.

Adrien Hubert
Economic Advisor
DeFi specialist, Tezos baker and blockchain researcher, vast experience in micro-incentive strategy, staking models and on-chain architectures.

Jeremy Martin
Blockchain engineer & Tech lead
Blockchain researcher and technical architect with years of experience in leading high-level blockchain projects (Octo Technology / SmartNode)

Konstantin Grouzdev
Strategic Advisor
Over 10 years of experience in business strategy and communication, specialized in DeFi projects, digital assets and Tezos environment.

Anastasia Duchesne
Smart Contract Engineer
PhD researcher in blockchain technology, security and cryptography, specialized in building, testing, and auditing smart contracts.

Charles Augu
Ecosystem Backend Architect
Off-chain and on-chain integration mechanisms, backend development, data flow, Smartlink ecosystem framework.

Jules Bertrand
Infrastructure Reliability
Network infrastructure, monitoring, maintenance, sustainability of the Smartlink platform and smart contract security.

Prakash Pandey
Brand Manager
Extensive experience in building brand authority and fostering community engagement for blockchain and DeFi projects.

Joe Al-Khayat
Dispute Resolution Advisor
Lawyer & Mediator of common law jurisdictions including the UK and Australia. Co-Founder of RDO having advised governments around the world in online dispute resolution.

Jasmine Johal
Strategic partnerships
Partnerships and sponsorships, branding, performance marketing, growth, digital marketing, retention and loyalty.

Antoine Lahogue
Growth advisor
Over 15 years of experience in customer acquisition and sales management, entrepreneur, keen crypto investor.