Ripe for Disruption: The Case of Transforming a 6,000-Year Old Industry Through Blockchain

Blockchain disruption

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A new platform acquired the ambition to digitalize the beauty and personal care industry with the help of the blockchain.

As new technologies disrupt multiple incumbent industries – from banking to insurance, and even government – the beauty market has largely remained in the 20th century. Most salon managers still rely on “pen and paper” to manage their bookings.

6,000-Year Old

Bulgaria-based startup JOLYY intends to do something about it, bringing smart contracts and instant payments to this industry that’s been around for aeons.

This is not a hyperbole. The origin of the beauty industry could be traced back to 6,000 years ago. According to the British Science Museum, people in ancient Egypt used a type of eyeliner called kohl to enhance their eyes. Archaeologists have discovered wooden kohl sticks, some of which are thought to date back to 4,000 BC.

Today, it’s become a $433 billion industry, growing at more than 7% per year, based on estimates of Inkwood Research.

Huge opportunity

As far as technological innovations are concerned however, the industry hasn’t changed a lot. And JOLYY believes this presents a huge opportunity. Currently, the market is crippled by high commissions, slow payments, lack of transparency and other inefficiencies. The Blockchain has the capacity to address most of those issues.

The company, founded in 2016, is already operating a beauty and hair bookings system, which it now plans to upgrade with the Blockchain.

The new platform is meant to serve clients, salons and vendors alike.

Salon managers will be able to take appointments and receive instant online payments. They can interact with vendors and order beauty products, making payments through the system.

The company plans to release its own token, called JOY, based on the Ethereum protocol. It will act as the main payment method on the platform and allow for easy, fast and cost-effective transactions. For comparison, payments on other platforms may take from two weeks up to a month, JOLYY reports.

The system will help clients browse through a variety of salons and providers, and pick those who best suit their needs. They will make appointments with ease and pay via tokens or fiat money. In addition, customers can refer friends, recommend and comment on salons, professionals and products, add new salons, etc. Such activities will bring them rewards in the form of JOY tokens, which they can trade or use to pay for services on the platform.

Direct marketing channel

Another element of the network is the so called JOLYY Store. It will provide cosmetic products manufacturers with “a direct marketing channel to reach thousands of salons”, the company COO Ognian Genev says.

They will be able to filter salons based on different criteria, e.g. geography, size, type, etc. In addition, vendors will be able to place highly targeted ads to promote their products directly to beauty experts. They will then arrange product deliveries through automated, cashless transactions via smart contracts. On top, they will have access to detailed analytics on searches, keywords and other data, which will help them improve their offering.

The platform will integrate a social network, called JOLYY Live. It will allow salons, clients and vendors to interact, publish content, advertise their products, follow and like each other. The company hopes to turn the social network into the go-to place for the beauty industry with users uploading and sharing content, following experts, finding deals, etc. Salons and vendors will be able to advertise their products.

Salon managers and vendors will also be able to advertise their products and services on the platform through tokens. Ad space will also be available for sale for tokens. By attributing an advertising value to tokens, the company hopes to increase the value proposition for its holders. Tokens used for buying ad space will get burned, reducing the total supply.

The service will launch with a 0% commission for bookings, whereas some platforms charge up to 20%, the company says. At a later stage, it plans to introduce a 1% commission.

The network will be built on the Origin Protocol, which uses the Ethereum blockchain to help buyers and sellers transact in a decentralized environment without traditional intermediaries.

The JOY token issue is scheduled for the first quarter of 2018.

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