Boson Protocol is a decentralized commerce protocol that aims to enable the sale of physical goods, services, and experiences as nonfungible tokens (NFTs) in the Metaverse, as well as to provide an infrastructure layer for exchanging non-monetary assets. For example, an NFT of a pair of sneakers purchased in the Metaverse using the Boson Protocol would be redeemable for that physical pair of sneakers in the real world, and vice versa.
Justin Banon, co-founder of Boson Protocol, ahead of the launch of its first Metaverse commerce experience in Decentraland, called Boson Portal, to learn more about the company’s long-term vision and commerce model:
“It is now considered normal for humans to have a digital shadow, such as a Linkedin or Twitter profile.” And, in the coming years, it will be common for physical and fashion items to have a digital twin.”
According to Banon, the concept of “twinning,” or the fact that every physical object or service has a digital NFT representation, is central to the Boson Protocol’s goal of being “a ubiquitous bridge between the physical and the digital.”
That is why Boson Protocol created Boson Portal, a virtual mall-like space for Decentraland users to browse virtual items in the Metaverse and potentially receive the physical item on their doorstep.
The Portal is also a gamified environment. It was described as a “experiential wonderland with quests” by Banon. Users can visit a brand’s boutique and participate in a quest or a game. The prizes are NFTs that are classified as hero items. Customers can either pay full price for these hero items or complete the suggested quest to get the NFT for a lower price.
The protocol’s proposed utility token is the BOSON token. The network also established the dCommerce DAO, which intends to be a self-sustaining, community-governed decentralized autonomous organization that reinvests its revenue in the ecosystem’s growth or uses it to buy back or burn BOSON tokens. A 1%–2% fee will be applied per transaction in the Boson Portal. These fees would then be recycled into the protocol and distributed to token holders.
“The key point is that there is no middleman, no Amazon or eBay.” It’s all smart contracts that have been encoded with game theory. That means no one is cutting a slice out of the middle.”
Banon added that by partnering with trusted brands, users can conduct Metaverse commerce without fear of losing their funds. Boson Protocol purchased “The Glass Suit,” a $1 million Dolce & Gabbana suit that is also an on-chain NFT, in September. The suit’s digital version will be housed on the Boson Portal, while the physical item will be displayed in a museum. NFTs are being used by an increasing number of major global brands to integrate fashion and the Metaverse.
When asked about the value of conducting business in the Metaverse, Banon said:
“It’s a next-generation interface.” We tend to gravitate toward the most authentic versions rather than the low-fi versions. Why choose a 2D flat screen when you can be immersed in the same room as someone?”
Banon confirmed that an upcoming Boson Protocol 2.0 will allow brands to integrate an e-commerce system such as Shopify and sell directly into the Metaverse. Furthermore, the protocol intends to expand to other virtual worlds as well as traditional video games such as Fortnite.
Beginning with Decentraland, Boson Portal intends to host not only retail spaces for brands, but also an events space for conferences, art installations, and cultural activations. Its first conference, called the Boson Forum, will take place on Thursday, in conjunction with the Portal’s launch, and will feature speakers covering Metaverse commerce-related topics.