We’ve all heard of blockchain technology — it’s used as a form of decentralised record keeping when it comes to cryptocurrencies, and has become a buzzword associated with DeFi and new technology. However, blockchain technology has more to offer than just cryptocurrencies and DeFi.
For Singapore-based digital assets exchange Zipmex, the next step that blockchain technology had to take was to integrate the digital and physical world.
As such, its co-founder and CEO Marcus Lim came up with an idea that would do just that. In particularly, he toyed with the concept of a blockchain-powered supermarket, which was eventually launched late last month.
“Our vision has always been bridging crypto and the physical world through blockchain technology. Inspired by the metaverse, the idea of a blockchain supermarket came to life,” says Marcus.
Revolutionising the shopping experience
The idea of a blockchain supermarket certainly sounds interesting. After all, the concepts of blockchain technology and shopping seem to have little in common.
The integration of blockchain technology and shopping will mean that retailers are able to provide real-time updates and increase operational efficiency, while ensuring greater security for shoppers and retailers alike.
With a blockchain supermarket, retailers and consumers have greater options when shopping. For customers, the range of products can be radically increased, with exclusive and limited edition products — think NFTs and other digital collectibles, on top of regular products.
Sellers can also offer much more for their customers. Marcus suggests that the blending of the physical and digital worlds will allow for the supermarket to run interactive campaigns to boost sales.
These changes would gamify the shopping experience for customers, and offer security and transparency for both merchants and customers.
Exclusive and limited edition products will be available for customers to interact with and collect as an NFT. These NFT collectibles can then unlock new products and exclusive experiences at physical stores.
… These interactive experiences reflect our goal to engage customers via multi-touch points and empower them to step foot into the world of digital assets, marking an important step in elevating our omnichannel experience through the integration of activations on the metaverse.
– Marcus Lim, co-founder and CEO of Zipmex
Helping the crypto and blockchain community
However, the journey to build a blockchain supermarket hasn’t exactly been smooth-sailing.
Blockchain technology has its fair share of detractors, and Marcus notes that there is a significant knowledge gap that creates a barrier to the growing acceptance of blockchain technology in the general public and business sectors.
Therefore, Marcus is extremely thankful for the support he has received from his partners at Central Retail, who helped him launch the project.
Central Retail — the parent company of Central Food Retail — is a retailing platform based in Thailand. With Zipmex providing the technology and Central Retail providing products and customers, the partnership serves as a unique opportunity for both companies.
At the same time, Marcus hopes that this blending of concepts will expose regular consumers to blockchain technology and by extension, cryptocurrencies.
“We also believe the potential of blockchain technology goes beyond financial services, hence we are taking the first step through this retail partnership to bring us closer to general audiences in Southeast Asia,” adds Marcus.
That said, Zipmex is looking to collaborate with different industries, in an effort to expand their presence in the metaverse, as well as to help the crypto and blockchain community elevate their standing.
Blockchain supermarket is just the beginning
According to Marcus, the blockchain supermarket is only one of the many ongoing initiatives for Zipmex. More is definitely on the way.
For one, Zipmex is already planning for more user engagement-driven activations this year — involving NFTs and metaverse — in order to bring digital assets closer to audiences in the Asia Pacific region.
At the end of the day, Zipmex hopes to invite the general public to join the crypto world through various interactive experiences, promoting a lifestyle that runs parallel to both the online and offline world.
“As an industry leader in Southeast Asia, we see it as our responsibility as well to educate people about crypto and combat the stigma they have for our industry. Alongside other initiatives, this blockchain supermarket is one of the many steps to help encourage and accelerate mass crypto adoption in the region.”
Featured Image Credit: Zipmex