SOMA Token Sale: A decentralized social marketplace

Project Description

SOMA (short for “Social Market”) will be a decentralized community on Ethereum for the peer to peer exchange of physical goods, similar to eBay. The Social Community Token (SCT) is used as a payment channel to incentivize users to contribute to the network by serving as an escrow agent, arbitrate disputes and interact with network content.

Users can participate in the network in four non-exclusive roles:

  • Merchant: operate storefronts on the network selling goods.
  • Buyer: Purchases goods as a consumer.
  • Reseller: Cooperates with merchants to earn a commission on sales.
  • Arbiter: Provides escrow services and helps resolve disputes.

All sales made on the SOMA network must go through an escrow process moderated by an arbiter. Buyers and sellers on the network agree on an arbitration provider before they initiate an exchange. In turn, the arbiter earns a dynamic fee (agreed by all parties beforehand) for their services. Arbiters are responsible to verify that obligations required by the sales contract are met by the buyer and seller before releasing funds. In the event of a dispute, the arbiter initiates a resolution process that is outlined in more detail in the SOMA whitepaper.

Users on the network earn reputation scores for their performance in each role on the network. The project leaders hope that this will incentivize good behavior among users as negative reputation scores will hinder their ability to do business on the network.

Tokenized ownership of goods

SOMA proposes tying physical goods sold over the network to a tokenized asset they call an Interactive Item Card (ITC). Every good posted to the network generates a unique ITC which includes photos, an item description, and other data such as the ITC’s current and past owners. Users can interact with ITCs on the app by leaving comments, reviews, voting on quality, recommending ITCs to other users, or sharing ITCs on other social media platforms.

When a user buys a good on SOMA, ownership of the ITC, which is backed by a cryptographic ERC20 token, is transferred to them. If the new owner of the ITC wants to resell the item, they must first upload new photos of the item. The SOMA team proposes using computer vision technology to compare new item photos with older photos to confirm that the item is the same and that it hasn’t been damaged. Any changes in the item’s appearance or quality is recorded on the ITC.

ITCs could also be used by merchants to arrange commission contracts with resellers. Smart contracts could be developed that would transfer ITC ownership to resellers allowing them to earn a commission on sales they make. These relationships between resellers and merchants would be trustless insofar as smart contracts would divide proceeds from sales between parties at a pre-agreed ratio.

ITCs could also serve as a certificate of authenticity of creative works such as visual art and other handmade goods. The ITCs ownership history could be tracked back to the original creator.

What is the token being sold?

The SOMA Community Token (SCT) is used as a reward token and a privileged means of payment for goods in the marketplace. The SOMA marketplace will accept payment in a variety of major cryptocurrencies as well as fiat. Merchants that accept payment in the form of SCT tokens will enjoy zero fee transactions.

The project team wants to allow users to load their buyer accounts using standard means (debit/credit card, bank account, paypal etc.) which would be converted into the cryptocurrency of their choice (free of charge) when they are ready to make a purchase. Making fiat withdrawals would be subject to an exchange fee.

The SCT token is also used to reward users for interacting with the social layer of the platform, such as liking, sharing, and commenting.  However, the token is not required to interact with the platform or post items for sale. The SOMA whitepaper does not mention how they will prevent sybil attacks beyond the implementation of a user generated reputation system. User rewards will initially be funded through a 6 million token allocation set aside at genesis.

What is the project status?

The whitepaper contains detailed wireframes of the SOMA app and mockups of what the user interface will look like. It also contains detailed diagrams of the dispute resolution process and the lifecycle of an Interactive Item Card.

The SOMA github account contains snapshot code of a few basic features of the application, including a simple search function and the application’s backend.

The project team anticipates releasing an MVP in Q2 2018.

Who is the team behind the project?

SOMA is lead by Jukka Hilmola and Joseph Al Sharif. Jukka holds a Masters of Law degree from the Queen Mary University of London with a specialization in commercial and corporate law. In 2013 he started Suomen Pikipojat Oy, asphalt contracting firm located in Finland. According to his LinkedIn profile, Jukka left Suomen in 2016 to work full time on the SOMA project but retains a seat on the board of directors.

Joseph serves as SOMA’s head of sales. He has roughly five years of sales experience with TeliaSonera, a large telecom company headquartered in Stockholm.

Blockchain development expertise appears to come from Marcin Zduniak, who describes himself as a blockchain software architect. According to his LinkedIn, Marcin is currently working at Colubris.PRO, a Gibraltar based Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Consulting firm.

Arto Joensuu is listed as a member of the SOMA team. His role is not specified on either LinkedIn or the SOMA website, but Jukka disclosed in an email to the Smith + Crown research team that Arto, COO of Golf GameBook and a venture capitalist, is serving as an advisor.

There are eight other people listed as members of the team, but only their first names were given. The Smith + Crown team was unable to find additional information about them.

Project Details

Incorporation status Silicon Ventures Oy, Finland, 2016
Team openness No links to external profiles
Blockchain Developer Marcin Zduniak
Technical White Paper Whitepaper has wireframes, but some technical details undefined
Available Project Code Yes
Prototype Private alpha

Token Details

Role of token Privledged payment method
Token supply 60 million
Distributed in ICO 54 million
Emission rate No new coins created
Blockchain Ethereum
Consensus method Proof of Work

ICO Details

Sale period August 14th, 2017 to November 14th, 2017
First price proportional to participation
Accepted currencies ETH and BTC
Investment Round First public offering
Token distribution date November 14th, 2017
Min investment goal 8,000 ETH
Max investment cap 120,000 ETH
How are funds held Unclear
Minimal Viable Product Q2 2018
Bonus schedule No Bonus

Official Resources