Grand Bazaar - A Platform for International Trade, Shipping, and Settlement

Funding Tier:
Tier 1 ($15,000)

Project Overview:

Title and description of the project

Grand Bazaar is a blockchain-based data exchange & settlement platform for facilitation of cross-border trade of goods.

Since the 1400s, the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul was the ultimate destination of goods transported along the Silk Road from China in the East before moving onward to the Western world.

Serving as a 21st Century bridge between East & West, the Grand Bazaar platform will consist of a front-end application that bridges trade/goods data across multiple back-end applications, blockchain networks and storage/databases.

Grand Bazaar platform/ecosystem will use blockchain & smart contracts for automation of trade initiation, customs procedures, document generation/signature, tax and compliance management, goods tracking and authentication via methods such as IoT & NFC technology, and smart-contract payment & settlement of balances via stablecoins and the required customer KYC to stay compliant with the requirements of cross-border settlements.

How will this project be integrated into Conflux?

Grand Bazaar will initially test an exchange scenario of a valuable trade document by implementing and deploying smart contracts on Conflux network. After achieving this objective, communication and data exchange between Conflux and Hyperledger Fabric (and/or via an EVM-compatible Layer 1 network yet to be selected) will be tested.

Why is your team interested in creating this project?

The core motivation of the team is to create a safe and secure digital platform for those who involved in international trade. Providing paperless trade via blockchain technology will create great value for all stakeholders in terms of cost reduction, sharing documents and data almost real-time, prevention of fraud by guaranteeing authenticity of documents etc. Grand Bazaar aims to create the infrastructure to establish cross-chain operability with Conflux and create a test environment in partnership with Free Trade Zones and CBDCs across the world.

Settlement has been a major barrier to international trade, and we would like to develop a platform integrating tools, data, and technologies to better connect and facilitate trade of tomorrow.

Project Details:

High-level technical approach, product flow & architecture
In general terms, we propose an architecture that includes smart contracts + API layer that will enable the third-party application integration to the blockchain network and make on-boarding process much easier.

As we mentioned before, our goal is to create a platform that will enable sharing trade document or data via blockchain technology. For Tier 1, we will design and create a web application that will enable user to upload a valuable trade document – Certificate of Origin, and some basic data related with that document. We will use mock API to simulate back-end application and database connection, Development of back-end applications, implementation and deployment of smart contracts to Conflux network will be proposed for Tier 2 and Tier 3.

All relevant stakeholders will be decided upon after the selection of the product to be exported. It is planned to propose a basic industrial product or consumer goods in order not to further complicate and expand the stakeholder map to other ministries (like in the case of agricultural or healthcare products).

With the completion of these steps, identity and number of nodes that optimize the network governance structure will be defined.

In order to meet data privacy requirements of regulations, private access through staking CFX is considered along with an ID layer solution for enterprise-level KYC requirements.

Grand Bazaar Ecosystem

Application layer: The application layer is planned for development throughout the process of Tier 2 and Tier 3. An identity layer API will be built to provide data access to third parties about the goods processed via the Grand Bazaar.

Token layer: A token layer is considered to provide access to the open-source layer services through staking. The staking may be done via platform tokens such as CFX, or a native token might be issued with in-built incentive mechanisms to provide extra benefits to the parties who want to gain access to the Grand Bazaar services.

Overview of the technology stack being used, including API specifications, and documentation of core components

A blend of Waterfall, Scrum, DevOps, and Cloud-native architecture practices is adopted to complete this project. Development tools include Solidity, Conflux JS SDKs, Conflux Portal, React, NodeJS, NextJS, ShuttleFlow, MsSQL, etc.

Ecosystem fit: How can the project benefit Conflux Network’s ecosystem?

Grand Bazaar will support the Conflux Network’s effort for developing a new data standard, platform, and network for digitization of trade via blockchain.

In order to better analyze the potential and customers of the Grand Bazaar project, the value of foreign trade between Turkey and China according to 2019 and 2020 data is shown below. In addition, the People’s Republic of China is the largest trading partner of the Republic of Turkey in East Asia.

Although the Grand Bazaar project does not have a sectoral restriction, the product groups with the highest import and export potential between Turkey and China are listed below:

ATEZ Yazılım Teknolojileri A.Ş. is the technological service provider and group company of DCS Digital Customs Services Inc. which is among the top 3 customs consultancy firms in Turkey in terms of the number of declarations. DCS has more than 400 exporters and importers in its customer portfolio, which includes many international companies. These customers are potential targets of the Grand Bazaar project at the first stage, and ATEZ considers all importers and exporters trading between Turkey and China as potential customers. In addition, logistics service manufacturers and customs consultants, who are among the most important stakeholders of the foreign trade chain, are also seen as target customers as they are at the center of the process within the scope of the project being developed.

In recent years, the Republic of Turkey’s statements and studies supporting the use of countries’ own currencies instead of dollars in foreign trade, make a trade with offshore RMB-TRY parity attractive.

ATEZ Yazılım Teknolojileri A.Ş. is the consultancy company of the Ministry of Trade of the Republic of Turkey in Blockchain technology and cooperates with 5 Customs consultancy associations in bringing new technologies to the sector will be effective in delivering the project to all importers and exporters with the help of these connections. The project will be made available to potential customers with the webinar and social media activities to be held after the presentation of the project.

Team:

Oğuz Genç - Founder & CEO

Kenan Güler - Co-Founder

Christopher Jackson - Co-Founder

Tayfun Zaman - Co-Founder & Compliance

Şükrü Çakmak - CTO/Architect

The name and registered address of the legal entity that will be delivering the project:

Name: ATEZ Software Technologies Limited

Address: Skyland Istanbul Huzur Mah. Azerbaycan Cad. B Blok No: 4B/ İç Kapı No: 2934485 Sarıyer / İstanbul Turkey

Team’s relevant experience:

Founded in 2017, ATEZ Software Technologies Limited (ATEZ) specializes in designing & implementing smart international trade and supply-chain management software and blockchain technologies.

With 50+ engineers and developers, all experienced in international trade and customs operations, ATEZ has developed products including: Blockchain Trade Platform, Automated Customs Procedures Software, Foreign Trade Compliance Software & Online Track & Report Software.

ATEZ was accredited in 2019 as the first R&D center for development of blockchain technologies by the Turkey Ministry of Industry and Technology.

Team’s Github code repositories:

We do not publish a public Github at this time as we will keep them proprietary. As Grand Bazaar develops, it will transition to open-sourcing data standards & code.

Grant Milestones:

Tier 1 Deliverables

  • UI/UX design for user experience.

  • Workflow experience with mock up.

  • Visualization of data that will be stored on blockchain.

Web-App

  • React will be used in order to build a user interface – a fast, scalable JavaScript library.

  • Sample JSON data will be produced to represent real-world documents and future blockchain data.

  • A mock library will be used to represent a REST API server without implementing it.

Long Term Vision:

Our vision is to have all ecosystem players involved in global supply chain, international trade and movement of goods conducting and settling trades facilitated via the Grand Bazaar platform.

This project also aims to develop a cross-chain data standard between Conflux and other networks of the Grand Bazaar as a global cloud-based, multi-chain platform for processing goods and payment for trade.

Community Engagement:

Local trade organizations will be promoted to use the product with a subscription model in the beginning. The access to Grand Bazaar services can be switched to a token staking model at a future date. The initial stage of negotiations is already under way with the respective organizations and the Turkey Ministry of Trade. The same approach will be used for other locations where Atez is operating, including London and Munich.

Other:

ATEZ Software Technologies Inc., a digital transformation & software development technology company based in Istanbul, Turkey, focuses on designing & implementing international trade and supply chain management software & blockchain technologies, developing various SaaS, web-based, and blockchain products. With a 50+ team of engineers and experts, Atez is leading Turkey’s blockchain development in the global trade sector.

In 2019, Atez was accredited by Turkey’s Ministry of Industry & Technology as the 1st certified R&D center for the development of blockchain technologies. 4 projects have been launched to-date in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry & Technology, namely:

  1. Automated Customs Procedures: Automated Customs Procedures (ACP) project sets out the digitization standards for datasets to manage data required for cross-border movement of goods, exchanges data with corporations and institutions through specifically designed API’s, prepares and exchanges document-based datasets after processing received data to enable end-to-end data communication and process automation.

  2. Foreign Trade Compliance: Foreign Trade Compliance (FTC) project aims to gather & effectively relay information related to customs and trade policy measures/legislation for cross-border movement of goods. The project covers duty and tax types, rates, trade policy measure types and documents required to comply with customs legislation and trade policies.

  3. Online Track & Report: Online Track & Report (OTR) is a project that integrates seamlessly with major customs brokerage/logistics software to track and trace events of cross-border movement of goods, manages Inward Processing Regime, Free Zone, Investment Incentive Certificates and Bonded Warehouse operations, provides feedback of latest status of shipments, measures service performances, provides accounting integration and reporting tools.

  4. Blockchain Trade Platform: Blockchain Trade Platform (BTP) is a project with the goal to enable all parties who have a role in cross-border movement of goods to reach data with a “single point of truth” approach using Distributed Ledger Technology. The project aims to provide a blockchain environment for all parties to exchange data, create trust and transparency within its governance model. Participation does not require additional software development for participants and the platform manages the transactions through mutually-agreed smart contracts to enforce business rules, roles and responsibilities.

Since Oct. 2020, Atez has also provided support services to Turkey’s Ministry of Trade for blockchain best practices, collaborations, and experiences in regard to the Ministry’s ongoing blockchain infrastructure setup. Atez’s sister company, DCS Customs Services, is also the largest Customs brokerage firm in Turkey.

4 Likes

This is awesome thank you. Real world utility! Will get back to you soon with feedback.

2 Likes

I recommend the developer and your teammate express the operational promotion capabilities of your team. Also, do you have a cooperation list containing your cooperation friends who are the potential users of your platform?

I can help answer a bit of the 2nd question here: this is an infrastructure project that CNHC can/will use. You can’t do international trade with a stablecoin only, and Bazaar is that infra. So CNHC is the first user.

1 Like

Thank you Chris:+1:

Hey Grand Bazaar team, welcome and thank you for applying for a Conflux Network grant!

Your system seems interesting and it would be exciting to see public blockchains used more in this space. That said, your description is a bit too high-level. Could you provide a specific end-to-end example or user story in a few sentences?

The scope of your grant is unclear to me. Are you going to implement your services (trade initiation, customs, identity, tax & compliance, etc.) as smart contracts on Conflux? Or do these services happen on a Hyperledger private/consortium network and they can be triggered from Conflux through this bridge? Could you explain a bit more about how this bridge works? What role does Conflux play in the overall system?

Could you please explain what these two mean specifically?

If you target traditional corporations, do you expect them to do settlements in crypto, e.g. stablecoins? Or are you planning to offer automatic fiat-onramp through this API layer? If yes, will you rely on a 3rd-party service for this?

I see Conflux is just a component of a multi-chain vision that you’re working on. What is the current status of your system?

What is your go-to-market strategy and timeline? I believe the only comment you make about this in your application is that the first product will not be agricultural or healthcare.

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Thanks for submitting your grant application @atez! Enterprise level developer tooling for international supply chain use cases is very interesting :slight_smile:

+1 to @thegaram’s questions. To build on Peter’s excellent questions, can you provide details on your current client based and an estimate on how much business you intend to funnel to Grand Bazaar?

Thanks!

Hi this project is a great try to utility blockchain in real world.
Can you provide a detail and specific usage scene for your platform? How are you gonna make your platform attract user ?

Dear Team,

Thank you for your valuable comments and patience. I am providing our answers below.

Grand Bazaar will initially test a multi-chain bridge to connect and exchange data between Conflux and Hyperledger Fabric (and/or via an EVM-compatible Layer 1 network yet to be selected).

Existing services and projects have been conducted on Hyperledger. The Grand Bazaar, as a public blockchain-backed platform, will initially deploy the modules developed to-date on hyperledger onto a new public network, which would then link with Conflux as a part of our POC.

open-sourced data structure protocol […] private access through staking CFX

The first part implies an the opensource database to keep sensitive data that cannot be stored on blockchain. Based on what data can be made opensource, Bazaar is aiming to bring transparency to the supply chain. Across chains and platforms, we need this data to be consistent for it to be exchanged, and so we plan to open-source the structures for the data kept in the Grand Bazaar so all parties can adopt the format which we use and exchange it.

The latter part targets a pseudo permissioned access solution for using Bazaar services. As Bazaar founders, we do not have urgency to issue a platform token, however we have a tentative plan. However, for early stage users, we consider enabling a staking based access to the services. The staking asset can vary, and CFX token (and or CFX wrapped tokens) is a natural candidate for being one of those assets.

API layer that will enable the third-party application integration to the blockchain network

As Bazaar, we plan on working on the development of a settlement service for our Tier 3 application. All services including settlement will be API based and we will let other service providers run front ends, which will probably be another venue of token utilization. We plan to integrate with local banks to provide a direct fiat-onramp for stablecoin based settlements.

I see Conflux is just a component of a multi-chain vision that you’re working on. What is the current status of your system?

Currently we are focused on defining the technical architecture regarding how a cross-chain world may be feasible with Conflux as a part of the layer 1 ecosystems we will be working on.

What is your go-to-market strategy and timeline? I believe the only comment you make about this in your application is that the first product will not be agricultural or healthcare.

We expect to start working on a POC by Q1 2022 and apply way Tier 2 grant. The parent company of Atez, DCS Customs, is the largest customs brokerage company in Turkey that works with the top logistics brands in the world. Atez would initially offer Bazaar to its existing clientele of 400+ companies. Also reach out to local trade authorities and

2 Likes

The attempt to combine the blockchain with the real world deserves to be encouraged. Especially the international trade field has the characteristics of long cycle, multiple processes, relying on manual features, etc., and it is very in need of technical empowerment support such as blockchain.

As for trade settlement, CNHC has been truly applied in the field of trade settlement for a long time and our monthly settlement volume has exceeded 100 million CNH. The amount of CNHC issued on Conflux Network has now exceeded 5 Million CNH. CNHC can be applied as a settlement layer to specific infrastructure innovations. We look forward to the good development of this project and even further communication and cooperation in the future.

6 Likes

Thank you very much for your interest and kind comments.

The Grand Bazaar, an ATEZ project, is looking to successfully implement and execute a blockchain based settlement layer for international trade within 2022. We hope to build a product that is easily accessible to user and developer communities all across the world.

Looking forward to cooperating with you.

Dear Conflux Community,

Thank you for your sincere interest. To say it once more, we are very excited for this cooperation and looking forward to working with you.

After the original feedback we received, we have made some updates on the original post. The topics for the update cover the following.

  1. What is being developed and/or deployed on Conflux?

  2. What is the problem the Grand Bazaar is trying to solve for international trade?

  3. What is the obtainable market from Atez’s existing clientele and network regarding the usage of the set of products that will be developed including the offshore CBDC settlements?

  4. Emphasis on the KYC process.

We are keenly awaiting your comments.

Sincere regards.
The Grand Bazaar Team

2 Likes

Thank you for updating your grant proposal.

Considering the specific use case here (“sharing a valuable trade document”), what is the advantage of your proposed blockchain-based solution, as opposed to the way companies do this today?

It seems that your tier-1 deliverable is just a PoC. That is fine, but I think the blockchain components should be included here. I suppose your approach would be to store a document hash on-chain and distribute + verify the document off-chain, this should be fairly easy to implement.

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真能吹

Thank you for the questions. We are posting the answers here:

Considering the specific use case here (“sharing a valuable trade document”), what is the advantage of your proposed blockchain-based solution, as opposed to the way companies do this today?

  • First, the document in question must be prepared in certain physical formats to ensure authenticity (like the color of the paper). Exporters will be saved from such obligations.

  • The document templates are sold by certain institutions. If the document is lost, exporters must buy another document to fulfill legal obligations. Costs arising from document loss will be eliminated.

  • Documents are usually submitted with the goods, and they may be rejected even with a minor typo. If the document is rejected by import country, the exporter has to bear the cost of returning the goods to the export country. By submitting document via blockchain beforehand, such cost will be eliminated.

  • These documents are also used to determine whether customs tax will be paid, and/or extra import duties apply to the imports. The system can be automatized across different countries/regions.

It seems that your tier-1 deliverable is just a PoC. That is fine, but I think the blockchain components should be included here. I suppose your approach would be to store a document hash on-chain and distribute + verify the document off-chain, this should be fairly easy to implement.

Yes, agreed.