Soma – launches ICO to tackle marketplace fraud and disrupt the $1.7 trillion global second-hand goods industry

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Soma, which stands for social market, is a new Blockchain based platform that launched an ICO to address fraudulent sellers on classifieds platforms such as Ebay, Amazon and Alibaba. The rise of sales of counterfeit goods has become a major global problem, estimated to reach $2.3 trillion by 2022, almost a 25% increase from 2015.

“Counterfeits and scams are a major problem across online marketplaces,” stated co-founder Joseph al Sharif, “There is no way to track the history of an item, check its authenticity, or certify where it came from. Soma aims to change all of that.”

Soma’s Interactive Item Card (IIC), will be a digital representation of every physical item listed on their Blockchain platform, within the Soma Community. It will include information about the ownership data, the condition of the physical item, the genuineness of the item and the price history. The IIC will accumulate social value inside the Soma Community through different social interactions from the users, which may be reflected in the value of the physical item.

“Imagine a future when you know the authenticity of brands like Gucci or Chanel, the safety of your food or prescription drugs, or the trust score of a person selling you any item,” says co-founder Jukka. By reinforcing trust and transparency on the Blockchain, the Soma social marketplace aims to revolutionize the way we buy and sell items online.

Soma believe their Interactive Item Card could eventually be used in all transactions as an alternative to tedious receipts and certifications of authenticity.

“The Soma IIC smart contract could become the standard for commerce, going beyond online marketplaces to the point of purchase,” says advisor David Passiak, author of Empower: How to Cocreate the Future. “Never worry about losing a receipt again because it’s all on the Blockchain.”

David Passiak and sharing economy author Chelsea Rustrum will host a webinar on Monday October 23 to discuss Soma and the future of marketplaces. To sign-up for the webinar, sign up here. To participate in the Soma token sale ending October 26, go to

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 2500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme. He has over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology at over 50 events in 30+ citiies. He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe.  In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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