How the Beauty Industry is Making the World Beautiful with Blockchain

Jitendra Rathod, newsletter contributing editor, provides insights into how blockchain technology is transforming the beauty industry. 

“Makeup is not a mask that covers up your beauty; it’s a weapon that helps you express who you are from the inside.”
Michelle Phan

From the dawn of time, vanity and its never-ending need have gone hand in hand. From the age of Cleopatra to the Victorian era, beauty secrets have a way of passing down from one generation to the next. Fast forward a few decades, this sprawling industry is now valued at over $532 billion.

The last 10 years witnessed an exponential spurt in the beauty domain. YouTube, with its ever-expanding user-base, has aided tremendously in this rapid spurt. The year 2018 recorded about 169 billion views on beauty related content. “Beauty Gurus” have now become self-made millionaires, thanks to wide consumerism.

Needless to say, modern advancements in technology have dominated and engineered various sectors of our society with the beauty industry proving to be its new playground. 

Innovation and Retail

The beauty scene today has changed dramatically. With the advent of technology, mankind has brought the art of vanity literally to your fingertips. From customized skincare to personalized beauty solutions from the experts, everything is within your reach.

The growth of direct-to-consumer beauty brands that manufacture and send their products directly to buyers and consumers without the hassle of middlemen has revolutionized the market. Direct-to-consumer companies sell their products at relatively lower prices than your traditional brands allowing for greater transparency in marketing, management, and distribution of the products. These brands cater specifically to the needs and want of the customer.

Consumers today don’t have the patience for traditionalistic “one size fits all” requiem. The reality is different now. What works for one will not work for the other. New age beauty brands like Glossier, Milk Makeup, The Ordinary, and Mario Badescu have hit the spot/ nail with their modern marketing approach. For instance, Mario Badescu, in just 6 months, outranked age-old brands like Clean and Clear and Clinique to grab the number 2 spot for teen girls’ favorite skincare brand as reported in Piper Jaffrey’s semiannual “Taking Stock With Teens” survey. 

Glossier, launched by Emily Weiss, has taken a more personalized stance in the market. The brand, through its campaigns, has specifically focused on the au naturel stance, celebrating the customer’s natural beauty. It is all about bringing the best in you forward. Glossier lets your beauty do the talking as it should be. 

How Blockchain is Helping Transform the Beauty Industry 

Blockchain technology has cemented itself in every sector of our growing society. From healthcare, education, finance to even governance, the rise of blockchain doesn’t seem to stop. In the beauty sector, blockchain technology has been incorporated by various beauty brands. Let’s see a couple of industry examples.

Jolyy: Online booking beauty platform, Jolyy came into the market in 2016 with its efficient booking strategies for websites across Europe. The first version of the booking platform was well received by consumers leading the company to now focus on upgrading the platform using blockchain technology.

With the aid of blockchain, Jolyy plans on increasing user efficiency to initiate faster payments and cutting down on commission costs. The upgraded platform would be based on the Origin Protocol, using the Ethereum blockchain network. The decentralized platform would enable users to book various beauty appointments at the click of a button, and finding the lowest prices for beauty treatments, opening days and hours.

Consumers and clients would now be able to interact directly with enterprises and businesses without the inconvenience of a middleman. Jolyy has also come up with the company’s native token, JOY, for its users to process cashless payments and to check-in rewards. 

COSMEE: Cosmee, a blockchain-based beauty platform launched by Cosmochain, provides the perfect amalgamation of modern technology and age-old tried and tested methods. Cosmee believes in rewarding both the user and the companies on its platform.

Members of Cosmee would typically be rewarded for creating beauty content using products of the companies mentioned. Users are rewarded in Cosmo Coin (COSM), the site’s native token, according to the level of their interaction within the community. Users can pitch in their ideas, write blogs, create videos or just “like” and “comment” on various posts.

Cosmee is currently the first company to incorporate a “token reward” system for users and enterprises alike. The more active one is in the Cosmee world, the more reward one gets. The company with this initiative plans to get rid of the “influencer only” ideology adopted by social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram.

The Cosmee team is currently in its initial stages of platform development and is solely focused on preparing a solid user base and maximizing customer satisfaction by providing for transparency between the consumer and the buyer.

Blockchain Proving to be a Hand of Gold for the Beauty Sector?

Digitization has truly transformed the game for enterprises, both large and small. Companies are constantly on the lookout for more efficient techniques to expand their resources and provide the best online user experience. Brands not only make use of websites but have also incorporated various innovatory methods like chatbots and virtual reality sections where the users can get a free trial run while sitting in the comfort of their homes.

The adoption of blockchain technology would enable companies in the future to entertain consumers’ honest reviews regarding various products. Making use of this data, companies would be able to hone their marketing and digitization strategies in a coherent and well-structured way. The focus could then be driven to increase profit and revenue while subsequently decreasing marketing and product development costs. Blockchain technology isn’t limited only to its marketing tactics, the technology provides for increased digital connectivity between users and medical professionals alike.

The beauty industry is estimated to grow up to $750 billion by the year 2024. According to EDITED’s retail data platform, UK’s H&M increased their beauty section by 94.8%. Beauty newsletters and mentions in emails also saw a dramatic rise by about 58% in the US from 2017-18 and up to 24% in the UK. From advancements in skincare to technological influences, blockchain is proving itself to be the gateway of the future.

Developer Update

Our development team, managed by Asim, has been off this past week celebrating Eid al Adha. This is a Muslim holiday celebrated around the world that lasts for several days.  Asim and team will be back hard at work on Monday. Asim purchased this bull for the celebration.

More High-Potential Projects in the Works

There are a number of high-potential projects in the works for Expanseall designed to generate fee income to help keep Expanse afloat and utility for LAB and EXP, with the goal of creating value for token-holders.

  • Private Label Bank Wallet
    A large South American bank is close to signing a deal with Expanse to private label the Luna wallet for its consumer banking customers to use when shopping with the banks’ small business banking segment.
  • Startup Poised to Launch on Expanse Blockchain
    A start-up with very high potential is close to making a decision about launching their project on the Expanse platform. We have been nurturing this opportunity for some time, and are feeling somewhat confident that we will have an announcement for you in the very near future.
  • Crypto Starter Kit
    As yet unnamed, this concept is to bring everyday Joes quickly and smoothly into the world of  Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Just in time for Christmas, this product is intended for mass-marketing to the general population. The concept is not entirely new, but we think we can do it better.
    Purchasers will receive small amounts of EXP and LAB to work with as we walk them through various entry-level processes culminating in minting their own coin on Tokenlab. We plan to license content from and work with the creators of some very well-established training courseware. Although we have a verbal agreement with them, we hope to have the MOU signed next week.  

Expanse Inks Partnership Deal with Elite South American Sports Agency, Sports Agents 502

Signed MOU Outlines Utility for LAB and EXP

Today, Expanse signed a partnership deal with Sports Agents 502, with the intent to migrate certain aspects of their business to the Expanse blockchain. Starting with Guatemala, then expanding to all of South America, the project is called BSports and will eventually be a global initiative.

Headquartered in Guatemala, Sports Agents 502 is an established sports management firm. Its focus is on managing and marketing elite athletes, primarily across South America. Founded in 2016, Sports Agents 502 inspires brands and sports figures to maximize the value associated with elite sports through sponsorships, events and  other activities.

Omar Alvarez, Expanse Creative Director, is working directly with Sports Agents 502 CEO, Luis Arboleda, to define and orchestrate the initiative. 

“We plan to build a Sports Smart City on the Expanse blockchain in three phases,” said Alvarez. “The project scope takes into account Tokenlab functionality already created, including minting tokens and launching smart contracts on Expanse.”

The first phase of the project involves establishing an identity on the blockchain for every athlete in every sports federation. (There are 46 sports federations in Guatemala alone.) Each athlete will have an online profile, approved by their respective federations. The federations will have the ability to record events and results on the athletes’ profile pages. This profile information can be leveraged for  sponsorships or trading. 

The second phase takes the application global, registering teams and allowing them to trade players using tokens. 

Phase three involves working with broadcasting and sponsorship contracts for TV, Radio and Internet. The goal is to bring transparency and trust to the broadcasting and trading process, as well as to facilitate securing sponsorships from local and global brands. 

“This undertaking has been a concept I have wanted to bring to fruition for some time,” said Arboleda. “The blockchain in general is the perfect vehicle and Expanse is proving to be the ideal technology partner to make it all happen.” 

Now that the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is signed by all parties, the planning and development begins. Watch for regular updates in upcoming newsletters. 

Blockchain and IoT—Two Innovations Merging into a Revolution

Jitendra Rathod, newsletter contributing editor, provides insights into the ongoing technological revolution that is underway via the Internet. 

Ever since humans have occupied the earth, centuries have been marked by inventions and innovations which have brought sweeping changes in the way we live and think. Going back to history, the fire was the first tool humankind used to arm, civilize and better its lifestyle. Since then, the wheels of science and technology have never stopped. Electricity was discovered, wireless communication was established, man invented televisions, airplanes, rockets, satellites, and the internet.

The last of these, as we have seen, is a technological revolution of the kind never witnessed before. It has changed the face of the earth and everything on it— it has seeped in our daily lives through and through. Today, we use it not only to the end of staying connected with the rest of the world but also for managing our tasks which previously involved cumbersome methods and processes. Coming to the latest, there are two technological innovations which have dominated our decade— the Blockchain and Internet of Things.

What is the Blockchain?

Simply defined, blockchain is a digital database containing information (such as records of financial transactions) that can be simultaneously used and shared within a large decentralized, publicly accessible network.

It is clear, even from this definition that decentralization is at the heart of this technology. This contains in itself the notion that blockchain is essentially, a peer-to-peer platform. It does not have central control over it and hence it cannot be manipulated. It naturally follows that the possibility of the presence of any third party is eliminated. Since it is a distributed ledger technology and encrypted from end to end, the data it holds cannot be tampered with.

Moreover, data can only be added to the blockchain in a time-sequential order. This attribute seals the fact that any data contained in the blockchain is rendered immutable. All of these characteristics go on to establish how successful an ally blockchain could prove to be to the Internet of Things.

What is the Internet of Things?

By definition, again, IoT is a computing concept that describes the idea of everyday physical objects being connected to the internet and being able to identify themselves to other devices. 

Now, it is to be made note of that traditional IoT systems are based on a centralized architecture. The devices thus connected send the information to the cloud (internet), which in its turn processes the data analytically and then sends it back to the IoT devices. IoT contains in itself the potential to connect billions of devices; which would inevitably come under the umbrella of a centralized system.

It is clear, therefore, that the present-day IoT systems are far from perfect. Devices share a lot of critical and important information to the internet. This makes it very vulnerable to hackers and thus poses significant data privacy and security risks. The most infamous of IoT attacks include Mirai botnet, which, in 2016, infected a huge number of IoT devices, taking down Etsy, GitHub, Netflix, Shopify, SoundCloud, Spotify, Twitter, and a number of other important websites; and the Brickerbot attack which simply killed the devices.

Moreover, based on a centralized network, IoT also runs the risk of single point failures when one nuance can damage the entire existing network.

These are the areas where the IoT is still struggling and this is exactly where blockchain can come to its aid.

Two Innovations Merging into a Revolution

It is commonly said that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This age-old adage cannot be more suitable for anything than the combination of blockchain and the Internet of Things. Indeed, the advantages of such a merger are many:

  • To begin with, blockchain is an encrypted ledger technology, which means that the data which is contained in it could be trusted by all the parties involved. It would be next to impossible to tamper with the information stored on a blockchain.
  • Smart contracts, a feature of some blockchain platforms like Ethereum, allows the creation of agreements which are executed only when certain conditions are met. This would not only make transactions easier and cheaper by the elimination of third parties but would also ensure that no individual can use the data for personal benefits. Cryptographic sharing of information shall cross out the risks of security breaches.
  • Blockchain shall lead to the betterment of the overall IoT security environment. It is to be noted that most of the data IoT deals with is very private and contains details of the lives of ordinary people. This data is made useful by getting shared with other machines and services. However, this also implies that it is prone to hackers which in turn means that individual privacy is put at risk. Blockchain shall provide a robust security system which shall be difficult to penetrate.
  • Lastly, blockchain shall help eliminate single-point failures which IoT runs the risk of. This would ensure that the IoT machinery runs without hindrance, hence making it more efficient.

Existing Blockchain-IoT Platforms

Steps have already been taken in the direction of merging the blockchain technology with IoT. Many platforms have emerged which understand the importance of such a combination:

  • HDAC: The Hyundai Digital Asset Company is making use of blockchain technology to enhance communication and data storage on the IoT devices.
  • Walton Chain: Walton Chain combines RFID and the blockchain for making IoT more efficient.
  • IOTA: IOTA is famously the first-ever platform to integrate blockchain into the Internet of Things.

These are just a few platforms which have adopted the revolutionary idea of combining blockchain and IoT. Other names that surface on this list include VeChain, Ambrosus, Power Ledger and Helium.

Parting Words

The applications of blockchain technology are enormous. The technology is akin to the discovery of electricity that fired up all the innovations that run on it. It is currently beyond our comprehension as to how blockchain technology may fire up other innovations. It is clear how blockchain could transform IoT and the combination can create something more secure, more efficient and more useful than the existing order.

Slips Update

We haven’t featured an update from the Slips team in the last few editions of this newsletter and it seems a lot has changed with the team in the last few months. When we previously spoke to them, they had just finished their tough three month stint participating in a San Francisco based incubator.

Since then, Husain has relocated to Bangkok to continue working on the project meanwhile Kyle as mentioned in the Discord previously has left Slips to continue working on his own projects. This change in structure was a big reason we have not heard from them recently but it looks like there’s a number of new developments.

First of all they have released a polished new deck which explains in further detail their new pivot which will help them launch the product we’ve been eagerly expecting in places where they cannot legally allow users to gamble. You can take a look at the deck which looks extremely polished here:

Secondly, they have a new concept which came about as a result of some of their marketing efforts. The idea which takes some rather early efforts by the likes of, Play2live and other blockchain based projects and adds a completely new dimension is an ambitious effort to launch a blockchain powered esports league. There is a nice pitch deck which gives a brief overview of the concept here: and a longer whitepaper which goes into detail about how the tokenomics of the project will work:

In addition to this, Slips has a new automated marketing system that is up and running and will allow them to increase their reach and attract streamers to the project. The system which was built completely in-house downloads a list of followers from Twitter and then sends canned messages directing people into Slips’ user acquisition funnel. Initial runs have yielded an impressive 30% response rate!

They’ve also managed to put on some exciting tournaments for gaming fans with many challenges being made using Slips. The biggest disappointment is that they weren’t able to offer real betting with Expanse as initially planned but the tournaments were still a resounding success and created some interesting content and clips which you can view here:

We look forward to seeing how these new ideas take shape in the next few months.

Guatemala City to Host Blockchain Week

Guatemala and d/t (Decentralized Technologies) are hosting Blockchain week in early September.  d/t is a Guatemalan open source blockchain movement founded to empower the individual through the use of smart contracts. The belief is that mass adoption of blockchain tech can start through those who need it most: emerging economies like Guatemala.

The week will be filled with tours, educational sessions, and inspirational speakers, ending with a Hackathon. Here’s how Expanse is participating:

  • Omar Alvarez to Headline Guatemala Blockchain Week
  • Expanse to Sponsor Guatemala Blockchain Week Hackathon
    Expanse joins other well-known blockchain companies, such as Binance, to end the week of activities by hosting a hackathon. The hackathon challenge is for entrants to build a dApp that empowers individuals using open source protocols.

Omar, Expanse Creative Director, an active member of the blockchain movement in Guatemala, is contributing to the planning and execution of the event. He is also a featured speaker, helping to raise awareness of Expanse. 

Gander v3 is Live

As we reported in the June 15 newsletter, Expanse Founder and CEO, Christopher Franko, defined the specifications for Gander v3. The specs include a slew of enhancements and new features. So as not to have Gander offline for any length of time, we took the approach of adding enhancements as they were  complete. Read the release notes in the Gander channel on our Discord to learn more about the details.

Here’s a recap of the enhancements that comprise Gander v3, all of which are now live:

  • Users can use our public API to get decoded information of transactions, blocks and uncles.
  • Contract input decoding script is in place and been tested right now, so in future you can view decoded contract input so they can be understandable.
  • All new graphs so anyone can view what’s happening on the network.