Ink Protocol – Decentralized Reputation and Payments for p2p Marketplaces

Ink​ ​has​ ​the power​ ​to​ ​create,​ ​disrupt,​ ​and​ ​adapt​ ​to​ ​the​ ​world’s​ ​largest​ ​online​ ​marketplaces​ ​by​ ​publicly sharing reputation​ ​information​ ​on​ ​the​ ​Ethereum​ ​blockchain.

Due​ ​to​ ​its​ ​decentralized​ ​nature,​ ​sellers​ ​can​ ​bring​ ​their​ ​reputation​ ​with​ ​them​ ​to​ ​sell​ ​on​ ​multiple marketplaces​ ​at​ ​the​ ​same​ ​time​ ​or​ ​move​ ​from​ ​one​ ​to​ ​another​ ​without​ ​having​ ​to​ ​rebuild​ ​their reputation.

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Buyers​ ​can​ ​also​ ​view​ ​any​ ​seller’s​ ​reputation​ ​and​ ​confidently​ ​pay​ ​using​ ​escrow contracts​ ​with​ ​optional​ ​third​ ​party​ ​mediation.​ ​Payments​ ​can​ ​be​ ​made​ ​directly​ ​using​ ​XNK​ ​or converted​ ​to​ ​and​ ​from​ ​fiat​ ​currencies​ ​like​ ​USD.

It is surprising to see their approach to the reputation system. Ink Protocol introduces proof of payment on the blockchain.

After every completed Ink transaction, the buyer can leave feedback for the seller about the completed transaction. Feedback consists of a rating and a comment about the transaction, which are stored as data on the Ethereum blockchain. The feedback entry references the id of the transaction that the seller was involved in and can be seen by anyone with access to the public Ethereum blockchain and Ink Smart Contract. Any person or marketplace will then be able to look up the feedback history for a specific seller to determine their trustworthiness before choosing to buy from that seller.

Ink Protocol’s Background

The team behind Ink Protocol has been working on the project since June 2017. The idea emerged when they were discussing ways decentralization is impacting p2p marketplaces. The idea of turning Listia, the current company, into developing the Ink Protocol was born.

Listia already has 8 years of experience with p2p marketplaces. The company is well-known because of the Listia marketplace. It is a marketplace for free stuff where you can give away stuff you don’t need anymore and get stuff you want in return for free. They want to extract it into a layer that anyone can use to build on or use within existing peer-to-peer marketplaces, eventually spurring the development of fully decentralized ones.

Token Use

Gee-Hwan Chuang, Co-Founder and CEO of Ink Protocol explained the use of the token to us: “The token is a key component of Ink Protocol, and in addition to distributing it to existing Listia users; we wanted to distribute them widely to the community at large. They will be useful immediately after the sale, unlike most other tokens out there. On day one, you will be able to use them to buy and sell goods in a peer-to-peer way. So anyone that has them can derive real utility from them right away.”

Concluded, XNK token is the underlying currency used in all Ink Protocol transactions. XNK is also staked in the contract during escrow, earned by mediators for the mediation services they provide on transactions in case of a conflict.

Token Sale Terms

  • Ethereum​ ​ERC20​ ​Token​ ​called​ ​XNK
  • 500​ ​Million​ ​Ink​ ​Protocol​ ​Tokens​ ​Issued​ ​(500,000,000​ ​XNK)
    • 6%​ ​reserved​ ​for​ ​existing​ ​Listia​ ​User​ ​Credits
    • 30%​ ​sold​ ​in​ ​presale​ ​and​ ​public​ ​token​ ​sale
    • 32%​ ​retained​ ​by​ ​Listia,​ ​vested​ ​over​ ​3​ ​years
    • 32%​ ​allocated​ ​for​ ​distribution​ ​and​ ​incentivizing​ ​the​ ​network,​ ​released​ ​over​ ​3​ ​years
  • Price​ ​per​ ​Token:​ ​$0.10​ ​USD
  • $15MM​ ​Maximum​ ​Sale​ ​Cap

Major Competitors

Monetha just performed an ICO, raising $37 million dollars. Both, Monetha as Ink Protocol have the same idea: “Build transferable, independent, universal and transparent reputation to boost commerce. No more uncertainty while purchasing”. However, the goals for each project are different, CEO Gee-Hwan explains:

  • XNK is focused on decentralizing peer to peer marketplaces as opposed to e-commerce.
  • XNK has a big focus on escrow, mediation and dispute resolution.
  • Ink Protocol doesn’t charge a network fee and their token is more of a general cryptocurrency than a security that gives holders a payout of the fees.


Gee-Hwan Chuang told us: “The main milestone is the full launch of the Ink Protocol contract and integration into Listia. This will be done at Token launch, right after the sale. At that point, anyone will be able to use Ink Protocol for transactions or build marketplaces and apps on top of it. After that, we will be creating a super easy to use mobile app that people can use on any marketplace, like craigslist etc.”

Team Formation and Culture

The co-founders – Gee-Hwan Chuang and James Fong – met while studying Electrical Engineering at Cornell University, and the rest of the team was hired at Listia over the years.


  • November 2017 – Listia introduces the Ink Protocol project publicly
  • January 2018 – Ink Protocol public launch and token distribution event
  • February 2018 – Ink Protocol network goes live and ready for everyone to use!
  • February 2018 – XNK integration goes live!
  • Q1 2018 – Ink Pay App and Developer Portal launch
  • Q2 2018 – Launch Reputation Aggregators and work on Marketplace Partnerships
  • 2018 – Ink Protocol services, integration into existing marketplaces, developer community

Ink Protocol’s Goal

Gee-Hwan Chuang helped us understand the goal of Listia: “We see Listia becoming a fully decentralized marketplace that runs completely on Ink Protocol. We also see Ink Protocol integrated into dozens of large marketplaces and hundreds of new marketplace startups that can use Ink Protocol to get to market quickly and efficiently. Users will also be using Ink Protocol as the preferred payment and reputation system in all local and ad-hoc transactions… think of craigslist, internet forums, etc.”

Ink Pay

On​ ​top​ ​of​ ​integrating​ ​with​ ​the​ ​Listia marketplace,​ ​Listia​ ​will​ ​also​ ​create​ ​a standalone​ ​payments​ ​app,​ ​called​ ​Ink​ ​Pay, so​ ​users​ ​of​ ​other​ ​marketplaces​ ​such​ ​as Craigslist​ ​can​ ​build​ ​reputation​ ​and​ ​start using​ ​Ink​ ​immediately​ ​without​ ​having​ ​to wait​ ​for​ ​those​ ​marketplaces​ ​to​ ​integrate.


Team: The team has a history of a successful and growing startup (Listia) which is also backed by respected investors like Ycombinator, Andressen Horowitz, Naval Ravikant and more.

Hard Cap: The cap is 15M USD, Monetha is a competitor to look at, it raised 37M USD recently and is now evaluated for around 100M USD @coinmarketcap

Road Map: The protocol is expected to be live by Feb 2018, by the end of the crowdsale


Market penetration: No established partnerships for the Inkprotocol but Listia. Though, Credits from the Listia Network will be changed to XNK, people right now earn Credits for affiliating users or listing products and do not actually buy Credits for money.

In Conclusion

Ink Protocol is a great project tackling a huge problem in the world of decentralized p2p marketplaces. Trust is key. A lot of scams happen on a daily basis because there is no global trust system in place. We like the idea that reputation is based on earlier transactions and feedback. In addition, you can trade fee-free on Listia.

More Info and Technical Details

Gathered $3.5m in private sale

Presale: Starts 22nd of January, 2018 – raise additional $5m
Crowdsale: Starts 1st of February, 2018 – raise additional $6.5m




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