BLEEXY: The origins and the growth of the idea
Since 2002, our founder, Argentina Moise, a software developer turned e-commerce expert and entrepreneur, has run a successful multimillion family e-business operating through sales on virtual marketplaces, especially Amazon. As most business in this domain, it became very fast dependent on Amazon. But since there was no alternative, she chose in good faith to anchor and grow her business there.
Argentina found out rather soon that the way Amazon was handling its compliance rules was the most stressful and challenging aspect of running her business. Despite her good faith effort, she still received policy warnings. For instance, she constantly received copyright and IP infringements for content her business never uploaded on Amazon and she was constantly penalized for it. She had no way to prevent that or to prove she did not upload this content. And -to her dismay- Amazon was not interested in finding a solution. Instead of disciplining just the merchants who violated the policies, Amazon put an indiscriminate, unreasonable and arbitrary pressure on businesses like the one run by Argentina.
By July 2017, because of these unfounded claims, her account was closed. The entire business was incapacitated overnight. Building a business on top of a monocentric, non-transparent platform and trusting that platform was a mistake.
Argentina and her business were not alone in this predicament. Tens of thousands of businesses use Amazon Marketplace as a cornerstone of their operations. Amazon's monopoly of online retail gives them little choice. From books to baked beans, if you have a product to sell online, you will almost certainly make most of your sales via the Amazon Marketplace. And more and more businesses have learned how vulnerable this makes them to the policies and the power of Amazon.
Argentina ended up by settling her case, after a prolonged legal battle. Amazon was forced to retract and reinstate her account. However, the anguish and hardship she went through, taught her a lesson that she will never forget and will motivate her next steps.
In the light of her experience, Argentina decided to start building an alternative: A type of platform which will limit such vulnerabilities and will curb the governance abuses. Her expertise at the interface of e-commerce, science and technology allowed her to see that alternatives to Amazon-type platforms were in fact increasingly possible and feasible. The blockchain technology revolution in the making was laying the ground for a new generation of such social-technological ecosystems to emerge.
Once the basic concept and its visibility become clear to her, the next task was to bring together the right team to materialize the vision. Marius lonescu, a university professor of mathematics with a background including Cornel University and Dartmouth College and who is specialized in armonic and functional analysis and more specifically, the interaction between operator algebras and irreversible dynamical systems - joined as a co-founder and Chief Scientist. About the same time, Catalin Stefanescu -who teaches at the Kogod School of Business of the American University in DC and is specialized in business economics, finance and the economics of blockchain and digital tokens while having a substantial practical and consulting experience, being, among others, an advisor to the American Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Association - joined as a co-founder and CFO.
An important threshold was reached in 2020 when the team received a SBIR Phase | grant from National Science Foundation (NSF) to build the Proof-of-Concept for the Proof-of-Quality consensus algorithm to curate product data.
This effort was paralleled by an in depth field research based on structured interviews with more than 135 potential customers, in order to evaluate and pre-test the viability of the platform concept.
Blockchain technology was a crucial element in the emerging architecture. To that effect, when Argentina had met Ciprian Pungila, Bleexy 2.0 was born as the result of the synergy of ideas. Ciprian Pungila is a professor of Computer Science, with background in Mathematics and Informatics, as well as Computer Engineering, with a vast teaching and research international portfolio. He is a top international expert in Heterogeneous Computing, Blockchain Technology, Distributed Computing and Information Systems, with massive practical experience in the area of Cyber-Security and Digital Forensics. Dr. Pungila brought in the vast amount of knowledge and expertise required to design, architect and ultimately build was was to become the blockchain-driven barebone infrastructure of Bleexy 2.0 for Web3. He is also a strong advocate of sustainable blockchain technology for the future. Based on the research and work already done by Dr. Pungila in the field in the past years, Bleexy 2.0 delivers a top-tier infrastructure, with immense technological innovations and breakthroughs, that no other blockchain technology offers today. Dr. Pungila and his technical team continue to achieve ground-breaking performance, all of which is proudly displayed in the Research area of the site.
Last but not least, as the concept was starting to gain structure and consistency, it became clear that ultimately the viability of such complex multilayered social technological ecosystems was hinging on the ways the problems raised by the multiple levels of governance intrinsic to it are identified, anticipated and dealt with. Paul Dragos Aligica - a professor of Administrative Sciences and a researcher of Governance Systems at George Mason University, whose profile includes studies and work on Polycentric Governance and Institutional Analysis and Development with Elinor Ostrom and her team at Indiana University Bloomington- was invited to join as a co-founder and Chief Governance Officer.
The Bleexy vision
The Bleexy vision is to create a social-technological ecosystem that produces real value by fulfilling transaction costs reducing efficiency functions in the virtual economy, while resiliently anchored in the real economy. The concept has evolved overtime, as it grew and became more articulated, step by step, as the problems of design and operationalization emerging at each juncture required new solutions and new talent and capabilities to be brought to the table.
This open and flexible -problem solving and function design-oriented approach - attitude has been the defining feature of Bleexy's vision and strategy. That feature will continue to guide Bleexy in the future. The Bleexy's quest to build up a prototype and a pathbreaker for the new generation of social-technological e-commerce ecosystems continues...