Blockchain Co. Focuses on International Tradebr>
Based in Los Angeles, Export Portal is a blockchain gateway for large scale business-to-business global transactions, unifying legal services, international payments, and shipping under the same umbrella by providing export/import legal documents, laws, and regulations documentation. Information is encrypted and shared in real-time with trading parties, updated at every step.
Business development head John Zahaitis talked with BlockTribune.com about its plans.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: How long has the company been around?
JOHN ZAHAITIS: We have been working on ExportPortal.com site since 2011 after a very bad experience with a very large foreign e-commerce platform that sold a defective product. Our Woman-In-Tech CEO, Ms. Ally Spinu, said “Enough!” and set on a course to change the way people look at international trade. We also have a background in payment processing as well as other web technologies that we will be rolling out over the course of the ensuing months.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What are the pain points for international trade that you’re solving? You mentioned your own unfortunate experience. Is that typical of the pre-blockchain era?
The pain points we are trying to solve is the absolute lackluster interest businesses not only here in the US, but around the globe, have in entering new markets. People don’t want to be taken advantage of and trust is something that does not come easily in this day and age. The Internet has changed how businesses interact, but not in a cohesive manner, and not always for the better. The ExportPortal.com platform intends on changing the notion of trust, communication, speed and party interaction in the business of international trade.
Export Portal’s CEO, Ms. Ally Spinu’s unfortunate transaction cost her:
Time, due to how long it took to deliver the product
Money, due to the fact that the product was faulty and un-returnable
Time, in trying to establish communication with the company again after the sale was complete
Trust, in never wanting to buy anything online from foreign owned e-commerce companies ever again
Time, in pursuing the company looking for a resolution
Patience, in trying to find the company and with lawyers as well
Money, as a replacement device had to now also be bought
Time…in that regardless of everything that has happened more than 7 years ago, this same company continues to try to sell her something through email marketing.
Why on earth would anyone want to ever transact with a foreign company ever again ? If that isn’t the definition of an international internet buying/selling problem, we don’t know what is.
Our proprietary private blockchain backbone will facilitate encrypted communications of all parties in real time. ExportPortal.com adds another layer of protection by confirming the validity of companies around the world. Going forward, we believe that there will be a pre and post-blockchain era, where companies will not only be naturally drawn to quality, but the use of our platform will shave days, if not weeks, off how long and how many people are involved in any transaction. Future functionality will also negate the need for conferences and trade shows
Blockchain adds another level of security, speed, and assurance that businesses can trust. The problem to be solved by ExportPortal.com is more than just the sum of its Blockchain parts. With every blockchain step or transaction, it will add to the future potential of even more trade because that company is now further reinforcing its place on the world stage. This isn’t an issue for big brands or companies with in-place supply chains. At every step of the way, we are building confidence that businesses will want to transact more if they know and trust that every step of the process we provide is there to protect but also further promote their business as reputable. The same could be said for buyers as well.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: How difficult was it to get buy-in on blockchain by the non-US countries?
JOHN ZAHAITIS: The blockchain moniker has not been the main reason why people have been attracted to our platform. We believe people are hungry for an honest business model that attracts reputable businesses from around the world who want to trade in an ethical manner. The fact that our system is based on blockchain is secondary to the reason why we exist and only enhances our security. We have attracted foreign companies in droves because they understand the value proposition we have put forward and we are gaining a following in certain countries without even actively pursuing those countries.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Will this augment existing trading infrastructure, or eventually replace it?
JOHN ZAHAITIS: We know we are knocking on a few doors when it comes to the unnecessary chaff that is inherent in any industry with many moving parts. Our technology is based on a private blockchain, and while our goal is to make this a viable option for first-time exporters or buyers, we know that we have created something special that does not exist in the marketplace.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Are you starting with any particular industry or sector?
JOHN ZAHAITIS: We have attracted companies to our platform with very little effort and from many, many different industries and sectors. We also are not trying to be a bank, an entertainment company, a content creator or a travel company or a server platform. Our focus is on international trade of the highest magnitude and we are open to shippers, insurance companies, banks and other industries to talk to us about partnership opportunities in changing the way people will be doing business in the not too distant future. Buyers an businesses are through with online scams and shifting distribution addresses.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Explain “rhetoric trading” and its impact on your business.
JOHN ZAHAITIS: It is not so much that it has an impact on Export Portal as much as it has an impact on the businesses from those countries with restrictions or agreements that are at the whim of changing administrations and regional complexities. At some point, we believe that business, trade and growing your business is more important than the national rhetoric that only benefits those in government whose interests do not help the businesses on the street.
We define ‘rhetoric trading’ as that which is instilled at the highest level by countries and leaders the world over. Our ExportPortal.com platform would like to see the day where the success of a business is tied to wise decisions, careful planning, a reasonable amount of risk and expanding into new markets…Not because a new administration or entire governing body defines the terms under which any business can trade.
There is an air of anti-globalization in America currently, and Britons could not be more on edge in terms of how they will move forward with trade agreements within the EU. These are just two examples of how the free flow of trade is influenced by policy whims. Why should an entity be hampered by what a government wants instead of what any rational business person needs ? Decreased sales and increased costs from fear or not moving in a positive direction can paralyze a company, a community and a nation. How does a business prepare for tomorrow, much less future market expansion with this kind of rhetoric ?
To paraphrase Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, …If all people acted morally government wouldn’t be necessary. We feel that many governments no longer represent the will of the people and hamper the very essence of trade with restrictive measures that are at the opposite side of the desired result…to the detriment of their own citizens and tax base. When rhetoric supersedes common sense, we believe there should be a higher order that businesses can strive towards.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Explain your buyer protection plan and how that works.
JOHN ZAHAITIS: We understand that international trade can be complex and even risky. Export Portal mitigates the risk by verifying companies and manufacturers from around the world before anyone can buy from them. Our blockchain verification technology forms the strong backbone to protecting all parties communications and transaction details. Export portal will also hold funds for purchased goods in escrow until the product clears customs or at a predefined point also mitigating risk.
Our goal is to always have satisfied customers because we have done the hard work in advance. If a transaction were to go wrong, at least there is a good place to start because we know the businesses on our platform are viable, ongoing concerns, not fly-by night operations out to commit fraud. The same goes for the product on offer from the seller or manufacturer. We are creating the most relevant ecosystem for businesses to gather, learn, interact and trade and we will do everything in our power to ensure that customers do not have to hire lawyers or track down ghost companies in foreign lands.