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Italian Government Develops Blockchain Platform To Oppose E-Commerce Giants

Vsevolod Gnetii

The Italian government is developing a map of e-Commerce websites using a blockchain-based algorithm system. The new platform should become a kind of universal database for tracking trade flows, including import channels via the Internet. The idea belongs to the leaders of the yellow-green government coalition, the League of the North (or just the League), and the Five Star Movemenеt, to oppose e-Сommerce giants, first of all, Amazon, Alibaba and Ebay, which, according to the Italian government, stifle SME, putting thousands of jobs at risk.

21-08-2018 20:05:00  |   Regulation
According to the developers, the new IT platform will be made entirely in Italy. The launch of the blockchain platform will coincide with the government’s approval of a number of legislative initiatives designed to strictly regulate e-Commerce. This must be an amazing topic for economic research papers this year.

One of the points of the government program is the traceability of the origin of products offered for sale online. This is necessary to remove counterfeit completely. Another important aspect is the elimination (possibly with the use of legal acts) of fictitious sellers, intermediaries associated with producers or sellers from countries with low tax rates, which can significantly reduce the price of goods in comparison with the prices of Italian manufacturers. This, in turn, can be equated with unfair competition.

The first step will be a prohibition on accepting orders and delivering goods on Sundays. This will be followed by the unification of prices, that is, a ban on lowering prices for a certain percentage, which should vary within the limits of a grid determined by the government in relation to discounts in an ordinary retail network. For example, price cuts for new books in a regular network cannot exceed 15%, while Amazon requires discounts up to 50% from some Italian publishers. Just recently, the Italian publishing house E/O refused to make a discount for Amazon, calling it blackmailing. In turn, the American colossus unilaterally refused to purchase books of the Italian publishing house, returning all the books left in stock to the publisher.

The goals and approaches to creating a blockchain platform among the allies of the government coalition are completely different. The Five Star Movement relies on the technical side of the issue, the creation of the blockchain's “gem” using exclusively Italian innovative technologies and intellectual potential. The League has more prosaic goals — protectionism of national small and medium-sized producers, as well as public-private partnerships in the form of the “Post of Italy”, which recently began to engage in e-Commerce and is inferior in the pricing of delivery to all its main international competitors.

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