Can we put our trust in a decentralized marketplace?

With the appearance of edge clouds, we foresee a scenario where application developers will need to buy multiple services such as edge compute, network latency and bandwidth guarantee, as well as mobility management from a potential variety of telecom operators.

As a result, to expose these services in the emerging 5G ecosystem, we can expect to see much tighter collaboration among telecom operators and cloud providers. And until such a thing happens, it will be difficult to realize the next generation of challenging 5G use cases.

Designing a marketplace

One possible way to expose and subscribe to all of these services is through a marketplace.

In the context of collaboration between telecom operators, cloud providers and application developers, this marketplace would have three roles:

  1. to match the sellers and buyers, allowing them to negotiate a contract that defines the terms and conditions of usage of the service
  2. to provide the tools to continuously verify that the terms are respected and possibly help to enforce them
  3. to make it easy to re-negotiate or terminate contracts while staying within the boundaries defined by the first agreement

In this post, we will look into the first role: how can a marketplace help its members build enough trust to negotiate and sign a contract with a partner with whom they have no prior relation?

Marketplace: Centralized vs. decentralized

The three deployment options of a marketplace

The three deployment options of a marketplace

There are three main ways for providers to expose their services : through a centralized marketplace, through a decentralized marketplace or through no marketplace at all.

In a centralized marketplace, any issue of trust is resolved by relying on a trusted third party. They take responsibility for the proper operation of the marketplace. The other actors trust them to police the platform (removing any misbehaving actor for instance), keep it secure by using the latest technologies, and mediate…

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