First regulated Maltese project to integrate blockchain-based AI services with Belgian retail chain First regulated Maltese project to integrate blockchain-based AI services with Belgian retail chain
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First regulated Maltese project to integrate blockchain-based AI services with Belgian retail chain

The first Malta VFAA-regulated blockchain project VAIOT this week signed a deal with one of the leading retail shop networks in Belgium, SupraBazar, to use its blockchain-based AI voice commerce solution within the retail e-commerce platform.

The integration, expected to be fully rolled out by Q3 2021, will begin with a Proof of Concept project of integration with the online platform. It will then be followed by a pilot implementation of SupraBazar’s branded blockchain-backed Intelligent Virtual Assistant, after which it will follow internal and end-user testing. Once the successful internal testing phase is completed, SupraBazar will begin the full launch of the program for the general public.

SupraBazar’s intention is to boost its online sales and improve the user experience with the help of the VAIOT Sales and Customer Service Assistant. This Voice Commerce solution will be personalized for the retail network and will allow its customers to make purchases using voice, in both SupraBazar’s existing digital channels and in the new intelligent mobile customer service channel.

One of SupraBazar’s in Flanders
One of SupraBazar’s in Flanders

SupraBazar’s CEO, Geert Vanhalst, commented about the partnership that the company is “pleased to have the opportunity to introduce a Voice Commerce solution, which will be an ideal complement to our existing e-commerce sales”. The family firm, whose history spans over 55 years, is seeing around €50m in annual revenue and expects online sales to grow even more as a result of this partnership.

An exciting first

This is the first commercial implementation for VAIOT’s blockchain-based AI assistant. Christoph Surgowt, CEO of VAIOT said in an official press release shared with Cryptoslate that the team is “very pleased with the fact that the first commercial deal for our AI Assistant, supporting SupraBazar’s sales, has been concluded. It  will allow us to actively participate in the fast-growing Voice Commerce market.”

The company integrates blockchain and its own AI developments with the IBM Watson Assistant. This combination is the underlying technology behind the AI that can sell and distribute products and services via voice or text without the help of humans. The AI provides a secure way to identify and suggest solutions.

VAIOT combines AI and Blockchain technologies to create innovative solutions like its AI assistant that can help in all kinds of businesses from retail to car insurance. VAIOT believes that with its token economy, the end-user doesn’t need to know anything about the underlying technology or tokens to benefit from it, while still positively influencing the network.

John deVadoss, president of NGD Enterprise, shared with CryptoSlate that the mix between blockchain technology and machine learning have the potential to enable AI applications that are both not privacy intrusive and not susceptible to the single-vendor Byzantine Faults.

Innovation hand-in-hand with regulation

VAIOT’s brief but exciting history began when the Malta Financial Service Authority (MFSA) authorized the first regulated public sale of the VAI tokens back in September 2020. The public offering was oversold by more than 10,000 people who staked more than $95m to get allocated in the Refundable Strongholder Token Offering (rSHO).

The rSHO of the VAI Tokens that started on 8 February allocated 2.5 million tokens and raised a total €250,000. Not long after in February 2021, the project was listed on UniSwap.

Just a little over two years ago, then Prime Minister Joseph Muscat highlighted how Malta was poised to fulfill its “Blockchain Island” ambition by setting up fast-track licenses and audit solutions. Despite this promise, relatively few startups were able to receive regulatory approval on the island.

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