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TRIO for conditional alternative payments

Updated: Mar 15

Conditional Payments:

Conditional payments refer to a payment or transfer of assets that is contingent upon the occurrence of specific conditions. In the context of smart contracts, conditional payments can be programmed to automatically execute when predetermined conditions are met.

 

Escrow Services:

 Escrow is a financial arrangement where a third party holds and regulates payment of the funds between two parties, with the condition that the funds will only be released when certain conditions are met. The third party, often called the escrow agent, acts as a neutral intermediary to ensure a secure and trustworthy transaction.

Now, in certain cases, conditional payments may be facilitated through an escrow service. Here's how they can be related:

 

Escrow for Conditional Payments:

In scenarios where the completion of specific conditions triggers a payment, an escrow service can be used to hold the funds until those conditions are met. The smart contract, acting as the set of rules governing the transaction, can work in conjunction with an escrow service to ensure that the funds are released appropriately based on the fulfillment of conditions.  

In many cases, a smart contract that facilitates conditional payments essentially acts as a decentralized escrow service. The key distinction is that traditional escrow services are often provided by a centralized third party, while in the context of smart contracts, the escrow functionality is encoded in the decentralized and automated logic of the contract.

 Here's a breakdown of how a smart contract for conditional payments can serve as an escrow service:

 1. Funds Holding:

   - The smart contract holds the funds in escrow. This is typically done by having one or more parties send cryptocurrency or other digital assets to the smart contract's address.

 2. Conditional Release:

   - The smart contract includes logic for conditional release of funds. It specifies the conditions under which funds should be released to a particular party. These conditions could be milestones, time-based triggers, or any other criteria set by the parties involved.

 3. Automated Execution:

   - Once the specified conditions are met, the smart contract automatically executes the release of funds. There is no need for manual intervention or approval from a centralized authority.

 4. Transparency and Immutability:

   - The terms of the escrow and the conditions for fund release are transparent and recorded on the blockchain. The immutability of blockchain ensures that the agreed-upon terms cannot be altered once the smart contract is deployed.

 5. Trustless Operation:

   - The smart contract operates in a trustless manner, meaning that participants can rely on the code and the blockchain to enforce the agreed-upon conditions. This reduces the need for trust in an intermediary.

 By combining conditional payment logic with an escrow-like mechanism, smart contracts provide a decentralized and automated way to secure and streamline transactions. This is particularly valuable in scenarios like freelancing, crowdfunding, or any situation where parties want to ensure that funds are committed and released based on predefined conditions.

 Here are some common issues or challenges associated with smart contract conditional payments:

 1. Code Bugs and Vulnerabilities: Smart contracts are typically written in programming languages like Solidity. Bugs or vulnerabilities in the code can lead to unintended behavior, including incorrect conditional payments. Developers need to thoroughly test and audit their smart contracts to ensure they function as intended.

 2. Oracle Reliability: Smart contracts may rely on external data sources called oracles to determine conditions. The reliability of oracles is crucial, as inaccurate or malicious data can result in incorrect payments. Solutions like decentralized oracles or multiple oracles can be employed to enhance reliability.

 Regulations related to smart-contract conditional payments can vary significantly depending on the jurisdiction. Here's an example of a regulatory consideration:

 3. Gas Costs: Executing smart contracts on blockchain networks incurs gas costs. Complex or inefficiently designed contracts may lead to higher gas costs, affecting the feasibility of conditional payments, especially in scenarios where the cost of execution outweighs the payment itself.

 4. Scalability: Blockchain networks face scalability challenges, and as more transactions occur, the cost and time for smart contract execution can increase. This may impact the responsiveness of conditional payments, especially in high-traffic environments.

 5. Regulatory Compliance: Depending on the jurisdiction, smart contracts and their conditional payments may need to comply with existing regulations. Ensuring compliance with legal requirements can be a challenge for developers and businesses deploying smart contracts.

 6. Upgradability: Smart contracts are typically immutable once deployed. If there are issues or improvements to be made, developers might face challenges in upgrading existing contracts. This can be relevant for conditional payment scenarios that require updates over time.


Consumer Protection Regulations:

 In many jurisdictions, there are consumer protection laws in place to safeguard the rights and interests of individuals engaging in transactions. Smart contracts that involve conditional payments must comply with these regulations. For example:

 1. Transparency and Fair Practices:

   - Regulations may require that the terms and conditions of smart contracts, especially those related to conditional payments, are transparent and easily understandable by all parties involved. This ensures that consumers are aware of the conditions triggering payments.

 2. Dispute Resolution Mechanisms:

   - Consumer protection regulations often require the inclusion of fair and accessible dispute resolution mechanisms in contracts. Smart contracts incorporating conditional payments may need to provide mechanisms for dispute resolution, such as arbitration or mediation, to address conflicts between parties.

 3. Clear Disclosure of Risks:

   - If there are risks associated with the conditional nature of payments, such as market fluctuations or external dependencies, regulations may require clear disclosure of these risks to the involved parties. This helps in ensuring that consumers are informed before entering into smart contract agreements.

 4. Data Protection and Privacy:

   - If conditional payments involve the processing of personal data, compliance with data protection and privacy regulations (such as GDPR in the European Union) is essential. Smart contracts should be designed to handle personal information securely and in accordance with applicable privacy laws.

 5. Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) Compliance:

   - In cases where conditional payments involve large sums of money, smart contracts may need to adhere to AML and KYC regulations to prevent illicit activities and ensure the identification of parties involved.

  

A significant problem of smart-contract based conditional payments is that milestone determination and dispute resolution are essentially off-chain Web2 processes. 

Milestone determination and dispute resolution, especially when involving off-chain processes and Oracles, can introduce scalability challenges in smart contract systems. Let's break down the issues:

 

1. Off-Chain Processes:

   - Milestone determination often involves subjective judgments about the completion of tasks, and these judgments may need to be made off-chain. This introduces a level of trust in the off-chain process.

   - Dispute resolution mechanisms might also involve off-chain processes, such as arbitration or human judgment, which can be time-consuming.

 

2. Oracles and Scalability:

   - Oracles are third-party services or mechanisms that fetch and provide external data to smart contracts. In the context of milestone determination or dispute resolution, oracles might be used to bring off-chain data or decisions on-chain.

   - The scalability of oracles can be a concern, especially if a large number of smart contracts are relying on the same oracle service. This can lead to delays and increased costs.

 

3. Gas Costs:

   - Executing complex or frequent off-chain interactions through on-chain transactions can result in higher gas costs. Each transaction on the blockchain requires gas, and depending on the complexity and frequency of interactions, this can become a scalability challenge.


Conditional Payments using TRIO.



TRIO presents conditional-payment without using smart-contracts and without using escrow services, thus reducing the costs and addressing the regulatory concerns.

Here how it works:

TRIO Buyer pays to the TRIO Seller a full amount. The latter sees the payed amount in his wallet account. This payed amount is being frozen by off-chain TRIO service, until off-chain milestone determination or dispute resolution is completed. Afterwards the payed amount is released.

This conditional payment is not using Escrow service. Instead it uses pre-authorization control of the received payment.

The example above shows the wholesale transaction using TRIO utility tokens and Bank serving as mediator between Buyer and Seller. It can be applied with other crypto currencies and other mediators.


DeFi and Conditional Payments.

Decentralized finance (DeFi) applications often utilize conditional payments in various forms. DeFi refers to a category of financial services and applications built on blockchain and smart contract platforms, primarily Ethereum. Conditional payments within the DeFi space are typically governed by smart contracts and executed based on predefined conditions.

There are limitations associated with DeFi that are not allowing for full adoption and are causing concerns for regulators and governments. Although DeFi has great potential, it has certain limitations and risks. Built on code from blockchain technologies, DeFi applications are susceptible to coding errors, hacks, and service outages.

In addition, people who custody their own digital assets must secure them against inadvertent loss and cyber-attacks without the help of a central actor to redress problems. Users of DeFi applications must likewise understand counter-party risks and liability issues before depositing their assets in a protocol. From a regulatory perspective, DeFi presents money laundering and illicit financing risks because it allows people to transact without disclosing their identities. Current DeFi protocols operate with little regulatory oversight, and important questions remain about how existing financial laws and regulations will be applied to DeFi. Lawmakers and regulators are grappling with how to address DeFi’s current limitations and risks while also allowing it to reach its full potential. Institutional investors are not yet ready to adopt DeFi until some of these limitations are addressed.

TRIO conditional payments addresses current limitations and risks and may be utilised for properly re-designed DeFI apps.

For example: TRIO may offer an insurance for TRIO utility token accounts against theft and fraud. Let's say one has 100 TRIO tokens in his wallet and he wants to insure them in full.

TRIO service will send an insurance payment of 100 TRIO tokens upfront , but this payment will be frozen until a theft or fraud incident occurs. If no incident occurs at the insured period - the payment to be reversed , using TRIO token mechanism.


The benefits for the Insurance industry and Novel Products Marketeers.

In the scenario where the claim money is deposited upfront into the customer's account but temporarily frozen until the claim settlement is finalized, the immediate access is indeed restricted until the claims resolution.

The primary benefits in this context would then revolve around transparency, customer control, and a perceived sense of faster resolution rather than the instant usability of the funds. Policyholders would know that the funds are set aside for their claims, contributing to a sense of security and clarity about the status of their claim payments. This transparency could potentially enhance trust and satisfaction, as customers would have a clearer understanding of the financial aspect of the claims process.

This will make much more sense for marketeers, selling a novel product claiming vastly superior performance, and who will support this claim by selling its insurance with an upfront claim deposit.




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