The commerce layer.

By Filippo Conforti on October 31, 2023

Back in 2015, I was walking on the beach with my wife when I told her about a new idea I had. I explained that ecommerce had become so important that the Internet protocol, particularly the OSI model, needed a new layer for commerce. I would have built that layer, the commerce layer, and I would have collaborated with other industry experts to make it the new standard for ecommerce development, adding the eighth layer to the OSI model:

The commerce layer is the OSI model's missing layer.
The commerce layer is the OSI model's missing layer.

That idea eventually led to a product and a company, with big ambitions, but more achievable than defining a new protocol. Yet, its origins remain part of its DNA and will always guide its core principles.

The commerce layer represents pure commerce, the trading of goods for value, whether it is money, crypto, NFTs, or other goods that can be used as payment. It is the backbone of any transaction that remains the same regardless of the way a catalog is presented, the sales channel the customer interacts with, or the location. The commerce layer is stateless, follows the standards, and promotes a more sustainable web. It aims to redefine ecommerce development and remove friction between developers and business users.

Does it have a chance of becoming a new OSI layer? I don't think so. There is no one person, entity, or vendor who can define any protocol. Ecosystems may be able to do so. Perhaps it isn't even needed, since the commerce layer is merely a subset of the existing application layer. However, I would like to think of my commerce layer as a first attempt towards that direction, one that can serve as a seed for further standardization.

As the Latins would say, Nomen Omen—the name speaks for itself. As of now, it's just a fun story behind a company I told very few people about. And by the way, when I explained it to my wife, she said: "I didn't understand a word of it, but it sounds great. You should do it, Filippo”.

And so I did.

Enjoy the reading?

Subscribe to the newsletter and get a new article delivered to your inbox every week.