Everyone is getting involved in the sharing economy these days. Customers are willing to rent out their stuff to earn a few bucks. Instead of buying a new ride to use occasionally, they are willing to rent a car to drive around the urban areas.
What is Sharing Economy?
Sharing economy is simply the borrowing or renting of stuff on the internet. Internet users can borrow and rent out their properties for a small amount of fee. I may not be able to afford to buy a new car if I travel to a new state. Does this mean I should walk wherever I want to go? Someone may decide to rent his car out to me for the duration of my stay. It’s a win-win for both parties. I get to move around easily, while the car owner gets to make a few extra bucks on his asset.
The sharing economy allows users to swap virtually anything; from books to a neighbor’s pet, or car. Think of it this way: Instead of 20 people buying a dozen lists of books that they only get to read once; they can choose to swap their books amongst themselves.
Right now, many tech companies offer various platforms for individuals to share their stuff. One great example is the Uber taxi services operating in many cities around the world. Another great example is the Airbnb hotel service that allows travelers to book a hotel space in a house.
However, the traditional sharing economy is not void of limitations. Most of the sharing companies use traditional cash payments methods that are subject to transaction fees. They also operate a centralized system.
Blockchain provides an inexpensive and transparent way to perform transactions. The blockchain platform also eliminates intermediaries through peer-to-peer transactions. For instance, blockchain tech can cut out the intermediary, i.e., the middlemen (Uber, in this case) and allow users to negotiate with a private driver directly. We all know that Uber pays the drivers 75% of the fares, and keeps the remaining 25% for the growth, maintenance, and marketing of their platform. In the case of Uber, drivers who perform the bulk of the task can now have an extra 25% of income added to what they already make.
Several blockchain companies are stepping into the sharing economy space in a bid to disrupt the niche. One great example is the Bee Token. The bee token aims to replace Airbnb by offering better services and better levels of security for customers. The bee token also allows customers to make payment with cryptocurrency, thereby replacing the use of fiat currency, i.e., USD, EUR.