Sharing economy

Sharing economy

Economic and social systems (which are typically internet-based) that enable shared access to goods, services, data and talent

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Sharing economy

Economic and social systems (which are typically internet-based) that enable shared access to goods, services, data and talent

Article

The sharing economy is a community-centric economic and social model that involves shared access to goods, services, data and services facilitated through online and often peer-to-peer (P2P) exchanges.

Sharing economies enable individuals and groups to monetize their idle and underused assets in a way that wasn't possible before.

For example, Airbnb is a part of the sharing economy that allows real estate owners to rent out their unused apartments or empty rooms to other community members in a way that benefits both parties. The renter can make money, while the rentee has more choice about accommodation and can get a more traditional 'local' experience when traveling.

Blockchain and the Sharing Economy

Blockchain-based platforms have also emerged for exchanging various goods and services in the sharing economy. For example, Golem allows users to exchange idle computing power with other users who need to do substantial computation and don't have access to enough computing power.

The difference between blockchain solutions and the earlier sharing economy businesses such as Airbnb and Uber is that blockchain solutions do not involve trusted third parties - they are decentralized. This provides some practical advantages as well as disadvantages.

Advantages of blockchain solutions include lower cost, greater transparency, permissionless participation, and platform security. Trusted third parties - also called middlemen - cost more, don't necessarily operate transparently, can exclude people from participating on their platforms, and are generally more vulnerable to hacks.

However, trusted third parties have the advantage of providing arbitration in the case of disputes between users. They can reverse transactions, manage reputation systems, and otherwise maintain stability within their community. All of those features are more complex to implement in decentralized systems.

Further reading

Title
Author
Link
Type

From Airbnb to city bikes, the 'sharing economy' has been bought up by big money | Evgeny Morozov

Evgeny Morozov

Web

What Is the Sharing Economy (and How Is it Changing Industries)?

Derek Miller

Web

Documentaries, videos and podcasts

Title
Date
Link

Future of Blockchain | Chelsea Rustrum | TEDxBoulder

July 16, 2018

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 Sharing economy

Economic and social systems that enable shared access to goods, services, data and talent

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