Indeed, as we said before the coffee break, sharing economies have a number of advantages, but they are not in themselves an economic paradigm shift. They are a change of hands of power from one monopoly to another.
The great opportunity we have before us, to apply what we have learned from these models of sharing economy and add the elements that can help us generate a real disruptive change, makes us consider how we can do it.
Indeed, Blockchain allows us to re-balance some of the variables that influence this equation:
In the first place, it allows us to put in value the assets that are currently underused and that thanks to the Internet and the models of real sharing, they can have a second chance. I am going to introduce an anecdote that illustrates how familiar this is to me. I was born in the Rastro, which I am proud of. For those of you who don’t know, the Rastro of Madrid is a kind of souk or open-air flea market that runs through the streets of the old part of the city. About the Rastro, there was a saying that read: “one, two and three, one, two and three. What you don’t want, for the Rastro is…” In other words, old things that some people don’t want can be very useful for others. In sharing economies, this is a potential that Uber and Cabify, for example, do not fulfil, given that the vehicles they use are brand new, something that makes car dealers very happy. For this, Blockchain, provides a system of quantification of assets, allowing the tokenization of them and establish a way to account for them, as well as transactions made on them.
The second variable that we introduce with Blockchain, is that of adequately compensating those who contribute these assets and to do so not only pecuniary, but with participation in the benefit of the Community and in the generation of value in the medium and long term depending on the contributions made by each individual.
“Shared Economy 2.0 = Shared Economy + BlockChain – Monopoly Power”
Thirdly, thanks to Blockchain, we can introduce something that very few initiatives have bothered to bring into the so-called sharing economy, it is about giving the members who form the Community, the opportunity to be active members in decision making and project strategy. To become masters of their destiny. The word democracy is on everyone’s lips, but in something as advanced and as important as the Internet, we find ourselves in a situation where, most of the time, we are dealing with the Internet, where the big media and Internet Monopolies are interested in selling us. This gives us another article, but we only have to see to what extent radicalisms are fed back by what the masses see on the Internet and how the Internet has gone from an incredible tool for educating, to a tremendously effective tool for pouring biased information on the masses. Well, thanks to Blockchain, we can now regain the power of decision over our destiny, at least the destiny of our Community; the destiny of the Community in which we share our resources. This is what we call the decentralisation of power that Blockchain provides and which, in this case, allows us to apply it to something as beneficial as a sustainable economy in the medium and long term.
As a fourth element and consubstantial with Blockchain is the transparency that this protocol offers and guarantees and that allows us to generate, what we all look for when we are in an economic and transactional environment, trust. That trust that will allow us to know that if we contribute an asset and this asset is used, the compensation that we receive in the pre-agreed one and that it is not going to be necessary to enter into disputes or dissents and that if eventually they were entered into, these would be resolved in accordance with previously established rules and regulations.
Compensation to all members of the Community; decentralized decision-making; transparency and trust, together with the use of assets that were underutilized. Together, this gives us sustainable economies in the medium and long term.
If we unite in a single point the four aforementioned elements and bring them to Communities of individuals with certain affinities, we obtain a highly advantageous result for any economic approach applied at present. This is what economists today have begun to call Participatory Economy or we could also call it Shared Economy 2.0. That could be expressed in a formula, which would be Shared Economy 2.0 = Shared Economy + Blockchain – Monopoly Power.
Next week, I will talk about some practical examples that already exist, highlighting their pros and cons.