We have recently explored how blockchain is used as a force for good and conducted a series of interviews with industry professionals. However, the blockchain space is fast moving and constantly packed with new projects that could make the economy of sharing increasingly accessible to everyone. This is a list of other projects to watch out for in this space:
Helbiz is a startup that creates a marketplace that allows people to share not only cars, but any vehicle – bicycles, boats and other means of transport. Using both hardware and software, the idea is to be able to transform entire vehicles into Internet of Things (IoT) devices that can be unlocked with a smartphone, monitored with GPS and monitored for problems and maintenance. The Helbiz app will allow users to unlock vehicles and pay for the use of the vehicle in cryptocurrency. Although innovative, there are other organizations that develop similar capabilities in the shared mobility space including HireGo and Xain.
2. Open Bazaar
Although other decentralized markets using blockchain technology exist, OpenBazaar was the first of its kind and continues to be strong. Users are able to pay for goods in over fifty cryptocurrencies. Since there is no company or entity managing it, there are no costs or limits to what can be bought or sold. Although there are significant technical differences, for occasional users, emerging challengers such as Swarm City, Public Market and Blockmarket will offer similar services with different characteristics.
As a country, Kenya has been one of the fastest countries in the world to embrace with all mobile money and mobile payments, with two thirds of the population using it every day. So, not surprisingly, it is also among the first countries in which blockchain-enabled community currencies are used by traders who might otherwise be too short of money to negotiate with each other. The Grassroots Economics organization has operated in several community currencies in Kenya and South Africa in recent years to increase the buying and selling power of various communities. Recently, in collaboration with Bancor, blockchain startups, Kenyan sellers have agreed to accept cryptocurrency versions of these EU currencies that they already accept in paper form.
Another project based in Kenya that exploits the high adoption rates of Kenyans in the mobile banking sector is Chamapesa, which uses blockchain technology to facilitate the circulation of loans with smartphones. The organization stressed that it is not attempting to change any basic behavior, but rather is using blockchain to facilitate this type of community funding scheme – in a tweet he said "We are not changing Chamas' behavior except that instead of using paper books they would use smartphones. "
Although Holochain's supporters proudly support the fact that it is not a blockchain, for layman Holochain has many similar cases of use. One of the main differences is that it arrives without the prerequisite of using the enormous amount of energy required by "proof of work" blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, however it is still possible to perform a blockchain just like Bitcoin on Holochain. Instead of having only one global agreement on which data is valid (as with a regular blockchain), individual users create their intermediate records of valid data and personal stories.
In addition, every time we access a website on the Internet, we truly access information hosted on servers operated by third parties, usually in a place we do not care about, owned by a separate private company. What Holochain makes possible is a blockchain-like method and a reward structure for storing and accessing data and applications between users themselves, without having to rely on these third parties. This makes it possible to create and run applications of any kind among users, allowing the operation of a true peer-to-peer Internet.
6. Right Mesh
Only about half of the world's population has access to regular Internet, which means billions still do not have the ability to exploit web-based peer-to-peer technologies. Right Mesh is working to change this, allowing people to create their own networks with limited access to the Internet using mesh networks.
In a mesh network, information skips between phones, computers, and other devices such as frogs on lilies until it reaches its destination. It does this by using the ability of these devices to connect directly to each other via Bluetooth or Wifi without being connected to the Internet itself. With information encryption, whether it be a message, an image or a payment, the network can guarantee that only the intended recipient can understand and use the message, which opens a series of mesh applications that can be executed on peer-to-peer devices in the absence of the Internet. There are already other mesh networks and mesh software, but using blockchain, this network will allow users to be paid to deliver content to peers and existing as a network infrastructure, compensating for hardware and battery costs to do so.
Just like AirBnB, the Beenest platform connects hosts with potential guests and uses blockchain technology to keep costs down. If you use your own cryptocurrency – Bee Token – no commission or commission is taken from the platform at the time of booking and the listing of properties and charges lower fees than AirBnb when using other currencies or cryptocurrencies.
Possible is a project based in the Netherlands is intended to increase the share capital by giving incentives to people to do the job that normally does not earn money, but it is crucial for healthy societies. Possible is a time bank, which means that it allows people to offer and use their services named in hours instead of in other units of currency. Time banks have been around for over a century, but they are often run by volunteers and managing them through a centrally managed database can sometimes prove difficult. Using blockchain technology to decentralize those who are able to update the database, projects such as Possible could make the functioning of the time banks easier without having to rely on volunteers.
ShareRing is developing an app that uses blockchain technology that will allow users to find and search for nearby services and actually share something with each other. As a true decentralized library of things, both physically and digitally, ShareRing could maximize the use that people can obtain from physical objects by allowing people to share them easily and correctly. The idea is to have a truly global network, so that the ShareRing app can be used to find and pay for similar services, regardless of where a person may be in the world. The app will use two of its cryptocurrencies: one that allows merchants to access the blockchain and the other as a currency for the payment of services on the platform.
10. Digital Town
Platforms like Amazon, Uber and AirBnB offer useful services, but they continually extract wealth from those who generate it even with high commissions, which are paid to these companies and their shareholders. Digital Town [one of Shareable’s sponsor] intends to change this business model by connecting users in specific geographic locations with the information, resources and services they need, but instead of extracting high rates, it will allow users to own the part of the specific platform of their region with the communities in which they live. In addition to the reduced fees for external companies and individuals, the Digital Town platform is designed to be owned by residents who use it.
Digital Town uses blockchain technology to allow users to exchange large currency and property in the platform itself. Upon registration, users will receive and will be able to exchange "CityShares", which offers users a proportionate share of ownership on how their earnings are earned through the platform in their city. Users can also use "CityTokens" as a currency or reward points, linked to their specific city or location.
Image header by John Schnobrich on Unsplash.