"Something died. I feel a sense of loss that I just can’t shake. The Sharing Economy has become an icon and an emblem for a business model rather than a movement. The phrase has taken on a meaning that has everyone questioning the actual altruism of technology-enabled sharing, especially when money is exchanged. [...]
Business goes through a predictable cycle: idealism, adoption, and integration — then repeats. The Sharing Economy is no different. We simply haven’t integrated sharing yet.
While the Sharing Economy seems to have lost much of its original meaning, we now have a social movement that is full force, breaking down the social constructs of ownership and exchange. Today, people are thinking more about the value they already have — slowly creating a new consciousness around abundance. [...]
The decentralized digital ledger that Bitcoin was built on top of is known as the blockchain, a technology used to create secure transactions, which records exchanges. While much of the Sharing Economy is currently deemed peer-to-peer, a truly peer-to-peer system would allow for transactions to happen without the need for an intermediary platform — and the blockchain can do this. [...]
Crowdfunding has gone from a fad to an explosive industry, with an estimated $34 billion distributed to individuals, projects, and ideas that might not have otherwise had legs in 2015, making crowdfunding a worthy rival of venture capital. Today, there is a crowd for everything — including equity, philanthropy, investing, buying, and even banking. We haven’t fully realized the power that our individual transactions have yet. If we understood how our individual purchasing power as a collective can directly and positively impact lives, industries, and therefore livelihoods — we’d make different decisions (all other factors of competition being equal). [...]
The blockchain and crowd technology are only as effective as the ethos and governance operating behind the scenes. As Nathan Schneider, a political journalist and huge proponent of platform cooperativism points out,
“The blockchain and the crowd will be good for sharing only if we’re serious about incorporating principles of the commons and democracy into how we use it.” [...]
Once sharing is built into our financial models, legal structures, and into the very backbone of our economy — Cooperation will be a foregone conclusion. Sharing no longer a trend, but rather an axiom for survival."