In the sharing economy (Uber, Airbnb) participants either earn income from assets that would otherwise be lying idle or benefit from access to assets that they only need for a short while. Now, what started with consumer services, is moving to business. Why own your own combine harvester when you can rent? These transactions are more complicated but possible.
‘Where can we go from here?’
New possibilities arise when we combine the benefits of the sharing economy with the new technological possibilities of blockchain. For a really simple explanation of what block chain is and how it may change our future, you might want to start here (Hint: it is more than bitcoin)
Once you have read this (or if you are already au fait with block chain) then you may wish to explore how the NSW Government is putting digital driving licences on a blockchain.
Now let’s move on. In my last post I suggested that the vexed problem of transparency might be solved by a combination of our new technologies.
I can see the technology in use within our cities and rural communities underpinning local energy generation, shared facility use between commercial and community groups and significant opportunity for formal Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) where the use and consumption of the asset is clearly demarcated by micro-transactions, allowing real-time transparency.
While the technologies are being developed, the underlying elements of Blockchain and IoT are now firmly in place, the technology is not new, but finding its niche. Much like the development of laser technology.
The future will be determined by the success of these trials, and the adoption of micro-transactions by our government and institutions. Initial trials in Australia and Internationally show reason for optimism that this may be a solution for sustainable funding for many of our shared resources. Perhaps an opportunity for citizens to become â€œownersâ€ of assets like bridges and tunnels, with charges being apportioned to use with greater accuracy and equity and transparency.
What do you think the future holds?