Sharing economy

The Sharing Economy is an economic model defined as a peer-to-peer (P2P) based activity of acquiring, providing or> sharing access to goods and services that are often facilitated by a community-based on online platforms.

Image source: BY Ron Mader

The sharing economy is a way of distributing goods and services that differs from the traditional model of corporations hiring employees and selling products to consumers. In the sharing economy, individuals are said to rent or “share” things like their cars, homes and personal time to other individuals in a peer-to-peer way.

What is Sharing economy?

Communities of people have shared the use of assets for thousands of years, but the advent of the Internet has made it easier for asset owners and those seeking to use those assets to find each other. This sort of dynamic can also be referred to as the sharing economy, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, or peer economy.

Shraing Economy
Sharing Economy

Sharing economies allow individuals and groups to make money from underused assets. In a sharing economy, idle assets such as parked cars and spare bedrooms can be rented out when not in use. In this way, physical assets are shared as services.

The spreading of sharing economy

The sharing economy has evolved over the past few years, where now it serves as an all-encompassing term that refers to a host of online economic transactions that may even include business to business (B2B) interactions. Other platforms that have joined the sharing economy include:

  • Co-working Platforms: Companies that provide shared open workspaces for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and work-from-home employees in major metropolitan areas.
  • Peer-to-Peer Lending Platforms: Companies that allow individuals to lend money to other individuals at rates cheaper than those offered through traditional credit lending entities.
  • Fashion Platforms: Sites that allow for individuals to sell or rent their clothes.
  • Freelancing Platforms: Sites that offer to match freelance workers across a wide spectrum ranging from traditional freelance work to services traditionally reserved to handymen.

Sharing economy and people

PWC research suggests that 86 per cent of U.S. adults familiar with the sharing economy say that it makes life more affordable and 83 per cent also agree that the sharing economy is more convenient and efficient than traditional methods. Affordability, convenience, and efficiency are also three of the most influential factors in a consumer goods purchasing decision. Therefore, it’s no surprise that share-based brands are also dominating the consumer goods industry.

Ebay's logo
Ebay’s logo

Image source: marcoverch

eBay is one of the pioneers of the peer-to-peer marketplace. Their innovative platform allows users to buy and sell used or new items through their interface, and have the goods shipped directly to their home. Consumers can browse a variety of products at custom price points, in various conditions, and with different guarantees. This empowers the consumers and provides them with a more affordable, convenient, and efficient way to purchase goods.

Sharing economy and artists

Recently, the sharing economy concept has been on the radar of the art world, mainly within the digital arts sector, prompted by the rising popularity of online platforms using blockchain to record provenance, as well as online marketplaces allowing artists to sell directly to collectors.  .ART, the online domain service for the art world, has recently launched an initiative called Digital Twin. It aims to digitize pieces of cultural heritage, while also working towards creating its own sharing economy.

Rachel Botsman, Founder of Collaborative Lab
Explaining the Sharing Economy : Rachel Botsman, Founder of Collaborative Lab

Image source: by Cognizant Technology Solutions

One could claim that the sharing economy is not a new concept for the digital arts: new media artists are accustomed to sharing their work online and also providing code for common use within open source communities and forums. Recently though, the market has introduced new business models allowing artists to monetize their digital pieces and trade limited editions of digital works on blockchain-powered online marketplaces.

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