How Origin Protocol can disrupt the sharing economy
For the past decade, companies like Uber and Airbnb have been disrupting established sectors such as taxi driving or the hotel industry. Ten years ago, most of us wouldn’t let our younger sibling, son or daughter take a ride in a stranger's car or live at a stranger's home. These companies gave society a new paradigm on what can become possible and accepted by society. In fact, it showed us that consumers can change their belief system as new business models make their life more convenient. What could be the next thing? With blockchain technology, we think that the decentralized sharing economy could take society to a new reality. Enter Origin Protocol.
Origin is a protocol for creating sharing economy marketplaces using the Ethereum blockchain and IPFS, allowing sharing economy businesses to become decentralized.
Origin Protocol's core mission can be summarized into 3 main points.
1) Reduce intermediary fees (which are currently 20-30%)
2) Reduce censorship and regulation
3) Reward early participants in the network
There are currently a number of other problems that plague centralized sharing economies that Origin Protocol looks to address.
It's quite impressive to see the number of projects that are already building on top of Origin Protocol. Take Bee Token for example. Bee Token is building a middleman-free, peer-to-peer network of hosts and guests on the decentralized web. The company will have no commissions on bookings and listings, a system managing secure payments, resolving disputes through arbitration, and a reputation system that combines secure identity with peer ratings. This AirBnB contender just recently raised $15 million from an ICO.
There is no doubt that the decentralized version of the sharing economy sounds ideal for consumers -- but it will still have to prove its viability in the future. Centralized companies take more margins, so they typically have more capital to be strategic in their marketing, promotions and talent acquisition. Without enough profit, it would be difficult for a company to compete and scale against established competitors (ex: the non-profit Ride Austin struggling to compete against Uber and Lyft). Over time, the performance of these new projects will need to prove the viability of the decentralized sharing economy model in society.
The company is led by Josh Fraser and Matthew Liu. Josh founded 3 start-ups (one of them acquired by Walmart). His co-founder, Matthew Liu, is a seasoned serial entrepreneur and has been apart of 3 startups that have been acquired (YouTube, Qwiki, and Bonobos). With an all-star leadership team like this, we are excited to follow Origins growth and the companies that will be built on top of it.