The industrial revolution has liberated human beings from dependency on animals’ power, and mass production is no longer a myth as digital capabilities are leveling up among billions of people. Then what’s next?
Now we arrived at the gate of the 4th industrial revolution, or commonly known as the Industry 4.0. This phase represents a combination of cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things, and the Internet system itself. In brief, machines are integrated with the Web connectivity and systems which can visualize the entire production chain.
Throughout history, every industrial revolution brought changes to the way people live, work, and communicate. As for Industry 4.0, the evidence is marked by the many dramatic changes that occur at an exponential speed. This newest revolution has fused together with the physical, digital, and biological worlds, affecting all disciplines, economies, and industries and even confronting the ideas about what it means to be human beings.
Facing those changes, the business world is also adapting, especially by modifying business models. The efficiency of production and manpower is being adjusted to the latest inventions of Industry 4.0. One of them is the fusion of the sharing economy and blockchain.
What is sharing economy?
Sharing economy is an economic model defined as collaborative consumption or peer-to-peer (P2P) based activities of acquiring, providing, or sharing access to products and services that are facilitated by a community based on an online platform. Sharing economy is often referred to be the fastest segment in business for helping the business ecosystem to be more efficient. It allows people to share their assets, such as Airbnb and Uber.
There are several factors that make the sharing economy a business model that is widely supported, including in Indonesia. First, internet access provides a means to exchange information. Second, mobile devices make it easy to access information at any time and anywhere when needed. Thirdly, the emergence of a marketplace platform on the Internet has created new relationships, no longer in the form of consumer-corporation-workers but, rather, entrepreneurs providing products and services. This sharing economic model has extensive access to availability because goods or services can be provided by anyone.
Ain’t a saint, sharing economy still has its dark side
Unfortunately, this poster-child of Industry 4.0 is not always a saint and still has a dark side. Though technology can be a powerful agent for good, it can’t be denied that every innovation has homework to do. In this case, the homework is the centralized system.
Centralized issues are often mentioned in this new wave of business. Commonly found in a sharing economy business model, the centralized system is still subject to be shut down at any time by the authority if it contradicts the regulations.
In addition, in a centralized system, transactions between consumers and providers are routed through infrastructure, hubs, and software that belong to the companies that own the platform. Besides taking fees, the platform owners are in absolute control of the networks. It is no wonder that they often abuse their capacity by monetizing the private data of their consumers. The worst part is that individual providers and consumers have no idea of what just happened.
The dynamic duo of blockchain-sharing economy brings the truest peer-to-peer interactions
Regardless of all the hype, sharing economy is perceived to have passed its heyday. The motto “the sharing economy was dead” describes the saturation of things that are generally referred to its dark sides.
However, the combination of blockchain and sharing economy might create a revolution that provides dramatical changes, brings in new trends, and gives the possibility to share wealth outside certain companies and individuals. In essence, this technology emphasizes a healthy business ecosystem as the system tries to solve the unnecessary fees problem and improve the security system for data.
Much more inexpensive, the platform severely limits, or sometimes completely cuts out, the need for an intermediary. It allows the truest peer-to-peer interactions, eliminating 20-30% transaction fees that come from the middlemen. Providing much-needed transparency, blockchain is an ever-growing set of data blocks. Each block records a set of data transaction that is distributed across a group of computers called nodes. Each node has its own copy of the data set, and every change made can be traced and recorded simultaneously.
This is the decentralized character of the blockchain as there is no central point of authority that records the data and makes it impossible to hack because in order to hack one set of data, hackers need to attack every node connected in the network. This security aspect is what Tokoin will utilize in distributing crucial transaction data as the fuel for MSMEs’ reputation generator.
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