The sharing economy’s potential is massive, but firms in this burgeoning space often struggle to survive unless they have a sizeable war chest like Airbnb and Uber.
Now, a new blockchain-based protocol says it is aiming to tear down unsustainably high barriers to entry that are stopping startups from flourishing. The TimeCoinProtocol provides a platform so that fledgling projects can build a sharing economy service. The team behind this new concept also believes it can solve some of the biggest challenges in the gig economy.
Through the platform, users can sell “time tickets” — effectively tokenizing their business hours. These tickets can then be bought in exchange for an eclectic range of services, including photography, consulting and relationship counseling. Other potential use cases include financial advice, coaching, fortune telling and programming.
This is a tried-and-tested product that has gained traction. According to the company, more than 250,000 users in Japan are already sharing their personal skills through TimeTicket, and now, the goal is to decentralize the sharing economy. Corporate customers are among those making full use of the talent available through the platform, with some users claimed to be generating more than $10,000 a month.
How it’s different
There are a number of tech companies that have sought to capitalize on the rise of freelance working and the sharing economy, connecting buyers and sellers. Unfortunately, many of these sites often charge punishing fees that eat into earnings, taking as much as 30% commission. Some of the established platforms in TimeCoin’s sites include the likes of Fiverr, Upwork, Uber, Lyft, Etsy, Airbnb and WeWork. Some of these companies have sky-high valuations running into many billions of dollars.
TimeCoinProtocol, which has been built on the EOS blockchain, aims to offer more competitive fees than centralized rivals and eliminate opacity. Buyers can rest assured that they’ll get a high-quality service from the provider by checking up on their track record in past jobs. Likewise, sellers can also perform checks to ensure their clients are trustworthy.
A diverse range of decentralized apps, or DApps, are set to be built on TimeCoinProtocol — meaning that, in time, there will be something for everyone.
One of the first DApps to launch is eSportStars, which will allow players from around the world to host tournaments and compete. Better still, fans will be given an irresistible opportunity to go head-to-head against professionals, boosting engagement and bringing the community closer together. Several top Japanese teams have already announced their involvement in the project. eSportStars will support Chinese, Japanese and English languages.
In time, TimeTicket will also be launched as a DApp on the TimeTicket Protocol, with all of the platform’s current users being ported over to this new blockchain-based interface.
A massive opportunity
TimeCoinProtocol cited research from PwC that suggested the sharing economy generated $15 billion in value in 2015 and is expected to surge 2,133% to $335 billion by 2025. Big business is also expected for the gig economy. In five years’ time, this industry is expected to grow to $2.7 trillion, with Asia accounting for $1 trillion of this.
TimeTicket notes it has already succeeded in raising $3.2 million in equity, and now, an initial exchange offering is being planned in Hong Kong to get the TimeCoinProtocol up and running. A total of 100 million TimeCoins (known as TMCN for short) are going to be issued, 58% of which will be allocated to the token sale.
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