Kickstarting the sharing economy with ShareBits.io
Saturday 14 November 2015
Social communities and crowdfunding could be the killer apps for crypto, and ShareBits is looking to catalyse the movement.
It’s almost seven years since Satoshi Nakamoto launched bitcoin into the wild, but despite a growing amount of interest from businesses, the finance sector and grassroots communities, cryptocurrency is yet to find the ‘killer app’ that will lead to mass-market adoption.
The intersection of social media, crowdfunding and cryptocurrency offers exciting new possibilities
One of the most significant hurdles is acquiring and distributing tokens. Put simply, most people don’t want to buy anything they don’t have to, and they certainly don’t want to take the risks inherent in unregulated exchanges. Neither do they want to negotiate the technical complexities of crypto, like wallet and blockchain downloads. Like the internet itself, these points of friction separate the early adopters from the retail users who will come in orders-of-magnitude greater numbers in the coming years.
Sharing the bits
At the same time, there are clear and powerful use cases for crypto - applications that transcend national boundaries and that therefore sit uneasily within the constraints of our current financial framework. These include the remittance market, crowdfunding and social tipping. Now ShareBits.io, a platform for open software solutions, aims to bring the benefits of cryptocurrency to just such mass-market solutions. It's a new initiative from Danish crypto exchange CCEDK and the Beyond Bitcoin show.
Freebie, the developer team behind Sharebits.io, delivers high scale, rapid-pace software solutions for businesses and professionals working in the crypto-sphere. The company has built its application on the BitShares platform OpenLedger. Unlike bitcoin’s somewhat slow and cramped blockchain, BitShares boasts a capacity of 60,000 transactions per second, confirmations that take only seconds, and transaction fees that are only quarter of bitcoin’s. The hope is that these properties will make it the ideal basis for consumer-ready deployment, including integration with social media - making it fast, cheap and easy for organisations to distribute crypto tokens to large numbers of their users.
Leveraging social communities
Consider for a moment the implications of a fully-fledged social sharing economy. Integration with social media platforms will mean that individuals across online communities are free not only to like, share and follow, but to tip each other with virtual currency of real value. Similarly, brands can leverage their social communities by rewarding those who contribute meaningfully. All of this can now take place outside of the inefficiencies, influence and gatekeepers of centralised financial institutions. Circumventing banks and payment processors allows the direct and low-cost distribution of financial rewards for beneficial activity.
This also opens the way for community-wide crowdfunding of projects, whether charity initiatives, startups or micro-businesses. Without the fees and geographical boundaries that hamstring the old paradigms, money can flow from anywhere, to anywhere, unimpeded. The same goes for content creators and other freelancers, who can access vast new global markets and be paid in currencies that do not cost a fortune to remit to their countries of origin.
The sharing economy
ShareBits hopes to kickstart just such a movement, starting with a Sharebot that will allow companies and individuals to distribute tokens to users on a wide range of social platforms – forums, reddit, Facebook, Twitter, Qora and more. Social media is the obvious starting point, since it is based on the free sharing of information, peer-to-peer interaction and online communities. Combining those ideals with the financial freedom and empowerment offered by cryptocurrencies is a powerful proposition.
Whilst these initiatives will run separate to the existing financial system, pathways from one to the other will always be needed. CCEDK has integrated ShareBits with their flagship ‘nanocard’, a crypto-enabled debit card that combines the security and independence of the blockchain with the convenience of a bank card. Instead of going through exchanges, users can simply withdraw their rewards - or crowdfunding money, or payment for contract work - as cash from any ATM.
Welcome promotion, affiliates programme and reward tokens
As a special promotion, new accounts created in November will receive a welcome in the form of the QBits token. QBits is an asset created on OpenLedger for marketing purposes, based on the Qora cryptocurrency, allowing OpenLedger to reward active users with a token of value now and in the future. Users will also be able to sign up to a new affiliates programme, which will earn them income for every new person who signs up via their referral link (open to lifetime members and those with an annual subscription). Referrers will receive 60% of all fees collected from those they bring to BitShares.
Lastly, CCEDK continues to add new and groundbreaking projects to its platform, including Qora and QBits. To tie these projects together, the CCEDK team has created a special token named Obits. This will launch on 1 December (private sales already taking place) and will represent a broad portfolio of initiatives based on OpenLedger. Obits will give ordinary retail customers the opportunity to benefit from the signature volatility of cryptocurrencies, without requiring a deep understanding of the markets.
This article was sponsored by Ronny Boesing and CCEDK.
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