In the shared economy, access to assets is more important than ownership. Individuals and businesses are compelled to, for example, share vehicles via transportation services like Zipcar and Uber, or share the use of their homes via Airbnb.
This is only possible—or, at least, practical—thanks to digital technology. But for all the benefits, myriad risks and challenges arise.
The solutions to these challenges will be technology driven, and fortunately, the technology is rapidly evolving to provide the security and trust consumers demand.
Accenture Labs’ sees distributed computing at the heart of these solutions. Learn how.VIEW THE REPORT [PDF]
Distributed ledger technology—blockchain being the most prominent example—has huge potential across numerous domains.
Indeed, it might represent a paradigm shift in sharing data with security and trust and developing new business models within a collaborative economy.
In this kind of data structure, there is no central administrator or centralized data storage to provide a single point of security vulnerability. Rather, data is replicated in multiple databases across a network of actors using consensus algorithms.
By preventing retrospective changes to registered transactions, and thus eliminating fraud and facilitating efficient and secure transactions for all participants, blockchain is set to be a foundational technology for maintaining trust in the shared economy.
Each peer is an equally privileged, equally powerful participant—or node. In practice, this helps reduce the processing or computing time of the whole network.
It also means there is very little restriction on any participant accessing information from anywhere across the network, meaning data can be queried quickly at a lower cost.
Participants are also able to join the network easily and experience near-zero downtime.
In combining the best of these distributed ledger and peer-to-peer technologies, the future shared economy will offer instant, seamless, cheaper services to its participants.
Blockchain and peer-to-peer technology could reshape a number of industries and fields—from banking to child care to book-selling—offering instant, seamless, secure transactions.
As the role of trusted third parties grows, the quality of products and services bought and sold within these networks will increase, because identities of participants are permanently stored and can be accessed publicly, and previous activities are logged with associated reviews and reputation scores.
As the shared economy expands, and as fast and easy access to reliable shared data becomes the cornerstone of collaborative consumption, this technology offers nothing short of a revolution.