Introducing a decentralized sharing economy protocol for movable goods

When you boil it all down, the sharing economy and blockchain technology both have to do with the same thing — enabling people to work together without a central authority. The autorize protocol uses the power of blockchain technology to simplify, regulate, and automate the sharing of movable goods, paving the way for the next generation of sharing platforms. This article will explain exactly what that means and how it is done.

Imagine owning a Lamborghini. It’s an awesome ride, but not something you can use in your everyday life. Most days, it’s just sitting in your garage, gathering dust, and losing value. Why not rent it out to someone instead? That way, your car is transformed from a liability into an asset.

This is the basic idea behind the sharing economy, most famously utilized by Airbnb to let people share their apartments. But it’s impossible to crash an apartment into a tree or fill it with the wrong type of fuel. Your Lambo, on the other hand, is just one bad driver away from destruction.

For movable goods — cars, bikes, yachts, planes, etc. — sharing normally involves a lot of trust. That makes it hard, if not impossible, to rent out to strangers. How are you going to guarantee that your car will be driven in a nice and safe way, or that the renter isn’t going to use it for illegal purposes?

Eliminating trust from the equation

With autorize, the only trust necessary is the trust that everyone will work in their own best interests.

The autorize protocol uses a decentralized arbitration system to determine if a movable good (e.g. your Lamborghini) was used as agreed. When someone rents a car, the owner and the renter agree to certain terms which are put into a smart contract on the Ethereum network. Whether the terms of the contract were followed is determined by our community of arbiters.

There is no trust involved in this transaction, because the arbiters are not making decisions based on anyone’s word. Rather, they validate (or don’t) the smart contract based on factual data. Community members will look at data from state-of-the-art sensors installed in the vehicle, video from the rental, as well as photos from before and after the sharing event. Using this data, they will determine whether the sharing event was successful.

This community is the heart of autorize. Decentralized consensus arbitration systems have proven to be very reliable, especially when money is at stake. An arbiter will gain autorize tokens (ATR) each time they make the right decision, but they will also lose tokens if they get it wrong. The final decision is determined through consensus between the arbiters. That way, the only trust necessary is the trust that everyone will work in their own best interests.

Rewarding reliability

The better you work for autorize, the better autorize works for you.

If the community determines an event was successful, both the renter and owner of an asset gain reputation. If the event was not successful, they lose reputation. The amount of reputation a user has determines which services they can access and at what price. That way, unreliable users are weeded out quickly, while reliability is rewarded.

The same system is in place for arbiters — high reputation community members get larger rewards and access to more arbitration opportunities. The better you work for autorize, the better autorize works for you.

The token economy

ATR tokens will be the fuel behind the movable goods sharing economy.

autorize has its own token, ATR, which is used by all participants in a sharing event:

The renter uses ATR to pay the security deposit and the rental fee.

The asset owner or service provider uses ATR to pay the autorize community for their services.

The community arbiters are rewarded in ATR and can also stake tokens, to increase their rewards. If an arbiter stakes tokens, that means they will lose their stake if they make the wrong decision (based on what the consensus decision is).

Using a crypto token makes the entire process simple, as funds can be automatically held or released, depending on the success of the sharing event and the contents of the smart contracts deployed to facilitate it. ATR tokens will be the fuel behind the next generation of movable-goods sharing.

But these aren’t the only new tokens on the block.

Digitalizing physical assets

Digitalization isn’t just a technical necessity, allowing cars to be put into smart contracts. It opens up a world of new possibilities.

To enable the digital handling of movable goods (like our proverbial Lamborghini), the assets first have to be digitalized. This means that a non-fungible token (NFT) is created for each asset, using the ERC-721 standard. Each NFT is unique and represents that individual asset. But digitalization isn’t just a technical necessity allowing cars to be put into smart contracts — it opens up a world of new possibilities.

NFTs can easily be owned by multiple people, with rights regulation between the owners entrusted to smart contracts. Co-ownership thus undergoes the same trust-elimination process as sharing with renters.

Digitalization also enables simple third-party management of assets. If I live in London but own and want to rent out a Lamborghini, I’m going to have a problem. No one wants to drive a sports car in the city. Instead, I can keep my car with a host, who lives in the countryside, right next to a beautifully scenic road. That’s sports car territory. Profits go up, my car is not wasted sitting in a garage, and the entire thing runs hassle-free, thanks to the autorize protocol.

A shared vision backed by you

We’re not building the Airbnb for cars. We’re building a framework that would allow it to function.

autorize is a vision of a world where sharing movable goods is the norm, not the exception. We want to enable the sharing of not just cars but basically anything that moves, on a level so easy and safe that sharing makes sense for everyone.

We’re not building Airbnb for cars. We’re building a framework that would allow it to function. This framework is based on you, our community. We’ve already implemented our solution with a prototype partner, the FurlanTech supercar rental company. This is the first step towards bringing our vision to life. Follow the next steps by joining our Telegram group or read more about the project in our white paper.