How STO’s Can Save the Gig Economy & ICO Rewards

The vision of the sharing economy was to create a platform that creates opportunity, that is fair, and that rewards people for making the business a success. The challenge is that the sharing economy (Uber, AirBnB, Fiverr) hasn’t delivered this. They’ve built billion dollar companies that have pay minimum wage to the people that made it possible.

Secondly, the token mechanics models for most ICO’s that distribute utility tokens as rewards really only give small tips, i.e. a few utility tokens here and there, similar to bounty campaigns. Whilst tokens enable new and exciting rewards models, they don’t share the value created by the user’s participation.

Security tokens make sharing value creation a possibility. It’s a win/win for everyone.

The Sharing Economy Today


The sharing economy is described as follows:

“An economic system in which assets or services are shared between private individuals, either free or for a fee, typically by means of the Internet.”

Independent newspaper reports the utopian vision:

The sharing economy is not business but a social movement, transforming relationships between people in a new form of internet intimacy and humanitarianism. It builds trust and creates inherently more democratic communities.

Customers are not getting cheap services, but being helped by new, interesting friends. Providers are engaged in rich and diverse work, gaining valuable independence and flexibility taking advantage of a reduction in entry barriers to sources of work.

Independent newspaper continues that isn’t the case:

The evidence does not support these arguments.

The major financial backers of the sharing economy are not philanthropists. They are Wall Street and Silicon Valley’s 1 per cent, related venture capital firms and a few institutional investors, such as sovereign wealth funds.

Uber, Deliveroo, and Fiverr, are often quoted as being the sharing economy, yet the hardest working people in the ecosystem are not rewarded for the value they bring.

Sharing Economy v2.0 - Giving Back, Getting More

Facebook is controversial because it monetizes data, whilst giving no rewards to the owners of the data. Facebook may be free, but with user data they’ve built a $500bn business. Users of the platform don’t share this success, despite being the sole reason for the platforms success.

Recently AirBnB took a step in the right direction by looking to distribute equity to their hosts, as covered by Security Token Network

Everyone Can Be a Winner


The incentives for customers (buyers, sellers, users) to participate in these new business models are vastly increased. It’s a win/win situation. All businesses, from early stage startups to enterprise can reward their community. Blockchain technology enables new business models, for example, someone who holds $1,000 of security tokens may be entitled to offers, discounts, early access, etc.


The benefit for the users is clear. Rather than just getting cashback, or tips in order for being loyal and helping the business grow the users benefit financially from the company’s success. The more they put in, the more gigs a freelancer does, the more deliveries the Uber Eats driver does, the more wealth they create for themselves.

This New Model is Starting to Emerge

The approach taken by Gainfy (whilst not necessarily falling under the sharing economy) is the the ICO/STO model we will see more of in 2019.

Gainfy are creating a stable coin for payments, which makes a lot of sense as crypto tokens are inherently unstable, especially for commercial business usage.

They have created a secondary equity token which enables speculation linked to real ownership. Decoupling the speculation (i.e. the ICO) and utility (the token) is what is starting to happen.

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