Handbook of the Sharing Economy
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Handbook of the Sharing Economy

Edited by Russell W. Belk, Giana M. Eckhardt and Fleura Bardhi

With the radical growth in the ubiquity of digital platforms, the sharing economy is here to stay. This Handbook explores the nature and direction of the sharing economy, interrogating its key dynamics and evolution over the past decade and critiquing its effect on society.
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Chapter 17: Decentralization as a new framework for the sharing economy

Marc Rocas-Royo


The ability to run smart contracts confers on blockchain technology the capability to run autonomous systems, from a simple transaction to an entire decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). When applied to the sharing economy, the blockchain enables users to organize themselves to share resources autonomously. It involves new relationships of trust, and the development of suitable systems of governance. This chapter suggests that blockchain-based sharing economy platforms can imitate the governance models of current decentralized organizations, such as the platform cooperativism and open value networks. It also describes some of the emerging developments based on DAOs and reveals their main limitations. The chapter finishes with an optimistic vision of DAOs as “virtual gated communities” in which developing “sharing in” practices is a way to promote a sense of community among their members.

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