We are Airbnb without the costly intermediary and with an “experience” layer baked in. Initially, the target audience we are looking at are crypto enthusiasts who would want to rent their houses out to other crypto enthusiasts in order to understand the local crypto ecosystem when they travel, create a relationship that can result in friendship, network and gain new understandings of the crypto ecosystem internationally – says Jonathan Chou CEO of Bee Token in Bithub.pl’s #SundayInterview.
The notion of sharing economy in reality refers to access economy and thus is misleading. That’s basically what you assert. Are you coming to change that?
Jonathan Chou: Sharing economy means that both sides of the marketplace such as the guest and host are able to perform peer to peer transactions without a middleman. We are here to change the current economy structure and make that a reality! The decentralized access really refers to the ability for many people all over the world to contribute to our initial success instead of a few select parties. This is a model that has been a common thread in many other blockchain projects that have been successful. The beauty of the sharing economy intersecting with the access economy is that people who are involved in the early stages of our project will help us evangelize it and also be our initial users for our product and then help us cross the chasm by sharing their passion about our product to their friends.
How will Bee Token work for hosts and clients in practice? Say, I’m looking for a place to crash for a weekend, what do I do if I want to use your system?
JCh: The guest would be able to look for a place to stay using our website. After he or she has found a place to stay, the next step of the process is to create a smart contract with the information and wait for payment in either BEE, ETH, or BTC within 30 minutes. The process of creating a smart contract is baked into our platform, so in theory, we will be able to bring blockchain technology to any consumers who have not previously had exposure to blockchain technology. After the payment is confirmed, the stay will be confirmed and the host will receive the payment 48 hours after the guest’s stay via a smart contract as long as there are no issues! We do want to have a mobile app out sometime in 2018. Eventually, users will be able to pay for rentals on our platform with USD, but not initially. We are working with a few partners in the blockchain space in order to solve problems around accessibility via fiat currencies such as USD.
Is Bee Token in any way interconnected with IoT, for example, by applying smart, non-physical keys to apartments with codes encrypted in blockchain? Do host and owner need to meet face to face? Or is it rather more regular tool like Airbnb only without the costly intermediary?
JCh: We are looking into smart contract integrations with a couple of blockchain meets IoT companies. The initial prototype will be a usual tool that everyone is familiar with similar to the traditional competitors. The difference will be in the underlying technology. Ideally, we would be able to apply smart, non-physical keys to apartments with codes encrypted in blockchain sometime in the next 2-4 years. Initially, the target audience we are looking at are crypto enthusiasts who would want to rent their houses out to other crypto enthusiasts. In that sense, the hosts and owners would probably want to meet face to face, although this would not be a requirement. We are Airbnb without the costly intermediary and with an “experience” layer baked in. People will want to stay with other crypto enthusiasts in order to understand the local crypto ecosystem when they travel, creating a relationship that can result in friendship, networking, and new understandings of the crypto ecosystem internationally.
You say Bee Protocols “are a set of Ethereum smart contracts providing developers the tools to rapidly launch new decentralized applications”. Does that mean you’ve created multiuse smart contracts that can be reused for purposes other than homesharing?
JCh: Yes, exactly, we are currently onboarding multiple projects onto our Bee Protocols for fast development of common re-usable code for similar ideas, mostly those that are related to the sharing economy. Our three (P-A-R) protocols: Payment, Arbitration, and Reputation will be able to be used as a triad for any blockchain startup looking for these types of technology solutions. By offering three protocols instead of one, we help startups also save on integration costs- especially since interoperability and standards within the blockchain ecosystem are still not completely established. There will be more updates on this in Q1 2018!
How do you buy and sell bee tokens? Are they potentially tradable beyond your platform?
JCh: We are still looking into this. For now, our public presale will be on 1/2 at 12 PM PST and our main token sale will be 1/31 at 12 PM. Our presale will allow accredited investors to participate (with a few exceptions) and our main sale will have a minimum ETH contribution amount but will still be restricted to countries which allow their citizens to participate in blockchain-related offerings. We cannot comment on whether or not the tokens will be tradable beyond our platform to comply with SEC rulings.
Interview by Przemyslaw Cwik