Blockchain — A ‘travel’ guide
All of us often travel across countries and continents. And sometimes we need to rent holiday hoses for our families. But what is the feeling when you arrive at your destination and find there that reality is quite different from what you booked?
When we pay to rent a property, that will become like ours for some period. This means that the right to use it is transferred from the owner to us. One problem might be that the house, in our case, is not like it was presented on the rental website. Some reconciliation process should take place. The result can be the refund of all/part of the money, fixing what is wrong with some installations, etc.
The costs of verification for every property listed on rental websites are high. Imagine that website owners must have a lot of employers that will have to check every house and every time a client must enter the property. It is almost impossible to do those actions. One solution could be to hire on a special platform people from the property’s neighborhood. Cost of verification will drop, but other problem rises. How can you trust the evaluation made by unexperimented people? At this moment seems that we have a last-mile problem. Blockchain technology can help us in two ways. Let’s talk one in a row.
Building a reliable reputation system, it’s a must. In my opinion, today’s reputation systems are incomplete. For example, in our xHumanity project, we research such a system for banks. Our approach is to identify, measure and weigh bidirectional and multidirectional relations between peoples. Unlike rating systems from the current webspace, our system will rate same time both or multi parties involved in social action. But we will never rate or reward one-way actions. When such a system will be up and running, blockchain can have valid data. In our case, rating made for properties by peoples with trustable ranking in society will solve a part of the last mile problem.
However, a more interesting solution is to involve technology, especially IoT devices. Let’s imagine that we can transform those houses into smart ones. Sensors that will detect any problems just in time. Cameras that will take photos once per day. All this reliable data stored on the blockchain goes to real data integrity. Now a client like me can be sure that when will arrive at the property with his family, will not face any problems.
This solution is value-chain replacing one because it will change the way rental websites present and verify properties listed. The blockchain solution will be hybrid from the access point of view. Part of the data will be transparent for every potential customer, but also so data will require permissions to be accessed. For example, images and all smart houses, parameters will be public, but the owner’s data will be private.
Last-mile issues are everywhere. And I can see that it’s just a matter of time to be solved. If we don’t have the technology, we will have reputation systems and vice versa.