Slock.it secures $2 million seed funding to build Sharing Economy Platform

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Blockchain News | ByRichard Kastelein |

Slock.it

Slock.it has secured $2 million USD in seed funding according to a blog post from founder and COO Stephan Tual.  This round will go towards the development of the Universal Sharing Network (“USN”) project, which seeks to shake up the sharing economy by enabling both companies and individuals to rent, sell or share any connected smart object.

“With the USN, rental apartments and offices will become fully automated, smart objects will be rented on demand and unused vehicles get a new lease on life.” — Christoph Jentzsch, CEO Slock.it.

Since its inception in November 2015, Slock.it’s mission has been to develop the future infrastructure of the Sharing Economy. We’ve codenamed this project the Universal Sharing Network, or “USN”. Build on top of the public Ethereum Blockchain, the USN will provide users a set of mobile and desktop applications to find, locate, rent and control any object mediated by smart contracts, from anywhere in the world.

See:  MaRS Solutions Lab partners with City of Toronto to create sharing economy regulations report

The main advantage of using Blockchain technology in this context is a radically simplified user journey: Open the app > Find an object nearby > Pay for it > Use it. There is only one key (your smartphone) for everything and no need to register or login for the service thanks to a judicious use of security deposits.

The USN’s key differentiators are:

  • Cost effectiveness: we leverage a public infrastructure and therefore do not incur datacenter capital outlays
  • Interoperability: the same network of value used to rent your car can be used by the vehicle itself to pay for its own parking or electricity
  • Security: Ethereum decentralized apps or ‘dapps’ benefit from public/private key cryptography by default, while the underlying infrastructure presents no central point of failure.
  • Transparency: The USN lives on the public Ethereum Blockchain and can be reviewed by anyone
  • Permissionless: developers and manufacturers alike do not need to request permission to leverage the USN as part of their products

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