区块链创企剑指房屋租赁市场,Airbnb要小心了 - 互联网金融门户 未央网

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区块链创企剑指房屋租赁市场,Airbnb要小心了

区块链国际资讯

区块链创企剑指房屋租赁市场,Airbnb要小心了

Airbnb改变了人们寻找住宿的方式。虽然创始之初并不顺利,但如今却越来越受到旅行者和长期租客的欢迎。

虽然Airbnb成功实现了自己颠覆房屋租赁行业的目标,但它用的仍是老一套商业模式,它只是通过一种精简的模式去除了传统租赁合同的中间商,并加速了整个审核支付流程。

而这一次,区块链技术可能会彻底颠覆房屋租赁市场。

区块链 & 租赁经济

区块链使电子服务公司能够以一种新方式提供服务。将来,我们无需将用户信息储存在单一服务器上,而是借助区块链技术直接利用分布式获得参与者信息。同时,还可以将加密货币作为参与者运营区块链网络的回报,而他们也可以用这些加密货币购买其他服务。

区块链技术产生的影响深远,对于涉及资金交易服务的商业模式尤其如此。

目前,即便是Airbnb这样先进的在线平台所采取的商业模式仍然十分繁复,所以未来很有可能被区块链技术颠覆。

巨大的市场空间

Airbnb主营短期住宿,对酒店行业打击大于房屋租赁中介。但也会有人在Airbnb上租几个月的房,而这些情况不够稳定也不够便宜。

对于房主来说,没有保证金系统(以及该平台缓慢又不可靠的申诉解决流程)让他们承担了不小风险。

当房屋受损时,很难确定受损时间以及哪个租客应该负责。因此Airbnb无法全款赔偿,只能向房主做出不怎么令人满意的妥协。争议通常由客服代表处理,但他们可能并不公正。

房主还得考虑怎样让自己的房屋在平台上获得展示机会,而目前Airbnb的呈列算法并不明确,房主对展示结果也很难完全满意。

Airbnb在一些地区有可能面临诉讼,因为一些官员认为其有不正当竞争行为。巴塞罗那和阿姆斯特丹决策者就对Airbnb很不满意,而日本政府最近更是突击搜查了当地办公室,怀疑其违反反垄断法。观察者猜测,Airbnb不断阻止其用户在其他平台上呈列房屋的行为也让它成为了监管者的矛头指向。

虎视眈眈的后起之秀

面对这样一块巨大的市场,一些区块链创企已经有所行动,准备从Airbnb那分一杯羹并彻底颠覆整个房地产租赁生态链。

Rentberry就是之一。它的智能合同功能让房主和租客可以一种更可靠的方式远程交流。该平台的智能合同可以处理像租金、公用事业账单、保证金等多种交易。条款都记录在区块链账本上,租赁合同更加清楚。租客还可以向其他用户众筹一点保证金金额,事后以加密货币带息偿还。

Stayawhile是一家类似的区块链平台,提供全装奢华的公寓,面向中期租户。该平台上使用STAY代币,主攻纽约这样的市场并不是国际型平台。

Slock.it也是一家类似区块链服务,但并不只限于租赁公寓。该公司使用一个名为"以太坊电脑"的开源项目,帮助个人和公司将物联网设备连接至他们平台。在共享的环境中,用户可以在该平台上租赁智能锁、设备、房间或其他东西。如果某个资产没有得到100%使用,那物件或公寓的拥有者可以分享以获得一定收益。

完美的商业愿景

区块链允许人们在安全的环境中远程达成协议。使用加密货币的智能合同有执行力且不会被修改,而且人们不用当面见面、交换ID、开支票。

但使用区块链也有一些潜在缺点。整个系统、数据和用户身份的真实性由SHA256加密标准保护。目前该技术不可攻破,因为所需的处理力十分大。但未来就不一定了。

去中心化网络十分依赖于参与者的数量。如果用户数量不够,服务就无法运行,这时中心化服务像Airbnb这样有一个稳定带宽的半传统商业模式就胜出了。

比特币早期使用者认为,是比特币带来了加密货币革命。但其实,真正的革新推动力量确实这些正在慢慢崛起的区块链企业。

Airbnb has changed how people find shelter. Since its rocky start, the platform has risen in popularity among travelers and long-term renters alike.

While the platform has accomplished its goal to disrupt the rental industry, it’s still just a more streamlined version of a stale business model. To Airbnb’s credit, they’ve removed the middlemen from a traditional rental agreement and sped up the verification and payment processes. This, by itself, created a large “couch surfer” market. However, what the company didn’t do was change the inherent business model: landlords renting to short-term renters.

There is still much room for improvement, and blockchain is helping to flip the status quo once more.

Blockchain and the rental economy

Among other things, blockchain allows companies with a digital service to offer it in a new way. Instead of hosting users on a single server, blockchain applications can draw power from a distributed network of participants. It also uses cryptocurrency as an incentive to run the network and allows participants to use the platform to pay for other services.

The technology has astounding implications. This is especially true for business models that involve the exchange of money for services.

The rental economy could find itself in a particularly vulnerable position with this potentially disruptive infrastructure, as there are still many complications and obstacles in even the most progressive platforms like Airbnb.

Airbnb leaves a lot to be desired

Airbnb is designed for more short-term stays and is a competition to hotels more than property leasing/renting agencies. However, some have booked Airbnb stays for months on end. These situations aren’t as stable (nor as cheap) as they should be.

For hosts, the lack of a security deposit system (besides the platform’s slow and unreliable resolution process) puts them at undue risk. When a property is damaged, it can be hard to get an accurate timeline and know which tenant is responsible. This gives Airbnb no choice but to offer bad compromises instead of reimbursing the host fully. Disputes are also left to the discretion of individual customer service representatives who may not be the most equitable.

Getting their listings noticed is another problem hosts have to deal with, as the platform has an unclear and opaque algorithm of presenting listings on their local page.

The platform has also been under threat of legal action in certain jurisdictions for what some government officials view as anti-competitive activities. The company has faced the wrath of policymakers in Barcelona and Amsterdam. Japanese authorities have also recently raided the company’s local offices on suspicion of antitrust law violations. Speculations that the company actively attempted to prevent users from listing their available properties on other platforms have also put them squarely in the crosshairs of regulators.

Startups already at work

Some blockchain companies are already looking to capture a piece of the rental market from services like Airbnb and disrupt the real estate rental ecosystem even further.

Rentberry is one such company. Its smart contract functionality gives tenants and landlords a portal to interact with each other remotely but in a more verifiable manner. Smart contracts, in this case, can handle transactions like rent, bills, and security deposits. This makes the agreements clearer, as the conditions surrounding these are recorded on the blockchain ledger. The platform also allows tenants to crowdsource some portion of their security deposits from other users. This will then be repaid with interest using cryptocurrency.

Stayawhile is a blockchain platform that takes advantage of similar capabilities. It hosts a network of furnished, luxury apartments for medium-term rental. Using STAY tokens, the platform facilitates a global renting economy but focuses more on smaller markets like New York.

Slock.it is a similar blockchain service but isn’t exclusively for renting apartments. The company uses an open-source project called the Ethereum Computer to help individuals and companies connect IoT devices to their platform. It then uses a sharing environment to rent smart lockers, equipment, rooms, or others. If an asset isn’t used 100 percent of the time, the platform allows the owner of the object or apartment to share it passively for a profit.

Perfect for commerce

Blockchain allows people to agree with each other in a safe and remote environment. Smart contracts using cryptocurrency can remain watertight and enforceable, without people having to meet in person and exchange IDs and write checks.

But using blockchain can have some potential drawbacks. The integrity of the network, the data, and the identities of users are all protected by the SHA256 cryptography standard. It is unbreakable for the moment due to the processing power required to crack the code. But this may not be the case in the future.

Decentralized networks are also very reliant on the number of participants. If the number of users isn’t maintained, the service it supports may suffer. If this happens, centralized services with a stable bandwidth like Airbnb will win.

While early adopters might have believed that the bitcoin acceptance would bring about the cryptocurrency revolution, it is the blockchain companies that are increasingly changing the game.


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