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Background
Flambu offers an easy, secure and convenient way to share and borrow almost any item to both sides of the peer-to-peer rental process with a mobile-first application, while also providing secure, fast, and low-cost transactions leveraging blockchain technology. The platform initially utilizes a hybrid of Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 technology, with the purpose of becoming more decentralized in time as the community and traction grow.

Problem

Overproduction and overconsumption are arguably among the greatest challenges of our times. Our planet’s resources are finite, and yet the way we consume them today – at a high rate and along a largely linear trajectory – is not sustainable. In the simplest terms, if everyone around the world were to consume like Europeans, we would need 3 Earths’ worth of natural resources to maintain our way of life [1]. According to the creator of Story of Stuff - an animated short film telling the story of the American love affair with stuff and how it is quite literally trashing the planet and has been seen by 10 million people in homes and classrooms all over the world - consumerism is always bad, adding little to our wellbeing as well as being disastrous for the planet [2].
Despite the rising awareness and increasing efforts to address sustainability in many dimensions, environmental sustainability is still under threat, with accelerating growth in global greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss [3].
The challenges have triggered many government-backed programs, including the EU's Sustainable Development Goals program which is leading the way towards a more sustainable future. Additionally, in the last decade with the advancement of internet and mobile technology, giant sharing economy platforms such as Airbnb and Uber emerged and gained a global presence. According to PwC, the sharing economy sector is set to reach $335B by 2025 and over 86 million Americans will be part of the sharing economy by 2021 [4]. According to some statistics, over 20% of people are already willing to share their electronics, furniture, tools, and cars with others [5]. These statistics are also supported by the fact that sustainability, social responsibility, and climate change are amongst the mega-trends of our times, especially for the younger groups including Millennials and Generation Z [6]. This presents a ripe opportunity to advance distributed, bottom-up approaches to sustainability challenges by involving and incentivizing multiple actors of great numbers, which we believe can advance at a greater speed than federal implementations or traditional business models, as outlined in this paper.

Solution

Flambu utilizes a combination of blockchain technology and traditionally proven gamification elements in a mobile-first app in order to engage its users and incentivize them to contribute to the platform’s growth and success, and therefore increase their contribution to global sustainability issues. By combining gamification and blockchain technology, there is a great opportunity to create a state-of-the-art incentive mechanism to both engage the users more and align their motivations with that of the platform in a cost-effective way [7]. The key difference between the traditional gamification methods which are also very cost-effective and engaging is that by utilizing blockchain technology and the already existing powerful financial tools on top of blockchain platforms and tokenization capabilities they provide, users of Flambu will earn rewards that have real-world value as opposed to points, badges or in platform only credits, therefore turning the users into stakeholders.
In addition to the effective incentives, blockchain and tokenization also provide a new way to create trust within communities. As traditional platforms relied on traditional solutions such as insurance, 3rd party payment gateways, and central operations, by leveraging blockchain and a unique tokenization strategy, Flambu decentralizes all of the mentioned solutions, therefore reducing associated costs with those solutions which can be instead distributed to the value-creating community.
In this paper, we will thoroughly explain all of the mechanisms involved to create the incentives to grow the community and to ensure trust within.

References

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