Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
Twenty years ago, Napster rocked the music industry and laid the foundation for what we know today as collaborative economics or peer-to-peer (P2P).
The platform allowed connected computers to exchange music at zero cost. The 70 million users stopped buying music albums because with a couple of clicks they downloaded their favorite songs.
This decentralized distribution generated losses for the owners of the industry because they stopped receiving profits from copyright. Napster lost the battle but transformed the market.
What Is Peer-To-Peer (P2P)?
This is a very peculiar business model, based on exchange or sale, whether products or services between individuals or companies but at the same level.
A connection that allows the exchange of data between computers without the action of a third party. This network model applied to businesses allows direct marketing of products and services: client-buyer, using technology as an intermediary platform.
The concept became more formalized in the United States a few years ago with companies such as TaskRabbit and Airbnb; the latter is already established almost all over the world, renting space to other people to accommodate you; being present in 34,000 cities and 192 countries.
The company eMarketer predicted that by 2021 the transaction value of payments, in the United States, using the peer-to-peer model will be 240,000 million dollars. Although banking is one of the sectors that has adopted this model, entrepreneurs and developers have done the work of expanding to new scenarios.
Peer-To-Peer (P2P) Business Model: Case Finances
The real case in finance applies to platforms designed for users to lend or pay each other money. The platform is left with a small percentage of the traded value. Example: Lending Club or Paypal.
In this business model, the same person can have both roles, seller, and buyer, and this is important for the platform since it is a business model based mainly on volume, more transactions plus fees, and profitability. This type of model can grow exponentially.
Some of the advantages are:
– Cheaper products and services because the price drops due to the absence of intermediaries.
– In some platforms the service is mediated by the qualification that the users make to the product or service that is offered, as that offer is visible to future buyers, the sellers strive to generate positive experiences.
– It could attract more users than expected for the same operational cost.
– An ecosystem is created based on the trust of the community since the reputation of the users plays a fundamental role when carrying out operations.
The P2P business model broke paradigms forcing monopolies to reinvent themselves. There is still resistance and much to be legislated, however, the “everyone wins” in the network tends to dominate the game.
Peer-To-Peer Marketplace For Bitcoin
For example, Paxful is a P2P platform where we can buy and sell bitcoins, but with the peculiarity that the trade focuses more on exchanges for gift cards or balance in payment platforms such as PayPal or Neteller. In the same way, we can also find trades there for deposits or bank transfers, although these are generally found in countries such as the United States, with a dense binarized population.
On the other hand, to improve the user experience and prevent them from falling into scams, a P2P marketplace for bitcoin uses a trusted system where each user who makes a transaction will leave their comment about the transaction (a reputation system). On Paxful, there is also an escrow service dedicated to protecting buyers and sellers. Escrow services act as third-party entities that hold all the bitcoins until the seller is paid (and that payment is verified). Escrow services usually make the peer-to-peer bitcoin trading experience much safer.
One of the main features of Paxful is the way we search for offers. Generally, on other platforms, we must search manually, not only by price but also one that suits our payment method and comes from a reliable user such as LocalBitcoins. For this, Paxful creates a series of “way forward” to buy or sell our cryptocurrency, which is very useful for users who acquire crypto for the first time.
So a peer-to-peer marketplace when buying bitcoins is a fairly complete and very user-friendly platform for new users, as it reduces to a minimum the number of possible steps to trade our BTCs. By the middle of 2018, Paxful already had more than 50,000 users around the world, so it is possible to get offers of all kinds, both for retailers and for wholesalers and virtually any payment method.
The interesting thing about a P2P marketplace to buy bitcoin is that these platforms only act as an intermediary, but using a decentralized system. It’s a system that implements the technology of bitcoin and the blockchain but it also has the efficiency of human interaction.
Recent analyses show that more people have focused on trading rather than investing after the Bitcoin ($BTC) price-drop. Most people who do this are betting on the adoption of peer-to-peer financing.
Although 2018 was experiencing a price-drop in the cryptomarket, the volume of P2P marketplaces to trade bitcoins increased compared to 2017 – leading one to think that even during a bear market is still considered the ideal financial alternative.
The current market may be what many call a crypto winter, but volatility does not seem to deter users of peer-to-peer marketplaces like Paxful. In fact, they don’t seem to care much about price, but they are adopting an alternative currency on a permanent basis.
“People are taking control of their finances one Paxful trade at a time, he added. And more and more financially unreachable places around the world are finally included on a global financial scale. It’s heartwarming to see that a lot of people are using our platform to change their lives for the better.”
~Ray Youssef, CEO at Paxful in an interview for Forbes
To conclude, all that remains for me is to invite you to try for yourselves the experience of buying bitcoin in a peer-to-peer marketplace.
Disclaimer: Any opinions expressed are those of Alyan A. González-Méndez. This info is for educational and/or entertainment purposes only, so use at your own risk. He’s not a broker-dealer or advisor of any kind.
By Devina Kaur
Everything in life is temporary. The only constant in life is change itself. That is a reality that we cannot deny. The beauty of this fact is that it allows us to confront our fears, trust the magic of the moment, and enjoy the precious gift of life. What lasts forever is our true self -- the real you -- the person you were born to be. If you feel stuck, trapped, boring or insecure -- acknowledge yourself, find yourself and who you really are on the inside. Your shiny sexy brilliant self is there. It's been there all along. You just need to unveil it.
It's a very common question to ask: "Who am I?" and it's not an easy question to answer. We might be able to give a definition of ourselves, like professional or student, or that we're introverts or extroverts but this doesn't really represent our true selves. We might also try to describe our best qualities and say that we're kind and smart but again, these qualities only indicate the surface level of who we really are.
It's a very common question to ask: "Who am I?" and it's not an easy question to answer. | Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash
To find out who we truly are, we need to delve deeper and create something that is uniquely ours. So instead of answering the question about who we are from society's perspective or what traits define us, it is better to answer by showing examples of what makes us the person that we are on our own.
A tree is perfectly content being a tree. It doesn't think about becoming a chair or a birdhouse. Yet it knows how to be what it truly is. Trusting in your own true nature is sexy, brilliant, and way more fun than any comparison game because it builds beyond the temporary.
Here are 3 ways to overcome temporariness:
*Invest in yourself
The most challenging thing in life is to unleash your potential, open your heart and shine. Start now by doing one thing 100 per cent for yourself -- spend time in inner development, learn a new skill, do something you have been dreaming of for a long time, or go somewhere nice and take a photo of yourself, really look at yourself in the mirror. Then look straight into the eyes of the person you see in the mirror and tap into your innermost desires with a promise to yourself that you will not stop until you have achieved your dreams and wishes. Focus on your career, be willing to be flexible with your time and desires and allow your needs and passions to change over time.
Focus on your career, be willing to be flexible with your time and desires and allow your needs and passions to change over time. | | Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash
*Discover your true self
Discovering your true self is not easy. To do this, introspection is required. There are many ways that you can take the time to explore who you are, but it is important to find your passion and drive. Spend time being still and silent and using that time to get to know who you are. Once you know who you are, you can then practice radical self-acceptance. Through self-acceptance, we can have more self-love for ourselves. I have been lucky enough to know and love as my true self for so long. I have found the journey this year to be more meaningful than any other year in my life because it has given me the chance to explore who I am and what I am really passionate about. Don't forget to practice self-care and health, set boundaries, start knowing and accepting yourself, as self-acceptance leads to more self-love.
Spend time being still and silent and using that time to get to know who you are. | Photo by Taisiia Stupak on Unsplash
* Be kind to yourself: People often neglect themselves and fixate on their imperfections. This can lead to low self-esteem, self-doubt, and other negative thoughts that worsen the mental and spiritual senses. It is important that we maintain our own well-being even if it means doing things that we might not enjoy or feel like doing at first. This includes eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, exercising, spending time outside in nature, reading a book, etc. I connect to the Earth and embrace my inner child by walking barefoot whenever I can. When you reach a stage of youth, you start to gain a clear vision of how you want your future to be like.
It is important that we maintain our own well-being even if it means doing things that we might not enjoy or feel like doing at first. | Photo by A A on Unsplash
The most successful people are the ones willing to learn new skills and unlearn their old conditioning! Don't forget to practice self-care and health and set boundaries. It starts with self-knowledge and self-acceptance, as self-acceptance can lead to more love. Remember that the journey to self-love is love itself. Your life has just begun, if you make the most out of it, your personal development becomes the best version of itself. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: development, nature, person, practice, yourself, acceptance
Actor and environmental activist, Dia Mirza, who is also the National Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) was showstopper for Indian designers Abraham & Thakore at the recently held LFW X FDCI event. The designer duo who are pioneers of slow fashion and sustainability in the Indian fashion landscape showcased a timeless sustainable collection.
IANSlife spoke with Mirza on sustainable choices when it comes to fashion.
Q: Did you enjoy the on-ground fashion event and the energy that came with the physical show and appearance?
A: Yes absolutely. It was just so refreshing and wonderful to finally be back from a virtual audience. Last year we did a digital show and the energy was just not there, this is an interactive experience and we draw so much from real people.
Q: The outfit that was chosen for you, how did it complement your style?
A: It's a garment that I think involves and is reflective of what I stand for, I deeply care about sustainability and I love the fact that the garment has been made with repurposed material, used and created with a hundred per cent post-consumer bottles, and made by the waste generated from the pieces of fabric that we discard while creating other garments. So it was a very special garment that really and truly celebrated repurposing and reusing and upcycling.
IANSlife spoke with Mirza on sustainable choices when it comes to fashion. | Wikimedia Commons
Q: In the world of fashion celebrity collaborations are replacing celebrity muses, what are your thoughts on that?
A: I think it's wonderful because you know, celebrities have interesting sensibility and you know designers and celebrities who care and have a similar value system and ethos work really well together. I have such wonderful partnerships with people, who have worked with me over the years. I haven't created a line with any of them yet, but I think it would be a lot of fun.
Q: How do you support sustainable fashion?
A: I think it's very exciting for India that we have so many more young upcoming and exciting designers, who make absolutely fantastic sustainable collections. Abraham & Thakore and the kind of work they've done over the years is fabulous, but what's even more important is the fact that they're empowering local craftsmen and artisans, creating livelihood support.
Q: A book, a movie, the gym, or a night out; your perfect way to unwind?
A: It really depends, but if I had to choose one, I would choose movies because I love cinema.
Q: What is an experience in your life that you're waiting to have?
A: Trekking up Machu Picchu.
(Article originally published on IANS life) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: indian, sustainability, designers, sustainable,
In a step towards digitisation of the system, Delhi Transport Department will soon issue QR based Smart cards for driving licenses (DLs) and registration certificates (RCs).
As per a statement, the new driving licence will have an advanced microchip with features like Quick Response (QR) code and Near Field Communication (NFC). The new RC will have the owner's name printed on the front while the microchip and the QR code would be embedded at the back of the card.
The cards earlier had embedded chips, but chip reader machines were not available in the required quantity with both the Delhi Traffic Police and the Enforcement Wing of the Transport Department. Moreover, chips were designed and implemented by the states concerned, which resulted in difficulties in reading the chip and retrieving information, especially in case of defaulters.
"Now with the QR based smart card, this issue is resolved. This will enable unification in linking and validating one's information to smart cards with Sarathi and Vahan, the two web-based databases of all driving licenses and vehicle registrations," the release added.
The QR is also being implemented nationwide, the QR code reader is easily procurable and will do away with the requirement of any manual intervention altogether. The new cards will also allow two specific materials for their card manufacturing -- PolyVinyl Chloride or PVC, or PolyCarbonate which is slightly more expensive but more durable. (Card Size - 85.6mm x 54.02 mm; Thickness minimum 0.7 mm)
An October 2018 notification of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) had made changes to the Driving License and Registration Certificate. The new Smart card based DL and RC, will have chip based/ QR code based recognition system. At the same time, documents such as driving license or registration certificates in electronic formats on DigiLockers and mParivahan were also made valid in place of physical documents and treated at par with original documents.
The QR code also has an added advantage of acting as a safety feature on the smart card. The department will be able to retain records and penalties of the DL holder for up to 10 years on the VAHAN database as soon as a driver/ owner's Smart card is confiscated. The new DLs will also help the government in maintaining records of differently-abled drivers, any modifications made to the vehicles, emission standards and the person's declaration to donate organs. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: Delhi, Driving License, Registration License, Digitisation.