Origin has stepped up their game of removing intermediaries with taking two giants in on-demand and share economy industry under its wing.
Yes, we are talking about Uber and Airbnb. According to the $38 million-funded Origin, the sharing economy ends up sharing a big chunk of labour’s earning with middlemen.
So it wants the next big double-sided marketplace like this to be decentralized on Blockchain.
This will allow the riders and drivers and guests and hosts to connect directly without exorbitant fees to third parties which can be as high as 20%.
With this vision, yesterday, Origin launched its decentralized marketplace protocol on the ethereum mainnet that will replace any central business which connects customers and vendors with a smart contract.
The co-founder Matt Liu who was also the third party manager at YouTube had to say about the issue that, “Marketplaces don’t redistribute the profits they make to members. They accrue to founders and venture capitalists, building these decentralized marketplaces, we want to make them peer-to-peer, not peer-to-corporate-monopoly-to-peer.”
In its business model, Origin has planned to issue the users Tokens for every transaction they make.
These tokens will let them participate in the governance of the entire protocol and this could be used to incentivize them to get on these marketplaces and will also increase the user base through the grapevine.
Today’s mainnet beta even compared this vision of Origin with Craigslist where users can create a profile and connect their ethereum wallet through services such as MetaMask and browse products and listings and connect via personal messages to arrange for transactions through smart contracts with zero extra fee.
This platform can even entertain the ability to review a product or service and appeal for disputes.
This vision extends till the creation of sub-marketplaces for specific services such as house cleaning, dry-cleaning pickup, Ridesharing, etc. And since Origin intends for final cost-savings for everyone and undercutting non-blockchain services, the developers opting to create such sub-marketplaces can choose to charge a fee.
The idea is still in its nascence and it might be years before the necessary infrastructure could be built. But the company has a seed funding of $3 million from Pantera Capital, $6.6 million through Coinlist token sale, along with $26.4 million in traditional venture funding from Pantera Capital, Foundation Capital, Garry Tan, Alexis Ohanian, Gil Penchina, Kamal Ravikant, Steve Jang and Randall Kaplan.
Reminiscing about coming up with the Idea, Liu recalls thinking, “What if we could replace dozens of multi-million and multi-billion-dollar companies with open-source protocols that aren’t owned or controlled by anyone?”
But the question is after the Idea being in open, why wouldn’t marketplaces build their own Blockchain system instead of going on-board with Origin?
According to Fraser, though Smart contracts can save money, they’re incredibly difficult to build individually. So he looks at Origin as “Analogue to stripe – able to abstract away all the friction of building on the blockchain.” And already 40 marketplaces have signed up letters of intent to build on the protocol.
And if Origin reaches critical mass, it will also be beneficial from the perspective of shared network effect and users will only have to sign up once and they can interact with the entire marketplace built on Origin.
Talking about the challenges that Origin will face, Liu tells that the biggest threat to this business will be the timing. “We believe that decentralized marketplaces are inevitable, but a lot of smart people seem to think we’re too early and that we should be focused on building lower-level infrastructure instead,” the co-founder says.
Another thing that can be challenging is that abusers of this system can continue to work with it because it is entirely independent, unlike the capitalist system where you can file a complaint against bad behavior and get the issue resolved.
But luckily, Origin has made its team stronger than ever, including Yu Pan, who it says was a PayPal co-founder, former head of Dropbox’s NYC engineering team Cuong Du, and Franck Chastagnol who previously led engineering teams at PayPal, YouTube, Google and Dropbox.
As per our view, the entire success of Origin’s seemingly perfect idea will be resting upon its usability and user acceptance.
Because the average service provider is not a Blockchain expert and they require a highly simplified version of the technology to fully operate through. So in the end Origin will have to remove the Blockchain aspect from the user’s end as much as possible for a successful run.
Hiring a great team will surely work in favour of Origin but from our viewpoint, for other companies to flourish such an idea, hiring a great blockchain app development company will be as conducive.