The German company Slock.it is known for its collaborative projects Share&Charge, an Ethereum based electric vehicle charging station sharing platform, and Charity DAO, a transparent, donor-governed trust system for charitable donations. Now, with this new seed funding, they plan to create the Universal Sharing Network (USN).
As shown by the success of several resource sharing platforms from AirBnB to Zipcar, a majority of the population is extremely willing to rent their assets for a premium. This trend signals that the world may be moving from an era of ownership to an era of communal utilization. The Universal Sharing Network Project aims to create an easy solution for commoditizing any underutilized resource, and do so with executable distributed code contracts on the public Ethereum blockchain.
According to the company’s website, the end user would be able to “find, locate, rent and control any object mediated by the USN, from anywhere in the world.” The USN’s Open Platform will make it easy for manufacturers, both large and small, to import and utilize the platform into their products.
Christoph Jentzsch, CEO and co-founder of Slock.it, says:
“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.”
The global beta release of the USN is set to launch next year, with a “mainstream, user-friendly brand and image.” Right now, the company’s focus is on helping other businesses to integrate this technology into new and existing products. At the heart of this project is the Ethereum Computer, Slock.it’s free and open source image for many SoC (System on a Chip) platforms. “We’re talking about the deployment of a global, real-time, ad-hoc Internet of Value,” says COO, Stephan Tual. Tual later told ETHNews, “Well, it’s going to be a lot of work, but I look forward to the project being judged on the quality of the products it delivers!”.