Last year, Bitcoin seemed unstoppable. The digital currency routinely made front-page headlines in the world’s most prominent papers, and it continually broke price barriers that many people never thought possible.
This year, Bitcoin mania has cooled considerably. After attaining an all-time high near $20,000, its value has languished, and it currently resides at less than half of its top price. However, crypto’s popularity hasn’t really died down. Instead, it just changed directions.
So far, new crypto or blockchain-based startups have raised nearly $8 billion this year. That’s more than double the amount raised all of last year. Investors may be less interested in Bitcoin, but they are pouring their resources into new projects.
However, this does raise an interesting question: “What do companies do with the money that they raise?”.
Community Development & Technical Innovation
ShareRing, a blockchain-based marketplace for the sharing economy, recently announced a unique plan for part of their ICO funding. Using a portion of the revenue from their token sale, they are purchasing 1 – 3 homes in popular vacation spots around the world.
To be sure, this is not a frivolous use of investor money. Instead, it’s a strategic attempt to provide special-event locations for the company, as a testing ground for associated sharing services, and to reward participants of their early token sale. The properties will be purchased after their main token sale, which begins on June 4th.
They already recognize that investments in technology and usability are significant, community development is a critical component of a successful blockchain launch. Without a dedicated and engaged user base, new platforms will fall flat, and their technological prowess is unlikely to be fully realized.
Building a Business in House
ShareRing is big plans for the homes they will purchase, and they are simultaneously focused on platform development and community engagement. Here’s how they plan to use their properties.
#1 Testing New Products
ShareRing functions as an Amazon-like platform in that it brings together different services associated with the sharing economy and integrates them into a single marketplace. Using their mobile app, anyone can locate, buy, and review sharing services.
Of course, the sharing economy is still in its infancy, and it’s expected to surge in popularity in the next five years. As new products and services enter the testing phase, they will have a real-world location to test their product’s viability. Therefore, by investing in these homes, ShareRing is positioning themselves to both facilitate and participate in the sharing economy’s proliferation.
#2 Incubating New Platforms
Blockchain startups can apply for a one or two week stay in a ShareRing house. They can use the space for pitch-fests and hackathons that can help them get off the ground. There are similar initiatives like the CryptoHou.se in New York, but ShareRing will distribute their opportunity around the world in their different locations.
ShareRing intends to use the house as an event space to launch their own initiatives, but the homes are most noteworthy for their role in facilitating collaboration at mutual support among the blockchain community.
#3 A Free Vacation Destination
For early token holders, the ShareRing homes will be available for 40 weeks a year as a free vacation destination. Guests can stay for up to a week each year, and token holders apply by using their tokens as ballots for securing a particular time. The more ballots a user has, the more likely that he or she will be selected for the time they want.
Although ShareRing doesn’t pay for flights, food, or transportation, the actual stay in the house is entirely free. This is a unique and intriguing incentive for people to participate in the early token sale. What’s more, it fosters community involvement for a blockchain platform that is predicated on cooperation and connection.
Most obviously, ShareRing is demonstrating a unique approach to launching a new platform. They appreciate the importance of the people that participate in their platform, and they are rewarding their participation creatively.