Sharing Economy

<p style="text-align: justify;">We are in a period of great epochal changes from the point of view of energy supply which affects both the public and private sectors. Although there have been two major events such as the spread of the Covid-19 virus and the resumption of fighting in Ukraine after the 2014 Crimean war, the spread of the sharing economy was limited to a single agency in Italy before major problems arose on the price of the economic and social engine of the peoples of Europe and the world, i.e., the usability of low-cost energy.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">This community has produced in just three years the beauty of over 40,000 members who, thanks to the foresight of the sharing economy, has replaced the delegation of stipulating new contracts with external agencies, call centers, door-to-door salesmen at their customers by moving them from the off-line world to the online one through incentives and discounts with direct commissions, transforming them into the new professionals of the sale.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Legislated thanks to law 173/2005 applicable to the item Direct sale without distinction of any product with dry withholding tax at the source with a taxable income of 18% based on 5000 euros with the possibility of opening the VAT number by switching to the usual regime by varying the taxation to 23% with continuing the current work activity unrelated to accumulation with other income.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><strong>Future of Sharing Economy</strong></span></p><p>Technology has helped the sharing economy advance to where it is today, and the trend is only expected to continue as we become more digitally connected. While we have seen how dominant collaborative consumption can be in sectors such as transportation, consumer goods and services, many other traditional sectors will soon experience changes due to the sharing economy.&nbsp;</p><p>As the sharing economy has appeared due to digitization, we can expect it to become even more technologically advanced and people to become more digitally connected. So far, we have seen how the sharing economy has successfully disrupted entertainment (Netflix), transportation (Uber), consumer goods (eBay), travel (Airbnb), fashion (Depop), and many other industries.&nbsp;</p><p>As technology solutions evolve, we can expect more closed sectors, such as finance and banking, to fade into the background. The sharing economy has entered these sectors with P2P lending, insurance, crowdfunding, and social payments. 8 out of 10 customer interactions with banks are already about paying for goods or services (McKinsey).</p><p>With trends like embedded banking and the sharing economy, we can expect that any transactions with financial services and banking will be integrated into the service, making them invisible to the consumer. For businesses, it could mean they will have to look for ways to implement financial and banking services into their operations.&nbsp;</p><p>The sharing economy implies the convenience of acquiring, using and paying for goods and services in the moment. In order to provide this convenience to their customers, businesses will need to build integrated payment systems. This is a very complicated technology to develop yourself.</p><p>However, software platforms already exist that provide platforms and infrastructure for anyone who wants to build such solutions. It allows products to be launched within a week to address the needs and concerns of cross-border payments and transfers connecting people without contact. The products could help many companies create technical solutions, not only by reducing system development and maintenance costs, but also by accelerating the transition to integrated payments.</p><p>The world has changed and the financial sector is facing an uncertain future. One solution for the industry to stay in the game and successfully survive the disruptive way of the sharing economy is to integrate payments and banking into the service, creating a seamless experience for the customer. Financial services and banking should be viewed as part of services rather than as a separate entity. The industry is evolving rapidly and hence, there is not much time to waste.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;<br /><span style="font-size: 10pt;"><em>This article was contributed by our expert <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Daniele Mula</a></em></span></p><p>&nbsp;<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><h3><span style="font-size: 18pt;">Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Daniele Mula</span></h3><p>&nbsp;</p><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">1. Why is sharing economy important?</span></h2><p>Sharing economy means using technology to connect seekers of certain goods or services with their suppliers. It's important because it can be a good way for companies to make their business models more efficient and reduce costs.&nbsp;</p><p>The sharing economy also offers a way for people to generate additional income through a side hustle. And for consumers, it's not just about meeting their demand for a good or service on demand and at a reasonable price, but also in an environmentally friendly way.</p><p>If you've ever used a website or an app on your phone to book an apartment to stay for a while on vacation or even hail a cab, you have participated in the sharing economy.&nbsp;</p><p>The sharing and gig economy arose from technological shifts that ultimately changed how business was traditionally done in many industries.&nbsp;</p><p>But the biggest change brought about by the sharing economy has been a way to build an alternative income stream for millions of people around the world.</p><p><strong>Key Takeaways</strong></p><ul><li>The sharing economy helps connect seekers of goods or services with their suppliers using technology</li><li>It can help companies reduce costs and increase efficiency</li><li>The sharing economy can help consumers make environmentally friendly choices</li></ul><p>The sharing economy helps workers generate an alternative income stream through a side hustle.&nbsp;</p><p>Trying to define exactly what the sharing economy is would not do the term justice. The sharing economy is an ever-evolving economic principle. In very simple terms, it is the use of technology to facilitate the exchanged access of goods or services between two or more parties saving time and money.&nbsp;</p><p>It comes from the idea that common parts can share the value of an underutilized skill or asset. This value exchange occurs via a shared marketplace, collaborative platform, or peer-to-peer application.&nbsp;</p><p>Some factors that have led to the rise of the sharing or gig economy include:</p><ul><li>Advances in digital platforms and devices</li><li>Consumer demand for services, as well as the need for cost</li><li>Resource efficiency</li><li>Globalization</li></ul><p>The sharing model is not new, as many rural communities have thrived on the same idea through bartering. However, thanks to the accessibility of the internet and mobile technology, managing stock-based transactions has never been easier.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">2. Why is sharing economy more sustainable?</span></h2><p>The sharing economy promotes sustainable societies, and a simultaneous improvement of ecological and economic efficiency is necessary to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The new collaborative economy has the potential to drive needed changes in collective consumption behavior, but better governance models are urgently needed.</p><p>The sharing economy is an emerging economic model usually defined as peer-to-peer sharing based on access to goods and services facilitated by a community-based online platform. It focuses on sharing underutilized resources to improve efficiency, sustainability, and community.&nbsp;</p><p>In economic theory, these platforms are essentially "club goods" (a subtype of excludable but non-rival public goods), which have been characterized as an elegant Asian solution that reduces transaction costs to nearly zero by discouraging free-riding. The sharing model is developing rapidly in many service sectors, especially in transport, hospitality, and other forms.</p><p>While the sharing economy provides a potential pathway to sustainable societies, conflicts between corporate profits and social welfare can potentially arise. There is concern that some companies may use the "sharing economy" as a marketing gimmick to disguise the profit motive and exploitation under the pretense of making society a better place. Governments, on the other hand, could be considered excess. Service providers aim to maximize corporate profits for shareholders and value for paying customers, while governments aim to optimize the well-being of all citizens.</p><p>We are strongly optimistic about the role such emerging business models can play in solving many urban problems, even without financial incentives or new regulations. We suggest instead that such conflicts are resolvable through cooperation between shared enterprises and governments. Public authorities should provide both economic and non-economic incentives to private operators who have passed a comprehensive life cycle assessment (LCA) which estimates the environmental impacts associated with all life stages of the shared product (or during the life cycle of a company or project) while sharing service providers should consider environmental protection and social welfare improvement as a corporate social responsibility (CSR) rather than a marketing ploy.</p><p>First, governments have a role in identifying the most pro-social sharing models from an LCA perspective and supporting service providers through economic (e.g., lower taxes and subsidies) and non-economic incentives (e.g., communication and labeling campaigns). Following this approach, both environmental and health benefits can be converted into economic incentives for businesses.&nbsp;</p><p>Additionally, governments need to monitor emerging sharing models to mitigate the overprovision of sharing services, which has occurred in many fields as companies compete for market share. In light of these "side effects", the sharing economy will prove sustainable only through mutual cooperation between public authorities, businesses, and consumers.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Framework for a Sustainable Sharing Economy Model</strong></p><p>The framework involves four participants: governments, businesses, owners, and users. Governments identify the most pro-social sharing models and support service providers through economic and non-economic incentives.&nbsp;</p><p>Businesses estimate the environmental impacts of sharing activities from a life cycle perspective and provide information and sustainable options to consumers. Owners and users of sharing products make sustainability a key factor in selecting sharing service providers.&nbsp;</p><p>Second, sharing firms need to set the sustainability of sharing models as a goal rather than their use as a marketing tool. They should engage in the ongoing development of shared assets to meet government-set standards on LCA and gain or maintain incentive eligibility. The goal of LCA is to compare the full range of environmental impacts of shared products and services, and this information helps improve efficiency and support policy.&nbsp;</p><p>The sharing business tax system should be improved, as tax evasion is very common in the sharing economy. Governments should prioritize using fees collected from sharing businesses to promote sustainability by providing incentives to sharing businesses and sustainability advocates for consumers.</p><p>What is needed here is a more explicit recognition by local and national governments of the importance of the sharing economy for achieving the SDGs; The challenge is to align better the interests of new and old businesses, local governments, and the national economy.&nbsp;</p><p>Sharing businesses must also develop relationships with local authorities and follow relevant regulations to achieve long-term profitability. Unfortunately, what happens all too often is that these new sharing platforms, with their disruptive rhetoric, position themselves as orthogonal to both the state and the market (old firms) in sweeping away inefficient business models and toppling old regulatory regimes.&nbsp;</p><p>Policymakers must respond by partnering with pro-social solutions, offering them local government support in exchange for their assistance in mitigating the costs associated with structural change.</p><p>In a rapidly growing economy, dwindling resources, overpopulated cities, and skyrocketing prices, a sharing economy is the way to go. Also known as "share economy", "collaborative consumption", "collaborative economy," or "peer economy", it is a peer-to-peer trading marketplace model, typically facilitated by an online platform.&nbsp;</p><p>Divided into five main sectors, they are popping up everywhere you look:</p><ul><li>Transportation</li><li>Finance</li><li>Consumer goods</li><li>Property</li><li>Personal and professional services and social economies&nbsp;</li></ul><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Platforms like Airbnb and Uber are probably the best-known of their kind, but their European counterparts are not to be ignored.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">3. What are the pros and cons of the sharing economy?</span></h2><p><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><strong>Pros of the sharing economy</strong></span></p><p><strong>Flexibility</strong></p><p>One of the things consumers value when using or working in the sharing economy is flexibility. In this market, there is no need to "own" what is used, making travel, changes, and schedules more customizable than ever.&nbsp;</p><p>For example, with the rise of the sharing economy, working as a digital nomad from anywhere in the world is made 1000 times more manageable. These options are perfect for people who are constantly on the go and late for meetings.</p><p><strong>Independence</strong></p><p>For those who are okay with traditional office work, sharing economies don't require professional work environments, so you don't need to stay in an atmosphere that suits your personality.&nbsp;</p><p>The best example of this is the large number of coworking spaces that are piling up. Increasingly, professions that allow flexible atmospheres choose to work remotely rather than in a single physical office space.</p><p><strong>More Sustainable use of Resources</strong></p><p>A sharing economy helps consumers earn money by leasing underutilized goods or resources.&nbsp;</p><p>For example, renting a house using Airbnb, expensive tools from your garage or car, or even sharing the rest of the leftover groceries in the fridge before going on vacation. This helps reduce waste &ndash; if only to a small extent &ndash; and provides a way for items to be resold and repurposed instead of thrown away.&nbsp;</p><p>Good examples are the Spanish platforms Wallapop or Vibbo, which invite users to sell second-hand consumer goods; Eatwith, which offers dinner experiences in private homes; Leftoverswap, which allows neighbors to swap leftovers and extra groceries within their community; Lendi, which lets you lend items to your neighbors, changing the way we consume (great for borrowing tools, grilling kits, or sports equipment; Union Energia, which promotes the use of renewable energy in exchange for incentives and discounts on the electricity &amp; gas bill!).&nbsp;</p><p>All these platforms help us save more and consume less, helping our pockets and the environment.</p><p><strong>Building Community Trust</strong></p><p>A sharing economy is driven by its community. It is based on trust and collaboration between its users and suppliers. Peer reviews and ratings are an expected part of every platform, promoting honesty and transparency, which are key components of a successful sharing economy.&nbsp;</p><p>The Barcelona-based Badi platform, committed to making city life accessible to everyone, everywhere, by connecting people with shared spaces, is a perfect example of how a sharing economy is primarily driven by the people who are part of it.</p><p><strong>Economic Benefits</strong></p><p>An obvious benefit of the sharing economy is the financial gains it allows consumers. According to a Deloitte report on the economic effects of Airbnb, consumers save an average of $88 per night by staying in offered Airbnb accommodation compared to traditional lodging. Not only do these economic benefits support users and vendors but also the full-time employees who work for these platforms around the world.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><strong>The cons of the sharing economy</strong></span></p><p><strong>Security Issues</strong></p><p>Most sharing economy platforms rely on trust, as well as guest and host ratings. But sometimes you use a car or rent an Airbnb, which is completely different from what you imagine. After all, we have heard stories of guests and hosts from hell.</p><p><strong>Lack of Regulations</strong></p><p>The digitally driven peer-to-peer nature of the sharing economy model does not align well with current laws and regulations, and sharing economy services do not have to comply with certain regulations, which, on the other hand, helps to maintain the services provided more conveniently.&nbsp;</p><p>Another downside is that, in many cases, there is a lack of regulation to oversee the products and services exchanged during these transactions. For example, hotels are inspected for quality assurance, while Airbnb apartments are not.</p><p><strong>Uncertain Future</strong></p><p>The sharing economy certainly has its lovers and haters. Many are not ready to transition to that model, whereas others already use more than four platforms in their daily lives.&nbsp;</p><p>The business model is having a lot of growing pains, and many "standard" employees are trying to stunt its growth. We all remember that 9-day nationwide anti-Uber and Cabify taxi strike, which more or less completely paralyzed Spain and, at a vote, got quite violent.</p><p><strong>Unstable Income and no Benefits</strong></p><p>While sharing economies offer much flexibility in work schedules, travel, and freedom, workplaces can be more unstable and may not provide living wages. Workers have to pay business costs (maintenance, insurance, etc.) which take a large chunk of their income. The bottom line is that consumers and businesses continue to evolve, and the sharing economy will evolve right along with them.<br />&nbsp;<br />As an aid to reuse resources and reduce waste, the sharing economy is currently one of the most important models. If one is "just trying to make some extra cash" to pay off debt or save up for a big purchase, it can be a great way to make some extra cash.&nbsp;</p><p>If consumers view it as a single source of income, it can be much more complicated. Whichever way you view this growing market, it's worth trying and exploring if you find deals attractive enough to stick with.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">4. What are the most important areas of the sharing economy?</span></h2><p><strong>Transport</strong></p><p>The rise of Uber in the transportation sector is one of the best examples to illustrate the effect of the sharing economy on a traditional sector. Uber and other ride-sharing services offer a convenient and affordable alternative to traditional transportation options like public transit or taxis.</p><p>Using an efficient mobile application and a network of vetted drivers, Uber meets the transportation needs of consumers while providing a user experience arguably better than traditional means.<br />Major sharing economy brands in the transportation space include:</p><ul><li>Uber</li><li>Lyft</li></ul><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Consumer Goods</strong></p><p>PWC research suggests that 86% of US adults familiar with the sharing economy say it makes life more accessible, and 83% also agree he that the sharing economy is more convenient and efficient than traditional methods. Convenience, affordability and efficiency are also three of the most influential factors in a consumer goods purchasing decision.</p><p>Therefore, it is no surprise that equity-based brands are also dominating the consumer goods sector. Note Many consumers are also environmentally conscious and the sharing economy offers more environmentally friendly consumption choices by sharing the same resources,eBay is one of the pioneers of the peer-to-peer market. Their innovative platform allows users to buy and sell used or new items through their interface and have the goods shipped right to their doorstep.</p><p>Consumers can browse a variety of products at customized prices, in various conditions and with different guarantees. This empowers consumers and provides them with a more convenient, convenient and efficient way to purchase goods.Major sharing economy brands in the consumer goods space include:</p><ul><li>eBay</li><li>Etsy</li><li>Rent the track</li></ul><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Professional and Personal Services</strong></p><p>The benefits of the sharing economy are best illustrated in the professional and personal services space. Professional and personal services are defined by work that requires special knowledge, skills, experience, certifications, or training such as copywriters, accountants, or plumbers.</p><p>In relation to the sharing economy, this is also referred to as freelancing, gigs and other trendy terms that equate to short-term work. Powerhouses like Fiverr, Upwork, and TaskRabbit create value by providing a fast, friendly, and secure platform for individuals or businesses to find contractors to hire.</p><p><strong>Note </strong></p><p>Freelancers can earn extra cash by sharing their business skills and expertise, not unlike landlords who rent out access to their home or car owners who share rides.Leading sharing economy brands in the Professional and Personal Services space include:</p><ul><li>Fiverr</li><li>Upwork</li></ul><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Healthcare</strong></p><p>While the sharing economy has yet to catch on in healthcare, many experts suspect it is the next frontier for collaborative consumption. The limitations of traditional healthcare systems, expenditures and resources are factors that we have seen mitigated in other sectors through action-based methods. From telemedicine to group consulting, the sharing economy is set to change the healthcare sector.</p><p>For example, many times expensive medical equipment can sit idle, creating storage and maintenance expenses. So equity-based startups like Cohealo are helping hospitals save money and increase the value of equipment by developing technology that allows hospitals to share medical equipment with other healthcare facilities. Key sharing economy brands in the healthcare space include:amwell, Doctor on request, Cohealo.</p><p>The sharing economy has revealed the problem of overcapacity in many sectors. Be it unused equipment, a skilled worker not having enough hours, or even an oversupply of a particular product. There is an opportunity cost of not using these resources efficiently, and that is what a sharing economy fixes. By sharing and using existing resources efficiently, the sharing economy can help reduce costs for businesses.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">5. How does technology enable the sharing economy?</span></h2><p>Technology has emerged as the key driver for adopting the sharing economy. Companies now use Global Positioning Systems (GPS), data analytics, and Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) to connect consumers with owners in real-time. Below are the technology trends affecting the sharing economy, as identified by GlobalData.</p><p><strong>Social Media</strong></p><p>Social media has significantly influenced the way people travel, dine and shop. For example, travelers visit websites like TripAdvisor and Airbnb to plan their itineraries and look at the ratings on Zomato before choosing a restaurant.&nbsp;</p><p>Individuals active on social media are happy to trust the opinions of others online, which has been the backbone of the sharing economy. This transparency is helpful for anyone booking an Airbnb or planning a trip to a local restaurant. Online reviews posted on a website like TripAdvisor give users first-hand experiences.</p><p>Social media accounts are also used to validate users registering on apps. According to a study by Adapty in July 2020, 88% of users provide incorrect data in registration forms.&nbsp;</p><p>Logging into sites through Facebook or Google improves the customer experience and ensures that businesses receive accurate customer information. It also enhances security with the help of a temporary code that can only be accessed via the customer's registered mobile phone.</p><p><strong>Artificial Intelligence (A.I.)</strong></p><p>Sharing economy platform providers use artificial intelligence to improve the customer experience. According to GlobalData's Emerging Technology Trends Survey 2020, 45% of executives believe A.I. will play a critical role in improving the efficiency of existing business operations over the next three years.&nbsp;</p><p>Analyzing user data such as age, location, previous searches, and browsing history allows for more personalized service.</p><p>Airbnb has developed an embedded listing technique that takes data from previous research sessions and identifies similarities between listings to generate recommendations.&nbsp;</p><p>Ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft use A.I. to set prices, offer discounts, and select the most direct route. A 2020 report from Evergage found that 92% of U.S. customers expect a personalized experience, up from 85% in 2019.</p><p><strong>Cyber security</strong></p><p>The success of a sharing economy business relies on using data to deliver better services and a more personalized experience. This requires collecting and storing large amounts of user information, including (but not limited to) personal, medical, and financial information.&nbsp;</p><p>In most cases, people access sharing economy platforms from personal devices that lack enterprise-standard security. Combined, these factors highlight the importance of sharing economy companies' investments in cybersecurity.</p><p>There is also the threat of hefty fines and lawsuits for data breaches and their aftermath. For example, in 2017, Uber paid all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia $148 million for its failure to report a cyberattack that exposed the data of 57 million Uber customers and drivers.</p><p><strong>Blockchain&nbsp;</strong></p><p>According to the Blockchain Council, the main challenge with the current sharing economy business model is that its profits are not shared equally among all involved.&nbsp;</p><p>Instead, most of the profit generated is captured by the large intermediaries that operate the main sharing economy platforms.</p><p>Blockchain technology has the potential to usher in a new decentralized sharing economy business model. With blockchain, software applications no longer need to be distributed on a centralized server but can run on a peer-to-peer (P2P) network controlled by any single company.&nbsp;</p><p>Currently, several startups are working on a new sharing economy business model that eliminates the need for third-party intermediaries. These companies offer decentralized sharing economy platforms built on top of blockchain technology or are integrating it into their existing platform.</p><p>For example, Open Bazaar allows for the sale and purchase of goods without needing a third party to host the data and charge a transaction fee. Similarly, LaZooz and ArcadeCity are decentralized, community-owned platforms that use blockchain technology to enable a car-sharing service.&nbsp;</p><p>In November 2020, Airbnb unveiled plans to expand research and development in distributed ledger and blockchain technology.</p><p>While blockchain could potentially disrupt the sharing economy, its impact has been negligible. Blockchain technology is expensive and slow to complete transactions, so widespread adoption is likely once these issues are resolved.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
KR Expert - Daniele Mula

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