Centralized Trust System for P2P Marketplaces

There is a wealth of “sharing economy” sites (not sure what sharing economy is – read this), with new ones popping up everyday. AirBnb. Lyft. Uber. Kickstarter. TaskRabbit. Skillshare. etc

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Each sharing economy site has to build out their own trust system, which happens to be the most critical component to the viability of their marketplace — and the single hardest part to execute on (IMO). Users on their site need to know they are transacting with trusted people who will not rip them off.

There is an opportunity for a neutral source to aggregate user trust in the form of authenticated social media accounts, phone numbers, photo IDs (AirBnB just added this), and reviews that can be plugged into any peer-to-peer marketplace.

It looks like TrustCloud is already well down this path. But, surely, they aren’t at critical mass as of yet and someone could yank this opportunity from under them.

What do you think? A needed system? Or just added complexity?

[Image via http://www.fastcoexist.com/]

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About Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon, a private couchsurfing app enabling you to stay with someone you trust on your next trip. He worked for Zillow.com from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder and managing editor of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. He is passionate about traveling..currently in Seattle.