Housing has become a nationwide nightmare. Due to the historically high demand for space and low supply of available options, landlords have had free reign to charge exorbitant rental rates. According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, more than 11 million renter households pay at least half their incomes for housing. Airbnb attempted to solve this problem by monetizing underutilized housing, positioning itself as the leading central hub between those with available homes and those looking for a place to stay — the hero of the “sharing” economy. However, it’s more accurate to describe Airbnb as the middleman that charges entry fees into the “access” economy, which facilitates the use of another person’s goods and services, wrapped with convenience and quality, in exchange for compensation. But as these platforms like Airbnb scale exponentially in size, gaps in security breaches and scams are inevitable. It gets increasingly harder to trust strangers promising their rooms to you and vice versa. The main currency that the housing industry should be dealing with now is trust and decentralization. Our team realizes this and believes that through the Bee Token, we can achieve a true home sharing economy.
By creating a housing exchange platform around the Bee Token, we aim to make decentralized short-term housing a reality. Listing and booking short-term housing will be streamlined, transparent, secure, and affordable. All transactions will run on the Bee Token network which is powered by Ethereum and our own side chain. The Bee Token will appreciate in value along with the growth of the user base and number of listings on our platform. Our end goal is to give value back to the value creators: the people who are sharing their homes, and the people who are staying in them. Here are some of the ways we’ll do this:
- Decentralized Ownership: The access and capital required to participate in a future Airbnb funding round excludes an average investor. With the Bee Token, we will be distributing at least 50% of our tokens through presale and ICO. These tokens represent ownership of the Bee organization and are a form of currency to engage in housing exchange on our platform. We want the community to be able to partake in ownership of our organization from Day 0, a benefit usually reserved for top venture capital firms and founders.
- Low Fees: Traditionally, Airbnb charges the host between 5–15% in fees. We plan to reduce these fees to 2–3% total. The Bee Token will eliminate fees such as overhead through automation (Airbnb has thousands of employees and huge offices) and third-party payment processors (Visa, Mastercard — charges 2% fees per transaction). Since the Bee Token relies on the blockchain, which provides a transparent and secure public transaction record, processing fees are reduced to as low as 0.1%. And since we are a small and lean team, we will be able to optimize our resources, reducing the need for large operational expenses.
- Trust and Security: We plan to approach leading blockchain companies in the security verification space, such as Civic, to fully utilize the power of blockchain to provide security and anonymity to our users. In the future, we plan to develop a user quality score — based on all transparent information available on the blockchain — to bolster third party efforts in creating a crowdsourced verification and rating system.
- Automation: Moving forward, the Bee Token aims to create a self-operating homesharing network. Everything on our platform will be backed by smart contracts, from the housing exchange agreement to the processing of funds. No more waiting in between back and forths about timing, seamless integrations, and faster confirmation dates.
We are an experienced team with members primarily from Google, Facebook, and Uber. Look out for our upcoming White Paper announcement along with our presale date to learn more. In the meantime, join the conversation on our Website, Slack and Telegram.