Portion is an upcoming decentralized marketplace built on Bitcoin’s blockchain. Using Portion’s smart asset tags, users will be able to earn bitcoins by renting out anything to other users. Bitcoin.com caught up with CEO Jason Rosenstein to learn more about his new venture.
The New York-based 11-man team behind Portion is currently finalizing their angel funding and product development, including an iOS app. The company has launched a new website and is currently looking for beta testers for their upcoming product launch in April.
Renting With Smart Tags
Renting out unused goods, everything from an old toy to a new moving truck, can be tricky on a website such as Craigslist because items are not well tracked and ownership is not assured. Portion uses adhesive “holographic smart-tags” to represent a physical item as a virtual asset on the blockchain, which can then be used to prove the authenticity of the physical item as well as its custody. “Smart-tags are fraud resistant and leave a watermark if removed”, Portion website says.
To put an item up for rent using Portion, a user “simply tags that item thereby making it ‘smart-property’”, Rosenstein explained to Bitcoin.com.
“Once tagged, the individual will upload product details, images, rental period, and all other details to the marketplace”, he conveyed. When another user wants to rent that item at an agreed upon price and duration, the item will be delivered to the renter, he detailed.
Beta testers will be using the ‘freemium’ model which will allow them to lend assets within their groups of friends. “This ‘closed network’ approach will allow users to tag, loan, and track goods to those they know at no fee. This will provide Portion with the insights and customer feedback we need to continue to be successful”, the CEO described.
Using Bitcoin’s Blockchain
Rosenstein said that “payments supported will be bitcoin & USD”, adding that:
We are using Bitcoin’s Blockchain to track assets.
Specifically, “We will be using Counterparty to create assets”, he further described, noting that “This will all be obfuscated to the end user, who is simply somebody wishing to put a good on the market”.
“Smart contracts are utilized to facilitate the marketplace, payments, security, and other crucial logistics”, he expressed. Using an example of a person loaning out a camera lens, he said the lens “becomes smart-property after it has been tagged with a Portion tag”. The cryptographic asset representing the lens is sent between smartphone apps.
Rates and Fees
Rental rates are set by the user for each item. “Users can charge whatever they want”, Rosenstein said.
For Portion’s fee, the company is still “exploring algorithms to calculate fees” but the CEO believes that “it is generally accepted in the rental space to charge between 10% – 20%”, so future fees in that range may apply.
However, Portion plans to provide smart-tags for free at first. “Each individual will be able to procure 5 smart tags at no cost. From there, we will send more at no cost if they become a power user”, Rosenstein revealed. “This will ensure we continue to grow and nurture our advocates and give them everything they need to make our marketplace as liquid as possible”.
What do you think of Portion? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Portion
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