Peer-to-peer (P2P) networks: A bright future for online business

Published on: 2019-07-16

So, what is P2P technology exactly? A P2P network or platform is an online system in which two parties reach an agreement to exchange services with one another absent the involvement of a third-party (commonly known as “the middleman”). Both user and provider embrace the traditional roles of buyer and seller. In recent years P2P technology has become a dynamic and, in some cases, an economically disruptive innovation. Furthermore, it has fostered entire economic environments of its own.

Consider the ways in which applications such as Air BnB and Uber have impacted ground transportation and accommodation economies. These innovations haven’t rendered traditional taxis and hotels obsolete (as digital camera technology has with film), but the advent of such services have created viable alternatives to their traditional counterparts as well as a plethora of new business opportunities for providers (your Air BnB hosts and Uber drivers).

P2P networks and traditional capitalism

While P2P services exist within the larger capitalist economy, there are some important distinctions. In the traditional capitalist model, business owners possess both the means of production and the product itself. They hire and compensate employees as necessary to facilitate the creation of the finished product. The economics of a P2P system differ. In certain pre-modern societies, a P2P economic system carried with it significantly more risk, but the internet and the advent of smart phones has changed all of that.

According to investopedia.com “The modern state of emerging P2P economies is just the latest example of the internet’s value to consumers. The emerging internet-empowered, self-producer model of capitalism is now big and disruptive enough for regulators and companies to have woken up to it. That is a sign of its immense potential for such innovative business models in years to come.” The case of these internet driven P2P networks, the transaction costs of utilizing third parties (such as cab companies or travel agencies) has been eliminated, thus facilitating lower prices and more personalized services for the consumer and greater autonomy for the provider.

New markets

The P2P concept of removing the proverbial middleman has, as Forbes put it, “created [online marketplaces] out of things that wouldn’t have been considered monetizable assets before.” Whether this be driveway space, coworking and office spaces, pet boarding, tool sharing, bike shares, and now translation services, these marketplaces can effectually become networks where traditional supply and demand paradigms can be satisfied. This infographic from currencyfair.com illustrates how the typical workday of the hypothetical “Michael” character has been transformed and streamlined through the use of P2P services. Increased efficiency is the theme which underpins Michael’s workday. Entrepreneurs and businesspeople can begin utilizing these networks as tools to facilitate their own original concepts and cut down on time-to-market for their products.

Say Wot

In the world of international business success depends on effectively reaching target consumers. To accomplish this, businesses will need to account for the languages and dialects of clients and multi-national employees. For those businesses looking to reach new or existing markets more effectively, Say Wot is a facilitator for multi-lingual business needs. With a readily available and diverse base of translators, businesses can take full advantage of reductions in time-to-market costs and the ease of locating competitive professionals for those difficult to find language pairs. Whereas P2P services such as Uber have become staple facilitators for transportation solutions, Say Wot is a brand-new network for solving information and communication dilemmas with the P2P model.Business users will enjoy access to most major file types to facilitate interdepartmental, and business-to-client translation needs in addition to the lower transaction costs which P2P networks enable.

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